|Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.|
The first article analyses the renewed government attacks on the rights of migrants and invites all movements for migrant justice to come together and intensify our campaigns to defeat them.
The second article reports the launch of the antiracist network promoted by the Trade Union Congress.
A call for the rights of domestic workers by our signatory Waling Waling is the topic of our third article, while a contribution by our signatory Migrant Voice denounces the horrible conditions experienced by asylum seekers in London hotels.
Finally we welcome our new signatory Migrant Democracy Project.
StatusNow4All: Welcome to 2023, as the government renews its attacks on the rights of migrants
The New Year was underway before the prime minister offered up his ‘five pledges’ to the nation, one of which being to stop “small boats” crossing the Channel. The use of phrase is intended to put a benign gloss on a political programme which aims at a final end to the right to seek asylum in the UK.
The right wing of Mr Sunak’s party sees a renewed attack on the rights of migrants as the only chance the Conservative party has of digging itself out of the deep hole of its current unpopularity and winning a general election sometime in 2024. They are prepared to throw everything they have got at the task of ending all vestiges of migrant and refugee rights and returning to the hostile environment policies which produced the ‘Windrush generation’ scandal of 2017.Continue reading “Welcome to 2023, as the government renews its attacks on the rights of migrants”
|DECEMBER 2022 NEWSLETTER|
Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.
The first article analyses the change of tone in the public debate about immigration and invites to work together to make 2023 a year marked by the progression toward a progressive, rights-based immigration policy.
The second reports a conference on housing justice and highlights the challenges faced by migrant women.
Finally we update on the Status Now Network’s strategy weekend, now definitely planned on 27th -29th January 2023.
We wish you a restful winter holiday and a happy new year.
Status Now 4 All Network: Comms and social media volunteer(s)
Status Now 4 All Network (Status Now) came into existence in the spring of 2020 as an initiative of migrant and refugee justice campaigns in the UK. Over 130 organisations have endorsed the Network’s demand on the government to grant a secure right of residence to the estimated 1.5 million people currently living with a precarious immigration status and who are at constant risk of exploitation and loss of rights as a consequence.
Status Now is campaigning for change and it works for this by giving voice to people in the migrant and refugee communities whose situation needs to be better understood by the British public. When the extent of the injustices which migrants and refugees currently have to endure is understood across all people we believe we will have the momentum needed to achieve our key demand: Status Now for All!
To develop and strengthen our campaigning work we are now actively recruiting volunteers for our team of communications and social media activists. We are looking for people with lived experience of the immigration control system who will work with us as bloggers in Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms.
Here’s what will be done with this campaigning work:Continue reading “Comms and social media volunteer(s) “
25th March 2021
RE: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE, HOUSING AND FOOD FOR ALL
On March 27th 2020 we called upon the British and Irish States to act immediately so that all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process in both the UK and Ireland are granted Status Now, as in Leave to Remain. (Copy enclosed)Continue reading “Open Letter(2) to the Prime Minister of the UK and the Taoiseach of Ireland”
“Not having my status limits my joy, my happiness, nothing makes me excited. People take advantage.
I cannot even work. The pain is terrible. Terrible. People cry at night. There are suicides.
In limbo, I cannot do anything I want to do, and I don’t know what is going to happen to me.
Locked down all the time, not just now. Let us have a chance.”
(Voices of people without status)
Who we are: The Status Now Network is a unique coalition of almost 130 organisations and community action groups, alongside individuals, who are campaigning for Status Now 4 All. Our member organisations are listed on our website: https://statusnow4all.org.Continue reading “The Status Now 4 All Calling Card for All Communities of Faith”
We call upon the British and Irish States to act immediately so that all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process in both the UK and Ireland are granted Status Now, as in *Indefinite Leave to Remain. In this way every human, irrespective of their nationality or citizenship can access healthcare, housing, food and the same sources of income from the State as everyone else.
[*The word ‘Indefinite’ was added to the call in our second letter, dated 27 March 2021: https://statusnow4all.org/open-letter2-to-the-prime-minister-of-the-uk-and-the-taoiseach-of-ireland/]
This is the letter in full below – we have not yet received an answer:Continue reading “Status Now 4 All – this is our call”
We continue to campaign for those who have precarious status to be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain and for there to be discussions about how to move forward with the banners of #StatusNow4All and #HealthAndSafety4All.
When the will is there, it can be done – that is our point: there is hope yet … We will collate reports and legal challenges here.
February 2023: Guardian: Alf Dubs: Braverman calling refugees ‘invaders’ was low point of my career
Alf Dubs, the veteran Labour peer who arrived in the UK as a child fleeing the Nazis, has described Suella Braveman’s likening of refugees to invaders as “deeply and personally upsetting”, and a low point of his half century in politics.
Dubs, who fled what was then Czechoslovakia unaccompanied in 1939 and came to the UK aged six as part of the Kindertransport system, condemned the home secretary for using language that painted those also fleeing persecution as “hostile people”.
Dubs’ comments, made in a new podcast series presented by the Lord Speaker, John McFall, follow criticism of Braverman by another survivor of the Holocaust last month.
In comments made in October, shortly after she was reappointed by Rishi Sunak, Braverman said in the Commons that refugees and migrants crossing the Channel in small boats were “the invasion on our southern coast”.Continue reading “Reckless ‘Nationality & Borders’ legislation”
Updated 2 February 2023: RAPAR: @raparuk We have just found out that Kouame is not being removed tomorrow. Praise all our gods. It is not over yet – and we will keep working tooth and nail for Kouame’s safety – but we can breathe for now.
Updated 1 February 2023: RAPAR: Keep Kouame Safe:
Updated 1 February 2023: Gov.uk: Leadership of small boats operations returns to the Home Office
The Small Boats Operational Command (SBOC) will bring together the government’s response to small boats with 730 additional staff.
Home Secretary tells The Telegraph the party’s reputation for competence is ‘on the line’ and crossings must be tackled to win electionContinue reading “Channel Crossings”
29 January 2023: The Observer view on Britain’s shameful failings on child refugees
Abused, kidnapped and lost – the government should hang its head in shame over its lack of care towards vulnerable minors
Unaccompanied children fleeing war, torture and chaos are surely one of the most vulnerable demographics in the world. Yet an Observer investigation has exposed how once these children reach the UK they can be treated with an appalling lack of care, to the extent that large numbers are being kidnapped in plain sight by criminal gangs. Today, we publish allegations by a whistleblower that the staff in one hotel accommodating some of these already traumatised children have subjected them to repeated emotional abuse.
Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, has met some of the children being housed in a hotel in his constituency. He has described their vulnerability: one 15-year-old from Iran who had lost both of his parents travelled to the UK with a friend but was separated from him because he tested positive for Covid and was so anxious “his face was pinched and his legs were buckling”. The majority of unaccompanied children arriving in Britain come from countries with terrible records of conflict and human rights abuses: Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. Many will be in immediate danger from the criminal gangs to whom they owe money for smuggling them into the country.Continue reading “Disappearing children”
Updated 27 January 2023: ECPAT: Over 100 charities call for action on children going missing from Home Office hotels, at risk of trafficking and exploitation
- Charities including NSPCC, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, ECPAT UK and the Refugee Council have written to the Prime Minister
- Hundreds of children have gone missing from hotels and are suspected of being trafficked and exploited
- The Home Office is unlawfully housing separated children in unsafe hotels, where they could be targeted by criminals
Over 100 charities from the refugee and children’s sectors have written to the Prime Minister today to express their grave concern about separated children seeking asylum going missing from Home Office hotels. The children are suspected of being exploited and are accommodated outside of the UK’s child welfare framework which applies to all children, regardless of their immigration status.
In the open letter coordinated by ECPAT UK and the Refugee Council, charities including major UK children’s charities NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Action for Children, Coram, The Children’s Society and National Children’s Bureau, are calling for the Home Office to stop accommodating separated children in hotels with no further delays. They are also calling for children to be cared for by local authority children’s social care, according to the law and with all the safeguards that brings, including having OFSTED oversight, and for an urgent independent inquiry:Continue reading “Modern Slavery and Trafficking”
A new law has recently come into force in Finland that expands health care for undocumented migrants living in the country. Under this law, undocumented people can now access necessary care – that is, care that health care professionals deem necessary. This covers, for instance, conditions like diabetes or asthma that, if left untreated, would constitute a risk to the person’s health and increase the likelihood of urgent care being needed in the future.Continue reading “Migration Health and Care”
27 January 2023: ICIBI: Role and remit review of ICIBI discontinued
The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration expresses disappointment at decision not to proceed with the Windrush Lessons Learned Review’s Recommendation 10.
This Government is not accepting the recommendations arising from the Windrush Review to expand the powers of ICIBI (not surprisingly as Dave Neal has been very vocal). He writes: ‘I look forward to engaging with ministers and officials to ensure further progress towards meeting Williams’s call for the Home Office to become ‘an organisation that is more confident under the gaze of external scrutiny’.Continue reading “ICIBI Inspection Plan 2022-23”
This post follows on from the initial post which became very long, but can be found here: https://qarn.org.uk/concerns-about-the-use-of-army-barracks-etc/. Here we update the post with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites.
and also the post regarding plans to export people seeking asylum to Rwanda https://qarn.org.uk/exporting-people-seeking-asylum-rwanda/
1 January 2023: Guardian: Home Office publishes details of £70m contract to house asylum seekers
Charities have criticised ‘warehousing’ centres, calling instead for better integration in society
Details of a £70m contract to put asylum seekers into controversial accommodation centres have been published by the Home Office, the Guardian has learned.
The Home Office has said repeatedly it wants to move tens of thousands of asylum seekers out of hotels, which are costing about £5.6m a day. But its first attempt to set up such a centre at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, in North Yorkshire, stalled after local opposition, including from Conservative politicians and the threat of legal challenges. Since then no other concrete plans have emerged.
In December, the Home Office added the £70m project to its procurement pipeline, the mechanism that it says provides a formal look at its “anticipated outsourcing activity over the next 24 months”.Continue reading “Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, offshoring etc etc. continued 2023”
Updated 25 January 2023: The Use of Biological Methods in Asylum Age Assessments (dated March 2022)
Accuracy of examining bones to determine age In non-medical contexts, bone development and skeletal maturity assessed by these methods is used to assess overall maturity as a proxy for chronological age. The accuracy of these methods has been widely researched. Most children (95%) will have a skeletal maturity age within plus or minus 2 years of their chronological age.Continue reading “Barriers and Bridges to Wellbeing”
Updated 21 January 2023: Another beautiful day as we stand in solidarity with the women incarcerated at the Derwentside IRC aka Hassockfield detention centre.
We were joined by students from Durham university – this tells us our call to shut down this centre is gaining momentum. We had senior member from Durham and a politician that spoke strongly against this establishment. It was peaceful and the police were there but did not have work very hard.Continue reading “Enabling Nurse Daisy”
There will be further protests about removals to Rwanda: See reports below
Updated 17 January 2023: Free Movement: High Court gives green light to appeals in Rwanda challenges
On 16 January 2023 there was a High Court hearing to deal with all matters following on from its ruling published on 19 December 2022. You can you can read more about the case and its implications here and here. You can find a full copy of the judgment here, and a summary here.
The various claims in this case were heard on a ‘rolled up’ basis. This means that permission to apply for judicial review and the substantive merits of the grounds were considered at the same time. Permission was granted on all of the grounds advanced by individual asylum seekers and Asylum Aid.Continue reading “Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda”
Human Rights Watch: World Report 2023: Our Annual Review Of Human Rights Around The Globe
‘This is the overarching lesson of our ever-more disrupted world: we need to reimagine how power in the world is exercised, and that all governments not only have the opportunity but the responsibility to take action to protect human rights within and beyond their borders.’
“In 2022, we saw the most significant assault on human rights protections in the UK in decades,” said Yasmine Ahmed, UK director at Human Rights Watch. “From your right to protest to your ability to hold institutions to account, fundamental and hard-won rights are being systematically dismantled.”
Human Rights Watch highlighted several laws introduced in 2022 that had the effect of significantly weakening human rights protections. The UK government introduced laws that stripped rights of asylum seekers and other vulnerable people, encouraged voter disenfranchisement, limited judicial oversight of government actions, and placed new restrictions on the right to peaceful protest.
The government also proposed the repeal and replacement of the Human Rights Act, which gives life to the European Convention on Human Rights in the United Kingdom, with a so-called Bill of Rights. Human Rights Watch said the bill, if adopted, would fundamentally undermine human rights protections in the UK.
As these rights were being stripped away.
Read more: Human Right Watch, http://www.hrw.org/news/2023/01/12/human-rights-watch-issues-damning-verdict-uk
Migrant Voice have been engaging with asylum seekers accommodated in hotels across London, to learn about their conditions and experiences.
We are currently conducting a survey and we will be launching a report on the conditions and experiences of asylum seekers as part of a campaign to give them a voice and improve their situation.
The campaign came about from hearing from a number of asylum seekers in hotels and organisations supporting them. We learnt that some of the hotels are overcrowded, with some having up to ten people in one room and one toilet for the whole floor. We’ve heard complaints about the quality of the food, the lack of support, the mistreatment from some staff, lengthy waiting times in hotels which can exceed a year and a half, and lack of communication from the Home Office.
Among the asylum seekers are families, children and women, some of whom pregnant, who did not receive proper care. We are aware of women who have not been moved out of the hotel, even after giving birth.Continue reading “Campaigning for better conditions of asylum seekers in London hotels”
The inaugural meeting of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) anti racist network took place in London last November.
It was attended by about 50 people, The overwhelming majority of them were migrant and migrant advocate organisations’ members.
The discussion stressed the importance that all workers, whatever their immigration status is, get organised to stop exploitation, and showed a general wish to see a permanent network created and coordinated by the TUC.
A number of thought provoking speakers were heard (including Emmanuelle Andrews, Liberty; Fizza Qureshi, Migrants Rights Network; Gargi Bhattacharyya, TUC Race Relations Committee; Liam Shrivastava, Institute of Race Relations; Sereena Abbassi, gal-dem; Sophie Chauhan, Dalston Superstore). The Government’s anti migrant and racist legislation was condemned and it was evident that the TUC and individual Unions accepted that they must do much more, both in challenging racism and organising precarious workers.Continue reading “Britain’s unions launch of anti racist network”