Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Updated 12 October 2021: Guardian: Trafficking victims should be granted leave to remain in UK, high court rules

Landmark judgment will apply to thousands who may otherwise have been sent back to home countries

Thousands of victims of trafficking who have been left to languish in the immigration system for years should be granted leave to remain, the high court has said in a landmark ruling.

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‘Off-shoring’ people seeking asylum is not a new idea

Updated 5 October 2021: Independent: Albania angrily denies deal with ‘anti-immigration’ Britain to process Channel migrants

Albania’s foreign minister has furiously denied reports that migrants arriving the UK on small boats will be flown 1,500 miles to Albania to have their asylum claims processed, labelling the plans “fake news”.

This was 2003: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/7026826.albania-idea-seekers/


Updated 2.10.2020 – following the idea of outposting people in the asylum system to Ascension Island, the Home Office is now considering using old ferries …

Updated 3.10.2020 – Channel 4 news private jet chartered to remove one person to France.

Updated 12.10.2020 – Use of ‘unsanitary’ and ‘unsuitable’ ex-MoD housing

Out of sight, out of mind! The ‘backlog’ can be dealt with by giving people Leave to Remain now, This post is also uploaded to the http://qarn.org.uk website.

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Statements on Afghanistan

StatusNow logo

See below: 29 August 2021: StatusNow4All: Living Precariously or Health and Safety for All – a call for Indefinite Leave to Remain now


Updated 4 September 2021: Worth knowing: DLA Piper are hosting a scheme supported by ILPA where over 400 volunteer lawyers are taking on pro bono cases of people needing to get out of Afghanistan. Email is projecta@dlapiper.com

i : Hundreds of lawyers team up to help Afghans flee Taliban – and navigate complex refugee systems in the West

The government’s naming of its Afghan resettlement scheme ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ is ‘cynical’ given other obstacles, organiser warns

Nearly 400 lawyers and immigration professionals have teamed up with one of the world’s biggest law firms to form a new group to help people trying to flee Afghanistan, i can reveal.

The group, which is yet to be formerly named but operates as the Afghan Immigration Group, was founded by a clutch of UK asylum lawyers in an attempt to share information and work co-operatively to assist as many people as possible left in danger since the West withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban seized power.

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Recommendations for action to curb the COVID-19 pandemic

TheIndependentPanel: Main Report In May 2021, the Independent Panel presented its findings and recommendations for action to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that any future infectious disease outbreak does not become another catastrophic pandemic.

This is the culmination of eight months of work. Beginning in September 2020, the Independent Panel systematically, rigorously and comprehensively examined why COVID-19 became a global health and socio-economic crisis. 

On this page you will find the main report, a summary and a companion evidence-based narrative report, video presentations of the report and news conference, and a sample of global reactions to the Panel’s report.

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Covid-19 And The Surge In Domestic Abuse In The UK

People who are undocumented are at real risk of being sucked into abusive relationships in order to survive, and once there, it is very very difficult to leave.


Women’s Aid: Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:


At this time of Covid-19, people subjected to domestic abuse are very isolated, and have fewer chances to leave the house, for example children are not at school, shopping is kept to a minimum; and tensions indoors mount.

We know that people subjected to such abuse are often frequently lied to about being believed, or they are told their children will be removed, that their whereabouts will be reported to the Home Office which will potentially lead to the risk of immigration detention and removal from UK in this hostile environment, and they now are fearful of breaking Covid lockdown rules.

The impact of the ‘toxic trio’ of drug abuse, mental health issues and alcohol is well-known to raise concerns about risk of domestic abuse. When undocumented status is added to this toxic mix, the potential for ongoing serious risk of harm is massively increased.


16 April 2021: Guardian: Anger as Tory MPs vote against register for stalkers and domestic abusers

Government rejects measures despite briefing they would support them after death of Sarah Everard

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Priti Patel’s detention policies found to breach human rights rules

14 April 2021: The Guardian: Priti Patel’s detention policies found to breach human rights rules

Court finds home secretary accountable for failures to ensure that deaths in immigration detention centres are investigated properly

A landmark court ruling has held the home secretary, Priti Patel, accountable for failures in ensuring that deaths in immigration detention centres are properly investigated.

Two judges in the immigration court ruled on Wednesday that three of the home secretary’s detention policies breached human rights rules and that she could not frustrate or undermine inquiries into these deaths.

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Podcast: Still We Rise: Episode 8 – Internal Borders In Britain

13 April 2021: CARAG – Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group: Still We Rise: Episode 8 – Internal Borders In Britain

In this week’s Podcast we speak to Dr Kathryn Medien who is a Sociology Lecturer at the Open University. We examine her research into the development and use of internal borders in Britain as a form of racialised governance. She traces numerous elements of what we now know as the Hostile Environment to key Legislative changes in the 1970’s & 80’s.

Listen here: https://www.carag.co.uk/podcast/episode/24a0af13/episode-8-internal-bordersin-britain

Link to CARAG – Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group

A secretive Home Office unit has hoarded data on millions of people

7 April 2021: Wired: The Data Services & Analytics unit holds information on 650 million people and has been accused of creating a “super database”

A data analytics team close to the heart of government has collected data on more than 650 million people, including children under the age of 13, according to newly unearthed documents.

The Data Services & Analytics unit is described as “one of the most advanced data analytics centres in government” and forms part of the Home Office’s Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) department. It builds decision-making tools and provides data-driven insights to the rest of the Home Office – although details of exactly what it does remain tightly guarded.

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PICUM: Why words matter

Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants: Calling a certain group of people ‘illegal’ denies them their humanity. There is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ person.

‘Illegality’ as a form of status has been deliberately assigned to undocumented migrants to justify a category of people who are undeserving of rights.

Language shapes people’s perceptions. Discriminatory language in reference to undocumented migrants leads to perceptions and actions which negatively impact the daily realities of undocumented migrants.

PICUM therefore uses the terms ‘undocumented’ or ‘irregular’ migrant. The term ‘illegal migrant’ should never be used because:

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London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

4 December 2020: Freemovement: London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

This week Immigration Rule changes targeting rough sleeping migrants came into force. The Home Office has confirmed that the new Rules will not be enforced until official guidance is published, but the changes have been met with defiance across the board. 

In particular, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has stated that it will not cooperate with the Home Office on this issue:

rather than supporting people to come off the streets, these new rules will punish rough sleepers simply for not having a home. Therefore, the GLA and its commissioned services will not collaborate with such draconian measures.

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Alarming Rise in Asylum Backlog Despite Fall in Applications

30 November 2020: The backlog of asylum cases has reached alarming new heights, with over 46,000 people now waiting more than six months for an initial decision on their asylum application. The figures as of 30 September 2020, which were released today, show a 19% increase from three months earlier and a 76% rise since September 2019. he Home Office has used the backlog as a pretext to accommodate asylum seekers in converted military barracks in Wales and Kent. But the backlog is not an unforeseeable pandemic-induced crisis: it had been rising for several years, at a faster rate than the increase in asylum applications over the same period. Applications did rise by around a third between 2017 and 2019, but the backlog doubled.

The pandemic has made a bad situation worse.

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Home Office accused of cover-up at camp for asylum seekers

Updated with report in the Guardian 26 November 2020: Medical staff urge Priti Patel to close barracks housing asylum seekers

Exclusive: Letter to home secretary raises concerns about sites holding 600 men in Kent and Pembrokeshire

Healthcare professionals have called for former army barracks being used to house asylum seekers to be closed over concerns about the residents’ wellbeing.

Medical staff have written to the home secretary, Priti Patel, with a damning assessment, to raise concerns about the sites at Napier barracks in Kent and Penally barracks in Pembrokeshire, which between them are holding more than 600 men.

The group, represented by Doctors of the World, a human rights organisation, believe the sites are unsuitable due to the lack of access to adequate and appropriate healthcare services and risks from a lack of compliance with Covid-19 regulations.

They also fear the military environment will trigger further trauma for the men, many of whom will have fled conflict, militia and may have been detained in similar environments in their home countries. [Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/26/medical-staff-urge-priti-patel-to-close-barracks-housing-asylum-seekers


23 November 2020: Guardian: Home Office accused of cover-up at camp for asylum seekers

Official Secrets Act used to prevent volunteers discussing ‘disturbing’ conditions at ex-barracks

Volunteers have been asked to sign confidentiality agreements underpinned by the Official Secrets Act before entering an army barracks used to house asylum seekers, as details emerge of the “disturbing” conditions on the site.

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