Crazy world: Destitution and Clearsprings owner is richest man

19 May 2024: Boaz Trust and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit: People in Greater Manchester are spending years, even decades, in destitution – New report on destitution in Greater Manchester

A new joint report by the Boaz Trust and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) has found that people in the city-region are forced into destitution for years, sometimes decades, as a result of their immigration status. One woman interviewed spent 16 years in immigration limbo.

The report, based on in-depth interviews with Greater Manchester residents, finds destitution is being used as a form of racialised violence, embedded within immigration law, which damages people’s physical and mental health, pushing some people towards self-harm and thoughts of suicide.

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Children and the Hostile Environment

23 January 2024: Written jointly by the Refugee Council, the Helen Bamber Foundation and Humans for Rights Network ‘Forced Adulthood -The Home Office’s incorrect determination of age and how this leaves child refugees at risk.

It was written jointly by the Refugee Council, the Helen Bamber Foundation and Humans for Rights Network. It found that at least 1,300 refugee children were placed in unsupervised adult accommodation and detention in an 18-month period (January 2022 to June 2023), after being wrongly age-assessed on arrival in the UK. We think that real numbers are likely to be much higher as data was not received from all local authorities. 

This data paints a bleak picture of separated children‘s experiences on arrival in the UK. Behind each case there is a child who has been failed by the system, experienced abuse, exploitation, distress, or harm. All of these traumas are entirely preventable, children are subjected to these harms as a direct result of being wrongly placed in adult accommodation due to the Home Office age assessment policy at the point of entry.

This is a safeguarding crisis on an unprecedented scale which we like to bring to your attention in the hope it will be possible for us to work together to address system failures and ensure that all children are protected from the moment they arrive in the UK.

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Migrants organise to beat ‘hostile environment’

East Anglia Bylines: Migrants organise to beat ‘hostile environment’

The ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy has empowered one woman to volunteer for 15 years to promote justice and foster inclusion

I’ve been involved with a number of charities and grassroots community groups since 2009 – all of them working to soften the impact of the ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy. And to put a fairer system in place.

I’m also working for initiatives to educate asylum seekers on their human rights and provide them the platform to speak out. With women’s groups in particular, this is about creating communities where compassion, respect, inclusion and empowerment will enable women to reach their potential and have a say in what happens to them.

Supporting asylum seekers means amplifying their voices and campaigning on the issues that affect people seeking protection. We all work in solidarity to end the hostile environment. It is important to help asylum seekers to access advice and support, and develop their skills and confidence.

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Protest on 1 December 2023: Profiting from Misery

21 November 2023: Some people from our signatory organisation RAPAR will be participating in this event on 1 December 2023.

DPAC: Profiting from Misery: Disability and Migrant justice campaigners protest at the companies profiting from depriving people of essential needs.

Profiting from Misery: Disability and Migrant justice campaigners protest at the companies profiting from depriving people of essential needs.

At 4pm on December 1st (two days before international day of disabled people) a coalition of disability and migrant justice organisations, including a group of disabled refugees will meet outside the Home Office to call for a stop to the obscene profits made by private corporations depriving people of human needs.  Clearsprings and Serco are among the private corporations profiting from the government’s outsourcing of asylum accommodation to private corporations.

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Destitution in the UK 2023

24 October 2023: Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Destitution in the UK 2023 report

This study, the fourth in the Destitution in the UK series, reveals approximately 3.8 million people experienced destitution in 2022, including around one million children. This is
almost two-and-a-half times the number of people in 2017, and nearly triple the number of children. There is an urgent need for action to tackle destitution in the UK.

There has been a shameful increase in the level of destitution in the UK, with a growing number of people struggling to afford to meet their most basic physical needs to stay warm, dry, clean and fed. This has deep and profound impacts on health, mental health and people’s prospects; it also puts strain on already overstretched services.

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Being Black in Downham Market

31 October 2023: East Anglia Bytimes: It’s Black History Month. Apart from its university cities, East Anglia is overwhelmingly white, including the town where Mariam lives

Mariam Yusuf arrived in the UK in 2008 fleeing war and gender-based violence in Somalia and leaving behind two children, convinced that they would soon join her. Mariam found herself detained and was destitute, bearing the full weight of what was later termed the hostile environment for migrants in the UK. She was dispersed to live in Middlesbrough, then Manchester. She’s lived in Downham Market since 2017.

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Spotlight on the impact of Statelessness

Updated 17 October 2023: European Network on Statelessness: Are Stateless Claimants Disadvantaged Within Asylum Procedures? New Evidence from the UK Context

Thomas McGee, PhD researcher at Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness (Melbourne Law School) and the MENA Statelessness Network (Hawiati)

This blog post introduces new research, conducted as part of the #StatelessJourneys project, into the challenges faced by stateless claimants within asylum procedures in the UK context. The study focuses on the experiences of stateless Kurds from Syria in the UK, revealing hurdles related to civil documentation, cultural understanding, and language analysis. These findings emphasize the need for more statelessness-sensitive procedures and policy changes, both in the UK and within other countries of asylum across Europe.

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Children reaching UK in small boats sent to jail for adult sex offenders

27 August 2023: Thanks to Maddie Harris and Humans for Rights Network – StatusNow signatories – for exposing this terrible situation:

Guardian: Children reaching UK in small boats sent to jail for adult sex offenders

Human rights group finds growing number of cases of minors held among prisoners

Vulnerable children who arrive in Britain by small boat are being placed in an adult prison that holds significant numbers of sex offenders.

A growing number of cases have been identified where unaccompanied children, many of whom appear to be trafficked, have been sent to HMP Elmley, Kent, and placed among foreign adult prisoners.

According to the most recent inspection of Elmley, the block where foreign nationals are held also houses sex offenders.

Of 14 unaccompanied children so far identified by staff at Humans For Rights Network as being sent to an adult prison, one is believed to have been 14 when they spent seven months in Elmley.

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Response from some Status Now Network members to the British Refugee Council’s Vision

7 August 2023: Intro: This opinion piece by some SNN members has been written quickly, soon after the British Refugee Council published its vision at the end of July 2023.  We wanted to respond as immediately and impactfully  as we could, to encourage further discussion within  the sector as a whole.  Hopefully,  alongside the British Refugee Council itself, more Network members and other groups and organisations in the sector will become engaged in the discussion going forward.

A contemporary and preliminary response from some Status Now Network members to the British Refugee Council’s Vision, published in July 2023, published here with an invitation to the Refugee Council to respond.  Thank you.  

Summary

To some of us in the  Status Now Network this British Refugee Council vision appears to abandon the principle of everyone’s basic right to claim asylum, preferring to pick and choose particular people that suits recent Government agendas. It was in the devastating wake of ‘picking and choosing’ that the 1951 convention came into existence.  Now is not the time to turn away from its principles – on any level.

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Destroying hopes, dreams and lives: How the UK visa costs and process impact migrants’ lives

21 July 2023: Migrants Organise/Medact: Unions unite with migrant organisations to call out government plan to fund pay rise with higher migrant fees.

Major trade unions – including the BMA, NEU, NASUWT, GMB and PCS – have come together with over 50 migrant organisations, to call out the government’s plan to fund a public sector pay rise through higher NHS and visa fees for migrants.  

Joint Statement

As trade unions and migrant organisations, we stand against this Government’s attempts to pit worker against worker. We know that an injury to one is an injury to all.

All workers deserve decent pay, safe working conditions and protections if our bosses seek to take advantage of us. Public sector workers deserve pay rises, but we strongly oppose any decision to fund this by further taxing migrants, by hiking visa costs and NHS fees. This is a blatant attempt to sow division within the labour movement and our communities. 

Increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge by 66% and increasing visa costs will push ever more people into destitution and poverty. The UK already effectively taxes migrants twice for healthcare, and has some of the most extortionate visa fees in Europe – a migrant family of four often has to pay around £50,000 over 10 years for the right to stay. This massive increase is simply unaffordable – it will price workers out of being able to afford a visa and force thousands further into poverty during the cost of living crisis, or out of the country.

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Fighting Structural Invisibility and Precarity

15 June 2023: Left East: Fighting Structural Invisibility and Precarity: Interview with Julius-Cezar MacQuarie on the Nightworker Charter

By Julius-Cezar MacQuarie

[Extract] You have this wonderful insight  – namely you talk about the structural invisibility of migrant nightshift workers. It is clear that there is strong anti-migrant propaganda, and a significant portion of the local population is hostile to workers both in the UK and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the UK, how does this invisibility appear from the perspective of migrant workers? I understand that such invisibility is a conscious choice also of migrant workers. What are the concrete experiences and your insights?

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It’s called scapegoating and it’s as old as divide and rule

Transforming Society: It’s called scapegoating and it’s as old as divide and rule

The UK government is actively compounding the human suffering that intrinsically racist immigration laws inflict on people seeking asylum.

In fact, our participatory action research over the last 15 months about what is happening to the displaced people who have been placed in ‘contingency hotels’ simply reinforces our certainty that, from the government’s perspective, the more demonising and suffering inflicted on people seeking refuge here, the more the public hears about that suffering, and the more that government’s contractual cronies, such as Migrant Help, get away with not only doing nothing to stop it but actually heaping injury on top, the better.

It is essential, in fact, that the demonising – and coverage of it – continues.

Read more: https://www.transformingsociety.co.uk/2023/05/19/its-called-scapegoating-and-its-as-old-as-divide-and-rule/


Where does the buck stop? UK Home Office and other statutory body responses to allegations of human rights violations in two Serco-run hotels housing people seeking asylum by Rhetta Ann Moran and Gráinne McMahon for the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice is available on the Bristol University Press website here.

Opening Hearts through the Arts

See Life Seekers Aid:

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.

Read more and see the artwork: https://www.lifeseekers.org/


Updated 27 June 2022: ‘Adopt a Refugee’ – Loraine Masiya Mponela

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