Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner: About modern slavery: The UK is both a country of destination, with thousands of victims arriving from other countries only to be exploited by criminals; and a source country with increasing numbers of British victims identified. Slavery takes many different forms and affects adults and children, males and females.

Those who are enslaved are exploited for the financial gain of their captors. The vulnerable are made to work in cruel conditions for long hours without pay. Examples include women and girls forced into prostitution for profit, young boys made to commit criminal acts against their will and men kept in slave-like conditions in factories.

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Enforced removals to Vietnam risks re-trafficking

26 April 2021: From Mariko Hayashi, Director of SN$A signatory organisation Southeast and East Asian Centre (SEEAC): “The UK is one of the major destinations of victims of human trafficking from Vietnam, which was the third most common nationality of all referrals to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) as potential victims in 2020. The figures show that between 2018 and 2020, in only three years, 2,242 Vietnamese people have been identified as potential victims of human trafficking. I am very concerned that some of the individuals removed from the UK without proper due process could have been victims of human trafficking.

The hostile environment policies and border securitisation, which often criminalise migrants who are vulnerable to exploitation, perpetuate violation of human rights and even put these migrants at risk of being re-trafficked.”

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Increasing the immigration detention estate for women

26 April 2021: Agnes’ petition: Stop the new detention centre for women

My name is Agnes. I am a refugee, I am a woman, I am a human being. The Home Office has started building a new immigration detention centre at Hassockfield in County Durham to lock up women like me. Please join me in taking action to stop them.

Read more: https://www.change.org/p/the-home-secretary-stop-the-new-detention-centre-for-women

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Home Office sued by asylum seeker over baby’s death

Guardian: Home Office sued by asylum seeker over baby’s death

Woman claims asylum housing staff ignored pleas for help when she was in pain while 35 weeks pregnant

A woman whose baby died is suing the Home Office for negligence over claims that staff at her asylum accommodation refused to call an ambulance when she was pregnant and bleeding.

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Situation assessment of statelessness, health, and COVID-19 in Europe

21 April 2021: European Network on Statelessness: Situation assessment of statelessness, health, and COVID-19 in Europe

Prof van Hout and Charlotte Bigland from LJMU, the authors of this report, will be leading SNN International Public Health Working Group.  Prof Van Hout says:

“There is a divide between the State obligation to assure the rights of all to healthcare, including the non-discrimination provisions where no one can be excluded in the COVID-19 health response; and the real world situation for the stateless who experience significant social and structural barriers to access of healthcare, not least exacerbated by institutional fear around data sharing with immigration. This is likely to impact most now given the imperatives to scale up and include all in COVID-19 vaccination roll out. NGOs will be crucial in supporting the practicalities around logistics in vaccinations and support of those who are marginalized and hidden.”

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Covid-19 And The Surge In Domestic Abuse In The UK

People who are undocumented are at real risk of being sucked into abusive relationships in order to survive, and once there, it is very very difficult to leave.


Women’s Aid: Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:


At this time of Covid-19, people subjected to domestic abuse are very isolated, and have fewer chances to leave the house, for example children are not at school, shopping is kept to a minimum; and tensions indoors mount.

We know that people subjected to such abuse are often frequently lied to about being believed, or they are told their children will be removed, that their whereabouts will be reported to the Home Office which will potentially lead to the risk of immigration detention and removal from UK in this hostile environment, and they now are fearful of breaking Covid lockdown rules.

The impact of the ‘toxic trio’ of drug abuse, mental health issues and alcohol is well-known to raise concerns about risk of domestic abuse. When undocumented status is added to this toxic mix, the potential for ongoing serious risk of harm is massively increased.


16 April 2021: Guardian: Anger as Tory MPs vote against register for stalkers and domestic abusers

Government rejects measures despite briefing they would support them after death of Sarah Everard

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UK Asylum System and Asylum Seekers’ Mental Health

The Mental Health Foundation has found that the increased vulnerability to mental health problems that refugees and asylum seekers face is linked both to their pre-migration and post-migration experiences. People who have fled persecution, violence and war hope to find safety and security in the UK. Tragically, the current UK asylum system often exacerbates their suffering, with long waits for asylum decisions, poor accommodation and a ban on working all contributing to this situation.

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Priti Patel’s detention policies found to breach human rights rules

14 April 2021: The Guardian: Priti Patel’s detention policies found to breach human rights rules

Court finds home secretary accountable for failures to ensure that deaths in immigration detention centres are investigated properly

A landmark court ruling has held the home secretary, Priti Patel, accountable for failures in ensuring that deaths in immigration detention centres are properly investigated.

Two judges in the immigration court ruled on Wednesday that three of the home secretary’s detention policies breached human rights rules and that she could not frustrate or undermine inquiries into these deaths.

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Impact of Covid-19 on migrants – watch our videos

Migrant Voice: Learn about the impact of Covid-19 on migrants with limited or no Leave to Remain – hear their stories.

The Building Resilience project provides spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the pandemic and form networks of solidarity.

Responding to Covid-19: Building Resilience project, running between November 2020 and April 2021, aims to organise, empower and build networks with some of the migrant communities most marginalised by Covid-19. It is a partnership project between Migrant Voice, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, and RAPAR (Refugee and Asylum Participatory Action Research).

Watch all the videos here

Victory! This will bring hope to others

14 APR 2021: Change.org petition: — Help keep the Saleem family in Britain where they belong!

Amanda Kennedy: After years of paperwork and waiting, every member of the Saleem family has now been granted a Visa!
So pleased for the lovely Saira Saleem and her family, who deserve to call Scotland home!
Special thanks to all who signed this petition, when I started it in 2018, I never thought we’d get as many as 144,000 signatures! An even bigger thanks to the family’s solicitor, Glasgow-based Usman Aslam who worked tirelessly on this case!

The original petition text is here: https://www.change.org/p/help-keep-the-saleem-family-in-britain-where-they-belong

Why So Many Filipino Health Workers Are Dying Of Covid-19

12 April 2021: Huffington Post: A reluctance to say no to overtime, crowded housing, and overrepresentation on the front line have left thousands at risk.

Filipino healthcare workers in the UK are disproportionately dying of Covid-19 as they are afraid to say no to extra shifts, campaigners have revealed.

At least 71 frontline health and care workers of Filipino heritage have died in the UK of coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to organisations supporting Filipino communities who have been compiling their own figures based on social media.

HuffPost UK has heard how workers fear turning down overtime could jeopardise their jobs, and many need the extra money to send to families in the Philippines who are relying on them.

“The real figure of how many Filipino health and care workers have died in the UK will undoubtedly be higher,” says Susan Cueva, a trustee at Kanlungan. The charity brings together a group of organisations working for the welfare and interests of Filipino and other British migrant communities.

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Podcast: Still We Rise: Episode 8 – Internal Borders In Britain

13 April 2021: CARAG – Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group: Still We Rise: Episode 8 – Internal Borders In Britain

In this week’s Podcast we speak to Dr Kathryn Medien who is a Sociology Lecturer at the Open University. We examine her research into the development and use of internal borders in Britain as a form of racialised governance. She traces numerous elements of what we now know as the Hostile Environment to key Legislative changes in the 1970’s & 80’s.

Listen here: https://www.carag.co.uk/podcast/episode/24a0af13/episode-8-internal-bordersin-britain

Link to CARAG – Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group

Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work

8 February 2021:  STOP PRESS: Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work 

#healthandsafety4all  

  • The virus cannot be effectively tackled and people cannot be kept safe until everyone currently in the UK has equal access to housing, healthcare, food, and any vaccine, and therefore equal status 
  • Addressing the question of people’s Status in the UK is the primary need 
  • Many people who are undocumented believe that they will be reported to the immigration authorities and/or subjected to the Hostile Environment if they come forward, and therefore this policy is doomed to failure  
  • Once Government commits to Status Now 4 All, everyone currently undocumented is going to be able to come forward  
  • This is the right time for a full regularisation – if not now – when?
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A secretive Home Office unit has hoarded data on millions of people

7 April 2021: Wired: The Data Services & Analytics unit holds information on 650 million people and has been accused of creating a “super database”

A data analytics team close to the heart of government has collected data on more than 650 million people, including children under the age of 13, according to newly unearthed documents.

The Data Services & Analytics unit is described as “one of the most advanced data analytics centres in government” and forms part of the Home Office’s Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) department. It builds decision-making tools and provides data-driven insights to the rest of the Home Office – although details of exactly what it does remain tightly guarded.

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