[There are updates with other relevant articles below]
I arrived in the UK in 2001 at the age of twenty from Malaysia, with feelings of excitement as I embarked on an Engineering Degree at the University of Wolverhampton. I went on to complete a master’s degree in Advanced Technology Management and became a member of the Institution of Engineering Technology and Institution of Mechanical Engineering. My positive experience of the UK inspired me to stay here, living and working to pursue my chartered engineer’s training. I have, however, ended up experiencing life in limbo as a stateless British Overseas Citizen, trying to resolve my status and my right to work.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation: ZHRO: join the demonstrations at the Zimbabwean Embassy, 429 The Strand, every week on a Wednesday 11:00am to 1:00pm, singing, drumming and protesting.
Updated 28 August 2021: TUI action from today:
Manchester: People showing solidarity at a demo outside the TUI offices on Market Street at 11am, Saturday, 28 August – as part of a nationally coordinated set of actions opposing all deportations that this holiday company is currently being paid by the British Government to deliver.
24 August 2021: International Public Policy ObservatoryIPPO: Written by Mariko Hayashi, Executive Director of our signatory organisation Southeast and East Asian Centre (SEEAC), and an independent researcher on migration and human rights:
One positive outcome of the pandemic should have been a greater commitment to supporting UK communities – including my own – who have been especially vulnerable. But all that many of us feel now is consultation fatigue and growing frustration
COVID-19 has placed a harsh spotlight on the pre-existing inequalities and discrimination faced by some of the UK’s most invisible communities and groups – including those which I belong to and represent: the East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) community and migrants.
It would be heartening to think that a positive outcome of the pandemic would be a greater commitment to supporting communities including my own which have been especially vulnerable. However, with most COVID-19 related restrictions now lifted and things ‘getting back to normal’, I fear that many marginalised communities will be forgotten again.
20 August 2021: StatusNow4All: Europe has deported 71,065 people back to Afghanistan since 2009
The UK figure is the highest: 15,755 people between 2008 and 2020
Have European nations ever valued the lives of the Afghans that sought sanctuary on its soil? Their actions tell us ‘No’. Very many injustices and ill-treatment are being endured by Afghan people alongside many others in the UK asylum system, as most harrowingly demonstrated in the death on Wednesday of a five-year-old Mohammed in Sheffield.
“The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere.” Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester
The plight of the Afghan people who are now fleeing from their homes is prompting positive and compassionate responses from a wide range of bodies and groupings across the UK. Councils such as Abergavenny, and conurbations such as Greater Manchester and Liverpool are receiving some additional monies via the Home Office to house people. However, as Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester, an organisational signatory to the Status Now Network has observed to us this morning:
“As we have always done, Leicester will welcome those seeking refuge from conflict and oppression. We will be taking the opportunity to participate in the resettlement scheme announced today as a response to the truly awful situation in Afghanistan. We expect that resources will be provided to local councils so that we can provide and co-ordinate the support that will be needed. Leicester will proudly offer sanctuary and a new home to Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere. These people too are welcome in Leicester and deserve better from the government.“
Only seven people were deported to Jamaica on a Home Office charter plane in the early hours of Wednesday morning at an estimated cost of £43,000 a person, despite 90 being earmarked originally for the flight.
Concerns were raised about the UK’s decision to go ahead with the flight due to opposition from the Jamaican government because of Covid worries. Fears were also expressed about the vulnerability of some of those due to fly because of trafficking indicators and mental health problems.
A series of urgent high court injunction applications seeking to block some of the deportations continued almost until the flight took off at 1am on Wednesday morning.
8 August 2021: TogetherintheUK: The essay “Invisible Heroes” by Ruth won a TogetherintheUK Special Award in the Storytelling Competition. We wanted to acknowledge the bravery of writing about the pain and difficulty of being undocumented. It is a very clear account of what it means and the difference the Right to Remain means to people’s lives.
Here we are in a country that we thought we could call home, a place to accomplish our dreams and to work to support our families back in our countries. Most of us chose to overstay after our visas expired so we could continue to work. But little did we know that doing that is the wrong decision as it only makes matters worse.
The impact of having their lives put on hold is devastating for refugee friends
This week the Independent published a special report looking at the lives of people seeking asylum, who are forced to live in limbo. As they spend years waiting on a decision to be made on their asylum claim, they live in great uncertainty, banned from working, and at risk of exploitation and abuse. These stories echo the harrowing experiences of the friends of JRS who are battling this hostile system, which is founded on suspicion. As they desperately seek to be recognised as refugees, they struggle to survive.
Data shows over 1,200 people seeking asylum currently in the system, have waited more than five years, with 399 more than a decade.
StatusNow4All network members picked up intelligence about people being summarily snatched when reporting or at home – you will find below a series of updates since then.
Below you will find a petition, a suggested letter for your MP, information about demonstrations, letter from APPG Zimbabwe asking the Government to take note of the dangerous situation and halt the removal of people to that country,
We are reminded that UK Governments over many years have often acted in their own interests, and have broken agreements or made deals with the Zimbabwean Government, regardless of the impact on Zimbabwean people.
Updated 3 August 2021: ZeroCovidNow@ZeroCovidNow1: Undocumented migrants have faced exceptionally harsh conditions throughout this pandemic while being invisible to much of the media and political class. Hear from one undocumented mother, with a young child, about the challenges of the pandemic. #ZeroCovid#StatusNow
The Home Office appears to be in breach of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, says legal charity
European citizens who have applied for settled status are being detained and threatened with deportation, a development that contradicts assurances from ministers and appears to contravene the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
The Home Office has served EU nationals with removal directions even though they could prove they had applied for settled status, which should protect their rights to remain in the UK.