Life Seekers Aid is a charity for asylum seekers and refugees, run by asylum seekers and refugees.
Founded in 2021, Life Seekers Aid is a successor to Camp Residents of Penally—CROP—an organisation established in 2020 by asylum seekers inside Penally Camp in Wales.
CROP worked for the welfare and rights of asylum seekers housed in this military camp during the pandemic, cooperating with local and national charities, legal and medical organisations, and official bodies.
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.
Data sharing with the financial sector will begin today as the government cracks down on illegal migrants accessing banking services.
Making it more difficult for unlawful migrants to access financial services is an important tool to help deter illegal migration by preventing people from working illegally and profiting from services they are not entitled to.
Having access to a current account can assist those here unlawfully in obtaining work illegally and securing credit. It can help those without permission to be in the UK gain a foothold in society, regardless of their immigration status.
Identifying an unlawful migrant’s current account may also provide evidence of illegal working, helping identify and stamp this out.
There are many many examples of racism in UK and beyond, coming to our attention daily and it is racism that has enabled the hostile environment to take hold such that people are left in a situation where they fear the potential threat to their safety from the Home Office more than they fear the threat to their own lives of the Covid pandemic.
Below, you will find just a small selection of reports about the way in which racism shows itself.
In February 2021, the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) was awarded funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, through their Power and Accountability programme, to fund a project to identify and begin to address structural racism in UK journalism. The resulting policy report, published in March 2023, provides an overview of the challenges that Black journalists are facing in the British news media. Browse the report by chapter and download the report below.
The report, written by Dr Aida Al-Kaisy and based on 27 in-depth interviews with Black journalists and stakeholders who have or are currently working in national mainstream media newsrooms across print, online and broadcast media, provides an overview of the challenges that Black journalists are facing in the British news media.
Although the proportion of Black African and Caribbean journalists has increased in recent years, and there has been a heightened sense of the possibility for change since 2020 with the increased momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, Black journalists interviewed confirmed that newsroom processes continued to be exclusionary and racism was commonplace.
4 April 2023: ICIBI: Please note the ICIBI’s intended inspection regime for the coming year: 2023-24
This includes Rwanda ‘Country of Origin’ information that guides the Home Office staff in decision-making, trafficking, contingency accommodation, treatment of people arriving by small boats, age assessments, and adults at risk in detention
It was the first time the home secretary had come into our studio live and there was plenty to talk about – and plenty of headlines from what she had to say.
First off, Suella Braverman was resolutely determined to defend her plans to send migrants to Rwanda, saying repeatedly that in her view it is, contrary to the United Nations’ view, a safe country for refugees.
There’s no question that there’s public desire to stop the terrible trade of people trafficking across the Channel. Many governments, not just the UK, are grappling with what to do. But there are plenty of practical and political problems about the home secretary’s approach, and huge jeopardy in her and the prime minster’s slogan to “stop the boats”.
Frank Ospina’s death followed by reports of suicide attempts by other detainees at immigration centre
Lawyers and charities have predicted an unfolding crisis in immigration detention after the death of a detainee and reports of subsequent suicide attempts by others.
The Home Office confirmed that investigations had been launched by police and the prisons and probation ombudsman into the death of Frank Ospina on 26 March. He was being held at Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow next to the adjoining Harmondsworth immigration detention centre. He is believed to have been 39 and from Colombia. Detainees said he took his own life, although this has not been confirmed.
A notice to detainees from the centre manager Paul Rennie dated the day the man died states: “It is with respect that I have to announce that resident Mr Frank Ospina sadly passed away today.”
It adds: “Please be assured we are doing all we can to reduce the risks of such incidents happening again in the future.”
The Guardian received reports from several detainees that shortly after reports of Ospina’s death circulated, a number of detainees attempted suicide, and that some detainees staged a protest at the centre earlier this week.
Charities have also highlighted delays in carrying out what are known as rule 35 reports, which assess vulnerabilities of people in detention such as whether they are a suicide risk. The Home Office did not comment on these reports.
The detention problems come at a time when the Home Office has announced it will be expanding the use of immigration detention. In a fact sheet published on 31 March officials said that under the new rules “it is for the home secretary rather than the courts to determine what is a reasonable time period to detain an individual”