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.

Continue reading “Being Black in Downham Market”

Modern Slavery and Trafficking

11 December 2023: The Bureau Investigates: Ban on Family Members ‘Will Force Migrant Care Workers Into Poverty’

26 June 2023: Relief Web: Number of People Living in Modern Slavery Has Grown Since 2018

The Global Slavery Index reveals the number of people living in modern slavery has grown since 2018 against a backdrop of increasing and more complex conflicts, widespread environmental degradation, climate-induced migration, a global rollback of women’s rights, and the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest Global Slavery Index, produced by human rights group Walk Free, reveals the 10 countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery are North Korea, Eritrea, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Afghanistan, and Kuwait.

Continue reading “Modern Slavery and Trafficking”

Rights and risks: migrant worker exploitation and the barriers to support

Updated 12 June 2023: Mayor of London: Mayor announces £750,000 new funding to support migrant workers as report reveals ‘shocking’ levels of exploitation

  • New report commissioned by the Mayor of London uncovers shocking levels of bullying, racially motivated harassment, and exploitation of migrant workers consistent with modern slavery across London.
  • Mayor confirms extension of funding for specialist advice and support services to ensure the most vulnerable migrant Londoners can access their rights – including protection from employment rights violation and exploitation.
  • Sadiq urges Government to do more to ensure migrants access their rights, identify abuses, and have access to the support they need

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced more than £750,000 additional funding to boost support for migrants in London and tackle the exploitation of migrant workers following a ‘shocking’ report which uncovered widespread abuse.

The new report, commissioned by City Hall, uncovers shocking levels of bullying, racially motivated harassment, and the exploitation of migrants in the workplace consistent with modern slavery.

This investment by the Mayor will support migrants in London with independent immigration advice and support services to help ensure they can access their rights, including protection from employment rights violation and exploitation.

Continue reading “Rights and risks: migrant worker exploitation and the barriers to support”

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:

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

Continue reading “Opening Hearts through the Arts”

Enabling Nurse Daisy

Updated 21 January 2023: Another beautiful day as we stand in solidarity with the women incarcerated at the Derwentside IRC aka Hassockfield detention centre.

We were joined by students from Durham university – this tells us our call to shut down this centre is gaining momentum. We had senior member from Durham and a politician that spoke strongly against this establishment. It was peaceful and the police were there but did not have work very hard.

Continue reading “Enabling Nurse Daisy”

I Was Not Born A Sad Poet by Loraine Masiya Mponela

THURSDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2022: Migrant Voice Ambassador and activist Loraine Masiya Mponela launches her first book

Migrants’ rights campaigner, activist and Migrant Voice Ambassador Loraine Masiya Mponela will launch her first poetry book this Saturday in Coventry, at the Herbert Arts Gallery and Museum.

The collection, titled I Was Not Born A Sad Poet, features 21 poems about Loraine’s life and experience of going through the British asylum and immigration system.

Loraine recently spoke with Migrant Voice about her book and her fight to have her refugee status recognised. She said: “This book has been documenting my own experiences as an asylum seeker. But a lot of these are collective experiences too.”

She finally received her status in August this year, but she told Migrant Voice she will continue to advocate for a better system for all asylum seekers, “until the last person is free.”

 Migrant Voice - Migrant Voice Ambassador and activist Loraine Masiya Mponela launches her first book
Continue reading “I Was Not Born A Sad Poet by Loraine Masiya Mponela”

Aderonke Apata – detained in Yarls Wood and now a barrister

This is a story of real hope, and rising above the hostile system. Congratulations Aderonke Apata:

22 October 2022: Guardian: Barrister says she became legal expert while in Home Office immigration detention

Aderonke Apata says she has Home Office to thank for career as she fought removal to Nigeria

A refugee who has just been called to the bar says she has the Home Office to thank for her career after she became an amateur legal expert while locked up in a detention centre.

Aderonke Apata, 55, from Nigeria, said she was proud to take part in a ceremony last week where she, along with dozens of other newly qualified barristers, were formally called to the bar.

Apata was almost forcibly removed from the UK on a Home Office charter flight to Nigeria in January 2013 after her asylum claim, based on the fact that as a lesbian who had been persecuted in Nigeria her life would be in danger if she was returned there, was rejected.

Apata had completed a degree in microbiology before fleeing Nigeria and hoped to pursue a career in public health in the UK.

She was detained in Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire, which at the time was used mainly for women, from the end of 2011 until the beginning of 2013, including a week spent in solitary confinement in 2012.

During her time in Yarl’s Wood, more women – who either could not understand English or did not understand what the Home Office had written in refusal letters about their immigration claims – turned to Apata for help in explaining what was happening with their legal cases.

Continue reading “Aderonke Apata – detained in Yarls Wood and now a barrister”

Online Event 25 November 2021 6-8pm – These Walls Must Fall: We Want Freedom

Updated 14 December 2021: the video of this zoom event can be seen here, along with many others on their channel:

These Walls Must Fall event: Join us for ‘We Want Freedom!’, a national These Walls Must Fall online event at this crucial time in the fight for migrant justice.

The devastating ‘Borders Bill’ is in Parliament for the second reading right now. It could bring unprecedented changes to the UK immigration system, which already treats people who come to the UK incredibly cruelly.

Speakers from across the movement will discuss the whole system of deportation and detention, how we can fight it at every stage, and how local acts of solidarity can make a difference.

Continue reading “Online Event 25 November 2021 6-8pm – These Walls Must Fall: We Want Freedom”

We call for an inquest into Harvey Wittika’s death

Updated 1 October 2021: Glasgow Live: Calls for inquiry into death of migrant who fell from Glasgow flat block

Harvey Wittika had been living and working in the UK for more than a decade before his status was revoked – he died alone in Glasgow just months later.

An organisation campaigning for the rights of migrants has called for an inquiry into the death of a man in Glasgow.

Harvey Wittika died after falling from the second floor of his flat building in Glasgow on August 6.

Continue reading “We call for an inquest into Harvey Wittika’s death”

Justice for Simba: Carnival of Resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS

Event organised by SNN signatories: Docs Not CopsMedact ,Migrants Organise, and also Justice for Simba🎉✊🏿🏥 Justice for Simba: Carnival of Resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS 📅✊🏿🎉 Sat 18th September ✨ Join the action in solidarity!

On 18th September, the Justice for Simba campaign are hosting a carnival of resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS, taking place in Sheffield. Join us to take action in solidarity against racist immigration policies in healthcare – wherever you are!

Meet at 2pm, Devonshire Green! There will be music, dancing, speeches, and a spirit of solidarity and resistance to hostile and cruel immigration policies! We will then hand in Simba’s petition to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

👉🏾 Here’s what you need to do! 👈🏾
⭐️ Sign and share Simba’s petition on your social media and with your friends and colleagues – we want to hit 70,000 signatures to hand in!
⭐️ Spread the word
⭐️ Print and share Simba’s poster! So we can share pics on the day

Our friend Simba has been charged over £100,000 for his life-saving treatment following a stroke — all because of his immigration status. Two years on, Simba is fighting for his recovery but Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is still chasing him for payment.

Continue reading “Justice for Simba: Carnival of Resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS”

Migrant Voice: My future’s back: international students fight injustice with legal victories

Migrant Voice’s “My Future Back” campaign has helped three more South Asian students clear their names from Home Office accusations of cheating in an English-language test.

They have been fighting for justice for seven years since the government responded to a TV programme about cheating in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) by suddenly terminating the visas of 34,000 overseas students, making their presence here illegal overnight. A further 22,000 were told that their test results were “questionable”. More than 2,400 students were deported.

Continue reading “Migrant Voice: My future’s back: international students fight injustice with legal victories”

Scottish Government Act – Stand against the New Immigration Bill: 2 September 2021

Peaceful demonstration: Scottish Government Act – Stand against the New Immigration Bill: 2 September 2021

StatusNow4All Scotland

See the videos of the livestreams here: and here:

The National: Holyrood demo over Patel’s Nationality Bill

MEMBERS of a group campaigning to end evictions in Scotland have mounted a demonstration in Edinburgh over the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill, claiming it would see the criminalisation of asylum seekers.

Continue reading “Scottish Government Act – Stand against the New Immigration Bill: 2 September 2021”

The impact of living without settled status

Please note: We draw your attention to the scale of inequality that is in evidence to focus attention on what needs to change to secure equity of access and STATUSNOW4ALL. This new report shows that the median FTSE 100 CEO was paid £2.69 million in 2020, 86 times the median full-time worker in the UK. The figure represents a 17% fall from median CEO pay of £3.25 million recorded in 2019.

Meanwhile …

Updated 3 September 2021: The Progressive Policy Think Tank: IPPR: Locked out of a livelihood: The case for reforming ‘no recourse to public funds’

Many people in the UK immigration system are subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition, which means that they are unable to access mainstream welfare benefits. This includes most benefits, tax credits and housing assistance provided by the government. As a result, several cohorts within the UK population are at a serious risk of becoming destitute.

This includes people on short-term visas, those without legal permission to be in the UK, as well as those who have been in the UK for extended periods but are on long routes to settlement.

Continue reading “The impact of living without settled status”