New Report Documents Rwanda’s Global Targeting of Rwandan Refugees, Critics
- Rwandan authorities and their proxies are using violence, judicial mechanisms, and intimidation to try to silence criticism from Rwandans living around the world.
- Rwanda’s targeting of Rwandans abroad, including in the UK, underlines Rwanda’s contempt for human rights norms enshrined in the international protection system.
- The UK should abandon its asylum transfer deal with Rwanda and take action to enhance the protection of Rwandan residents and refugees in the UK.
(London) – Rwandan authorities and their proxies are using violence, judicial mechanisms, and intimidation to try to silence criticism from Rwandans living around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today. The abuses, which have fostered a climate of fear and self-censorship, are being brought to light as the United Kingdom government is at the Supreme Court appealing the judgment that its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful.
Continue reading “Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda”
ROAR is developing out of the actions taken by hotel residents whose bravery has brought some of the human rights violations in asylum hotels to national media attention. Beginning with our first public meeting on 7th September, ROAR wants to make information-sharing and organising spaces where people seeking asylum, supported by allies from trades unions and civil society, safely expose human rights violations, participate in constructing alternative solutions, and openly campaign for those solutions (event flyer).
ROAR PUBLIC MEETING: 7th Sept. at 6.30pm
ACCESS THE EVENT FLYER FOR DISTRIBUTION ROAR: RAISING OUR ASYLUM RIGHTS
RESISTING RACISM IN HOTELS
PUBLIC MEETING, 6.30PM, 7th SEPTEMBER 2023: FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, 6 MOUNT STREET, MANCHESTER M2 5NS
Continue reading “ROAR PUBLIC MEETING: 7th Sept. at 6.30pm”
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.
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.
Continue reading “Destroying hopes, dreams and lives: How the UK visa costs and process impact migrants’ lives”
PCS are a supporter of the Status Now Network. Here Paul O’Connor Senior National Officer writes about the PCS Campaign
In autumn 2021, PCS was approached by members and representatives in our Home Office South-East England branch who had been asked by the then Home Secretary Priti Patel to carry out a dangerous pushbacks manoeuvre on small boats crossing the English Channel. Our members were clear that they were completely opposed to the policy. They considered it unlawful, morally reprehensible and utterly inhumane.
On the back of that approach, alongside Care4Calais and Channel Rescue, PCS launched a legal challenge against the policy via judicial review. The impact of this coalition should not be underestimated – here we had an organisation representing workers tasked with carrying out a policy; standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with organisations representing those affected by the policy – a clear indication of the level of inhumanity that the government is attempting to inflict on refugees.
Continue reading “Paul O’Connor Senior National Officer writes about the PCS Campaign “
BRITAIN’S deliberately hostile asylum system is institutionally racist and designed to keep people down, a former claimant forced to navigate it warned today.
Loraine Masiya Mponela, who spent years in the system before finally winning settled status last year, said she could testify to the pain and suffering it causes.
She is part of the Status Now 4 All campaign, which wants ministers to grant every “undocumented, destitute migrant indefinite leave to remain so every human can access the same resources as everyone else.”
The activist, who addressed the Bakers’ Union’s annual conference in Stone, Staffordshire, described the call, backed by more than 150 organisations, as logical, rational and just, adding: “No human should be illegal and subjected to a loss of dignity.
“We must work together to create a Britain that is compassionate and just, a Britain that recognises the inherent wealth and value of all individuals.
“As [US founding father] Benjamin Franklin once said, justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
Ms Mponela’s new book of poetry, I Was Not Born a Sad Poet, is available now.
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In recent weeks, we have seen an alarming rise in violence and intimidation organised by the far right against refugees and refugee accommodation.
The government is complicit in these attacks. The Rwanda policy does not make sense as a means of stopping small boat crossings – and it is failing on its own terms – but it fits with a long-running campaign of rhetoric and demonisation.
Anti-migrant politics are an attempt to divide working class people against each other. In the past decade, the UK has suffered a crisis of living standards – with wages falling and public services left to rot. The people to blame for this are politicians, billionaires and big corporations, not migrant workers or refugees forced to live in temporary accommodation. The anti-refugee campaign offers no solutions to the real problems faced by the deprived communities they are often targeting. The answer is solidarity, not scapegoating.
As trade unionists, we know whose side we are on when we see far right mobs attacking refugees and politicians playing the mood music. We send our solidarity to Care4Calais and all groups fighting for refugee rights, and we support the call for safe and legal routes into the UK. We call on workers and trade union members to show their solidarity and to mobilise against the far right.
Continue reading “Trade unions unite in solidarity with refugees”
20 February 2023: The president of BFAWU (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union), Ian Hodson, was one of the participants in the Status Now Network strategy weekend (held on 27th – 29th January).
He found it to be ‘a very inspirational event meeting real leaders and fighters for justice, people who are suffering real hardship but show incredible strength and resilience’.
He wrote this contribution announcing the motion approved by the BFAWU executive committee and stressing their strong commitment to the status now for all campaign:
Having recently attended the Status Now strategy weekend, I was pleased to report back to my national executive about the positive time I spent taking part in developing how we build the campaign and solidarity. I am pleased that our executive has adopted the following motion which will now go to our conference in June this year. It reads as follows:
Continue reading “The Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union’s support to the call for status now for all”
A new law has recently come into force in Finland that expands health care for undocumented migrants living in the country. Under this law, undocumented people can now access necessary care – that is, care that health care professionals deem necessary. This covers, for instance, conditions like diabetes or asthma that, if left untreated, would constitute a risk to the person’s health and increase the likelihood of urgent care being needed in the future.
Continue reading “Migration Health and Care”
The inaugural meeting of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) anti racist network took place in London last November.
It was attended by about 50 people, The overwhelming majority of them were migrant and migrant advocate organisations’ members.
The discussion stressed the importance that all workers, whatever their immigration status is, get organised to stop exploitation, and showed a general wish to see a permanent network created and coordinated by the TUC.
A number of thought provoking speakers were heard (including Emmanuelle Andrews, Liberty; Fizza Qureshi, Migrants Rights Network; Gargi Bhattacharyya, TUC Race Relations Committee; Liam Shrivastava, Institute of Race Relations; Sereena Abbassi, gal-dem; Sophie Chauhan, Dalston Superstore). The Government’s anti migrant and racist legislation was condemned and it was evident that the TUC and individual Unions accepted that they must do much more, both in challenging racism and organising precarious workers.
Continue reading “Britain’s unions launch of anti racist network”