Undocumented migrants must have access to the vaccine too

Migrant Voice: While we welcome the rapid rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK, we are concerned that there are many UK residents who have no idea if, when or how they will have access to the vaccine: they are undocumented migrants, who live and work among the rest of us, but who don’t have the same access to healthcare and may be too afraid to seek out the chance to be vaccinated.

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Concerns about the use of army barracks

This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation:

Updated 23 January 2021: Guardian: UK asylum seekers told claims at risk if they ‘misbehave’

Call for Home Office to act after private contractors tell people their applications will be jeopardised for speaking out, going on hunger strikes or complaining about food

People held at temporary Home Office refugee camps are being threatened that their asylum claims will be harmed if they “misbehave”, according to testimony from site residents.

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Restaurant sends incredible Syrian-style Christmas banquet to Penally asylum camp only for security guards to confiscate it

22 December 2020@ Wales Online: Volunteers wanted to spread some Christmas cheer to the asylum seekers inside but guards ‘cruelly’ took the food away mid-way through their meal

An Aberystwyth restaurant sent a Syrian-style Christmas spread to the Penally asylum camp only for it to be confiscated by security guards (Image: Dinah Mulholland/Mark Lewis)

A celebratory spread of Syrian food was delivered to asylum seekers in the controversial  Pembrokeshire  asylum camp, only for security guards to confiscate the meal, it’s been claimed.

A group of volunteers were desperate to spread a little Christmas cheer to the men staying at the Penally asylum camp after numerous stories of the “prison-type conditions” and sub-standard food inside the camp gates.

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Asylum right to work policy unlawfully overlooks trafficking victims

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.

Read more here: https://www.freemovement.org.uk/policy-on-right-to-work-for-asylum-seekers-unlawfully-overlooks-trafficking-victims/

The State we’re in, it’s a Syn: that’s why we need Status Now 4 All

12 December 2020: RAPAR: “The syndemic[1] 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.”[2]
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. 

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Appalling conditions in barracks housing people seeking asylum

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

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EDM (Early Day Motion)1263: Migrant Workers’ Rights

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.

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Regularise online event ‘Migrant Justice and Racial Justice’ on Friday 18 December 2020

This is the recording of the event:

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Migrant Voice report: Heroes, Threats & Victims

16 December 2020: Migrant Voice:

As part of our International Migrants Day celebrations, we’re launching the first major report to analyse UK media coverage of migration during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the report here. https://www.migrantvoice.org/img/upload/Migrant_Voice_Media_Monitoring_Report-December_2020.pdf

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?

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Leicester – immigration rules – rough sleepers

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.

Danny Myers@dannytmyers·Joining @SadiqKhan and other city leaders, we in #Leicester are kicking back against this cruel policy targeting rough sleepers. @CityMayorLeic & @Leicester_News will not betray our city’s humanity and compassion.

Human Rights, and Status Now for All

The 7th annual Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival presents Human Rights, and Status Now for All on Thursday, 10 December 2020, 4.00pm – 6.00pm (London GMT)

The Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival invites you to Human Rights, and Status Now for All.

The event marks International Human Rights Day which is observed around the world on December 10, annually. The event will appeal to people interested in community relations, migration, law and politics and those who are interested in how we build better during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Attendees will hear from a number of organisations that are part of the Status Now Network who will talk about why Britain and Ireland must give settled status or indefinite leave to remain to all who are in the UK who need such leave as well as how people in the UK and beyond can support this call.

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“The Radicalization of a Woman Without a Paper: Status Now For All”, a guest lecture by Rogelio Braga

The Leicester Secular Society annual Human Rights lecture series presents “The Radicalization of a Woman Without a Paper: Status Now For All”, a guest lecture by Rogelio Braga on Sunday, 6 December 2020 6.30pm – 8.30pm (London GMT)

Book your ticket via Eventbrite

The Leicester Secular Society (LSS) invites you to its annual Human Rights Lecture which, this year, will be given by Rogelio Braga, who is based in London and is an exiled human rights activist, playwright and novelist from the Philippines.

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‘Work It Out’ and ‘In the Gaps’ from JCWI

2020 Nov 24: report from one of our signatory organisations, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants : Work It Out

Foreword:

Nearly a year after the first documented case of Covid-19, no life has been left untouched by the pandemic. Many of us
have lost loved ones. Many more have lost jobs and livelihoods. We have all learned how important it is to feel safe, loved and cared for.

But throughout this crisis, countless lives have been saved and many of our communities have been kept afloat. Not by walls or hostility but by workers.

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