Open Letter to Public Health England and other agencies:
“As PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants)have most recently expressed:
“Any vaccination campaign, to be effective, has to cover virtually everyone. Including #undocumented people is not only humane, it’s also public health common sense. We’re all in this together, and only together can we win this battle.”
People seeking asylum in Folkestone are protesting. They want their voices to be heard.
A resident at Napier Barracks writes: ” I can’t speak English , but I can write for you and I send good pictures for you , you can read the posters on my pic we are human. Everyone here has a mental problem because nothing is human. No body is responsible for how long we have to be here. Neither in terms of health nor food and any other help many people here do not have access to a doctor, Many do not have warm clothes.”
18 December 2020: Freemovement: Landmark victory for woman seeking right to work as cleaner paves way for tens of thousands
A trafficked woman who asked a judge for the right to work as a cleaner has won a landmark victory in the high court.
The ruling on Friday paves the way for tens of thousands who are denied the right to work by the Home Office to have their requests to take up jobs considered.
Asylum seekers and victims of trafficking are generally denied the right to work by the Home Office. Many wait several years for their cases to be determined. There is a record backlog of 60,548 people waiting for an initial decision on their asylum claim, with 76% of people waiting more than six months for a decision.
GENEVA (17 December 2020) – Migrants and their families, no matter what their migration status, must be included in the national COVID-19 response and recovery plans of all countries, human rights experts* said today in a statement marking International Migrants Day. Their full statement is as follows:
“The pandemic has manifested globally the vital contributions migrant workers provide to local economies. Migrant workers form a crucial workforce in various sectors that are contributing to the delivery of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in domestic households. Among them, migrant health and care workers have been on the frontline.
On this day where we pay tribute to all migrants, in a context of a continuing global health crisis that also has a severe impact on the governance of migratory movements, we must remind States to treat all migrants with dignity and provide them with equal access to services, benefits, information, and assistance.
12 December 2020: RAPAR:“The syndemic nature of the threat we face demands that we not only treat each affliction, but also urgently address the underlying social inequalities that shape them— poverty, housing, education, and race, which are all powerful determinants of health.” Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet (13th November 2020)
It’s Friday 13th March 2020. I watch the woman, around 60 like me, reach for a clear plastic bag of five tomatoes. Just moments before, my bare right hand placed it on the conveyor belt and now, her bare left hand lifts it towards the scales at her workstation. Tapping in her record of its value, she picks the bag up again, bare right hand this time, and sets it down before me.
Status Now 4 All has a continuing deep concern about the impact on the physical and psychological well-being of people seeking asylum of being accommodated in ‘contingency units’ by the companies acting on behalf of the Home Office. The news items below amplify the voice of those with this experience.
We ask you to write to your MP calling for the use of barracks to be stopped, and for the Home Office to appropriately exercise its duty of care … and make a big noise about this desperate situation: Call for Status Now for All
What can you do? Please ask your MP to sign EDM #1263, and to talk about it with colleagues. Thank you
Tabled on 10 December 2020: That this House would like to thank migrant workers who have been at the forefront of the UKs response to the pandemic; believes that recovery from covid-19 must level up migrant workers’ rights; further recognises that the Hostile Environment, particularly No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and the “illegal working” offence, forces migrants to continue go into work even when it is not safe to do; is concerned that the illegal working offence pushes undocumented migrants to look for employment among exploitative employers who know they are unable report abuse in the workplace for fear of immigration enforcement; expresses further concern that the illegal working offence disincentivises employers from hiring migrant workers and creates a culture of discrimination in employment practices; notes that the exploitation of migrant workers in the labour market drives down labour standards and protections for all workers; and calls on the Government to implement the recommendations in the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants “Work It Out” campaign by scrapping NRPF and repealing the “illegal working” offence.
East and South East Asia: Online public discussion launching a research outcome on covid-19 response measures and migrant workers’ rights in East and South East Asia, available to watch below on Youtube. We also covered situations of undocumented people and people with irregular status too…
For this report, we analysed almost 900 news stories across nine of the UK’s most popular media outlets to answer these questions: Did we really see a shift to positive coverage of migrants, or just those working in the NHS? Which news outlets were best at including migrant voices in their Covid-19 coverage? Were migrants presented as heroes, threats or victims during this unprecedented time?
Everyone who works with asylum seekers knows that the Home Office system for providing accommodation is not fit for purpose. In R (DMA and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department EWHC 3416 (Admin) the High Court has finally and emphatically recognised this. The judgment will surely have significant ramifications for how the Home Secretary discharges her duty to accommodate destitute asylum seekers.
Twenty-nine asylum seekers have died in Home Office accommodation so far this year – five times as many as those who have lost their lives on perilous Channel small boat crossings over the same period.
11 December 2020 Leicester City Mayor@CityMayorLeic· #Leicester will not collaborate with the Government’s change to immigration rules for rough sleepers. It is unfair, discriminatory and morally wrong to deport someone simply falling on hard times and losing their home.
This week Immigration Rule changes targeting rough sleeping migrants came into force. The Home Office has confirmed that the new Rules will not be enforced until official guidance is published, but the changes have been met with defiance across the board.
In particular, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has stated that it will not cooperate with the Home Office on this issue:
rather than supporting people to come off the streets, these new rules will punish rough sleepers simply for not having a home. Therefore, the GLA and its commissioned services will not collaborate with such draconian measures.