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.
Welcome to this edition of SNN Newsletter! We are covering a number of items in this issue that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.
First up is the report on our campaign for better asylum seeker accommodation. Our SNN colleagues in the North West are particularly active in this area and after a first online event during Refugee Week are now planning new initiatives to fight for better provision of safe and decent homes for people in the asylum system.
The second article is dedicated to the campaign “Our place is here” developed by Kanlungan together with other organizations in defense of the rights of domestic workers.
The third item reports on the SNN event organised during Refugee Week which assembled a roundtable of activists to discuss where we have got to with the campaign against the hostile environment and the steps that need to be taken for this to go forward. The key idea is the project underway to organise a People’s Tribunal on Migration Justice over the course of the next 12 months which will draw on the evidence of violation of the rights of migrant people to indict Government policies and help forge the sort of alliances we will need to bring about change.
The appalling news about the deaths of at least 37 people at the border between the Spanish enclave of Melilla and Morocco is the subject of our fourth feature. In response to this massacre at the hands of the Spanish civil guard and the Moroccan police authorities the Transnational Migrant Platform has launched an appeal for solidarity and action to force an inquiry into how the tragedy happened.
Finally, our fifth article focuses on the important role assumed by the Union, particularly by the Public Services and Commercial Union (PCS), in the fight against the Rwanda offshore plan and stresses the need to fight all together for the rights of migrant and native workers in the UK.
In addition to these items we also have information on the call for a public demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice on 19 July to coincide with the opening of the judicial review hearing on the legality of the Home Office’s Rwanda refugee removal plan. Do join us at this protest if you can.
Event on 20 June 2022: Status Now Refugee Week event: How do we campaign against the hostile environment?
Updated 14 July 2022: Report of Status Now Refugee Week event:The Hostile Environment – How do we hold the Government to account?Report of a roundtable discussion
Status Now Network organised a roundtable discussion event during the course of Refugee Week at the end of June. The theme of the discussion was holding the Government to account for its hostile environment policies.
Contributors to the discussion included Zoe Bantleman of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, Julius-Cezar MacQuarie, organiser of the Night Workers Charter, Francesca Humi of Kanlungan, and Loraine Mponela, chair of Status Now. Participants considered how the Government’s hostile environment policies continued to operate today, five years after the revelations of the Windrush generation scandal, and what campaigning work needed to be undertaken to continue to challenge their corrosive effects on the rights of migrant and refugee people.
The report of the discussion can be read here…
Report of Status Now Refugee Week event:The Hostile Environment – How do we hold the Government to account?Report of a roundtable discussion
Status Now Network (SNN) took up the invitation to organise an event during the course of this year’s Refugee Week and set up a roundtable discussion on the current state of the resistance to hostile environment immigration policies.
A new study of the use that can be made of ‘People’s Tribunals’ to advance the campaigning work of migrant and refugee rights organisations has been published by the steering group which organised the London hearing of a Europe-wide in 2018.
The organisation of People’s Tribunals to indict the policies and practices of governments have been around since the 1960s when they were used to great effect to mobilise public opinion against the role of the United States during the years of the war in Vietnam. Since that time has been developed as a method for uniting diverse campaigns in a common project to denounce human rights violations.