Channel Crossings

See also

Updated 1 February 2023: 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.

Read more:

Telegraph: Stop migrant boats or face defeat, Suella Braverman tells Tories

Home Secretary tells The Telegraph the party’s reputation for competence is ‘on the line’ and crossings must be tackled to win election

Read more:

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Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda

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

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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.

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Qatar World Cup final on International Migrants Day 2022

What you can do: United Nations International Migrants Day (IMD)will be marked once again this year on 18 December.

This year, IMD will be happening when the attention of millions of people across the world will be focused on the final of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 

It is appropriate to remember that the month-long festival of the world’s most popular support on this occasion would not have been possible without the labour of a large migrant workforce.

Qatar has a population of 3 million people, two-thirds of who are migrants.  They make up 95% of the country’s workforce.  During the 12 years it has taken to prepare the country for the World Cup migrant labour has been essential to the construction of new football stadia, hotels, metro, airport, and other infrastructure related to the competition.

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Refugees are part of the solution

1 October 2022: Manchester Evening News: Thousands turn out for Enough is Enough protest in city centre

Pictures showed scores of people taking to the city centre as part of the campaign’s day of national action

Thousands of people gathered in Manchester city centre this afternoon to protest against soaring energy prices and the cost of living crisis as part of a day of national action for an anti-poverty campaign.

Enough is Enough, a national campaign created by trade unions and community organisations to help battle the cost of living crisis, launched in Manchester at an event in the Cathedral on August 30, where organisers say over 5,000 people attended to hear from mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and RMT member Eddie Dempsey.

The event officially launched the campaign in the city region, with over 500,000 people across the country signed up to support the organisation’s five demands within the first month. The group is pushing for: a real pay rise, lower energy bills, an end to food poverty, decent homes for everyone, and more taxation on the top five per cent of earners and big businesses.

Whilst some of the group’s demands have been partially met, including a reversal of the recent National Insurance payment increase from 12 per cent up to 13.5 per cent and a temporary cap to energy bill prices, a national day of action today, Saturday, October 1, saw demonstrations held in dozens of cities across the UK, including London, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Birmingham.

European campaigns for regularisation confer and protest in Brussels

March to Brussels 2022: Over two hundred people representing migrant and refugee rights organisations met in Brussels over the weekend September 30 – 2nd October to reinvigorate their collaboration across European networks.

The years of the Covid pandemic have had their impact on human rights activism in this area, which depends on people meeting face-to-face and finding ways to get beyond the national differences that distort transnational solidarity.  But as the gathering got underway it was clear that participants were able to report on an upturn in their work, from across Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece as well as the UK, who all at strong representation in the discussion.

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PICUM: A Snapshot of Social Protection Measures for Undocumented Migrants

PICUM: A snapshot of social protection measures for undocumented migrants

Social protection is intended to protect people against particular economic and social exclusion, including homelessness, that can be the result of life changing events, such as unemployment or reduced ability to work due to health reasons (including work-related injuries) or changes in families and households, such as birth of a child or death of a partner or parent. It is intended to ensure that all people maintain a minimum level of income to meet their basic needs, and that older people can retire and maintain a decent quality of life. Some of these life changes are inevitable for everyone to go through, while others only impact some people – but in any case, can happen to anyone.

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Person holding a phone and the Migrant Help logo reading 'Migrant no Help'

As the government pushes ahead with ever more draconian punishment for people fleeing war, tyranny and persecution, many of us feel compelled to act. While there are countless incredible people working at a grassroots level to support refugees and people seeking asylum, it’s also a field ripe for exploitation. Donating your hard-earned cash to certain migrant charities might not reach the people you’d hoped to help. Even more concerning, your donations might actually enforce the government’s hostile environment policies.

This article looking at the charity Migrant Help, is the first in a series of reports examining the corporate interests behind organisations working with refugees and people seeking asylum. We interviewed people working with refugees who had frequent contact with the organisation. We found that:


In solidarity with the family of those who have died at the borders of Melilla on 24 June 2022

1 July 2022 :Transnational Migrant Platform – Europe: Massacre of Migrant and Refugee people at Europe-Africa border (Communique working group of the 45th session Permanent Peoples Tribunal)

In solidarity with the family of those who have died at the borders of Melilla on June 24 2022 and with those who organized the actions on July 1 in Rabat and in Melilla

This massacre in Melilla of 29 persons on Friday June 24th is the latest most visible instance of the unacceptability of Europe’s border externalization and militarization policy and its outsourcing of its responsibility in immigration and refugee policy to its neighbouring countries. 

A Relentless spiral of deaths

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Alarming Rise in Asylum Backlog Despite Fall in Applications

Updated 28 June 2022: Freemovement: Briefing: the real state of the UK asylum system

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The United Kingdom’s asylum system has been described by the current Home Secretary as “broken”. There is some truth in that statement. In many ways, the asylum system is now in a parlous state. What the Home Secretary does not say is that it was she who broke it.

[…] The picture the data presents is of a system that has been overwhelmed. Not by new arrivals but by mismanagement. The people arriving to claim asylum are overwhelmingly refugees and they will, eventually, build new lives for themselves in this country. But they must endure bureaucratic purgatory first, seemingly to cleanse them of the supposed sin of irregular arrival. Waiting times for a decision run to years, during which time these refugees are forbidden from work, and forced to endure destitution-level support and temporary accommodation. As well as being bad for the refugees, it is causes an unnecessary charge on the public purse. And then, at the end of the process, despite all the tough posturing by the Home Secretary, almost no-one is removed anyway.

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International Federation of Iraqi Refugees claims that man was subjected to inhumane treatment during attempted deportation to Rwanda

The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) has set out a formal complaint against the actions of the UK Border Agency with regard to its treatment of asylum seekers threatened with removal to Rwanda.  The Federation has asked that this matter be investigated by the European Court of Human Rights.

At the centre of the complaint is the treatment of Mr Rasti Mohammadi, a 26 year old Kurd with Iraqi nationality who had been informed that the Border Agency intended to deport him on the planned flight to Rwanda despite having made an application for protection as a refugee in the UK.

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Unhelpful – Review of data sharing: migrant victims and witnesses of crime

15 December 2021: Home Office: Review of data sharing: migrant victims and witnesses of crime


74.The submission of the super-complaint has highlighted the need to continually review and improve upon existing practices to provide confidence and assurances that any allegation(s) of crime will be given full and proper consideration by the police irrespective of the victim’s immigration status. We fully acknowledge the concerns raised around the current data sharing arrangements and wider issues around supporting migrant victims and witnesses with insecure status to regularise their stay if appropriate.

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ICIBI inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation

Updated 23 July 2021: An inspection of contingency asylum accommodation:
HMIP report on Penally Camp and Napier Barracks (November 2020 – March 2021)


The inspectors conducted visits to both sites, Penally Camp on 16 and 17 February and Napier Barracks on 17 and 18 February. The ICIBI also returned for a further visit to Napier Barracks on 4 March.

On 8 March 2021 the then Chief Inspector, David Bolt, published interim high-level findings. This report is the fuller final report that was sent to the Home Office. It reflects the department’s factual accuracy checks, and includes forewords from David Bolt, the previous Chief Inspector, and David Neal, the current Chief Inspector.

There is also a copy of a letter sent in March from David Bolt to the Director General of Asylum and Protection.

This link contains

Summary of findings for Napier Barracks and Penally Camp

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Campaign against the multinational Mitie recruitment of workers in the new women-only detention facility, Hassockfield

Status Now welcomes and supports this campaign :

Dear friends,

Abolish Detention, which is campaigning to prevent the opening of a detention centre in Hassockfield/Medomsley, is asking for support for a campaign against the multinational Mitie which is running adverts to recruit people to run its new women only detention prison near Durham. Mitie was condemned by the prison inspectorate in 2016 which said its immigration detention centres were “dirty”, “rundown” and “insanitary. It is one of  the UK’s biggest detention profiteers: it runs the two Heathrow detention centres and has a £525 million deportation “escorting” contract with an annual turnover of £2.2billion.

Please join the campaign and take action – see below for what you can do – thank you.

Global Women Against Deportations

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PICUM report: Navigating Irregularity:

March 2021 PICUM: The impact of growing up undocumented in Europe

Undocumented children are part of our communities and share the hopes and dreams of any other child. But their lives and the lives of their families are characterized by uncertainty and instability due to their irregular residence status. PICUM’s new report, Navigating Irregularity: The Impact of Growing up Undocumented in Europe, looks at how their residence status affects six areas of their lives: housing, access to services, income and socio-economic status, residence procedures and immigration enforcement (including detention), school life, and family life.

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