Migration is a fact of life and a ‘force for good’

UN: Migration is a fact of life and a ‘force for good’

Migration is a “fact of life” and a “force for good”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, calling for safer options for the millions seeking opportunities to improve their lives in the face of danger and despair.

In a message marking International Migrants Day, the UN chief emphasized that migration promotes the exchange of knowledge and contributes to economic growth, but at the same time, “poorly governed migration is a cause of great suffering.”

“It forces people into the cruel realm of traffickers, where they face exploitation, abuse, and even death. It undermines trust in governance and institutions, inflames social tensions, and corrodes our common humanity,” he added.

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Joint Position Paper on Preventing Exploitation in the Adult Social Care Sector

Focus on Labour Exploitation: Joint Position Paper on Preventing Exploitation in the Adult Social Care Sector sent to the Home Secretary

This policy position paper was coordinated by FLEX and signed by a coalition of charities and experts working in the migrant rights and care sector.

It brings together the latest research and policy analysis of the experiences of migrant care workers in the UK labour market and the risks which make the adult social care sector a hotbed for exploitation and poor working conditions. The paper puts forward a series of priority policy recommendations including the introduction of a National Care Service, improvement to labour market enforcement mechanisms and recruitment practices as well as updates to the visa system.

This Position Paper was sent to the Home Secretary with an accompanying Joint Letter on 18 Dec 2023.

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Ban on Family Members

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

Preventing overseas care workers from bringing their families to join them in the UK is a dehumanising move that will “sentence workers to destitution”, according to care workers and support organisations.

The policy is one of the measures to slash net migration that were announced by the home secretary James Cleverly this week. His proposals also include increasing the earnings threshold for those who want to bring foreign relatives to the UK, and refusing other types of skilled worker visas to those paid under £38,000.

For the past eight months, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) has been speaking to migrant workers, not-for-profit organisations and employment rights experts to understand the inequalities and exploitation faced by those coming to the UK to work in the care sector. Many of those to whom we spoke planned to bring relatives with them, or had already.

There are more than 150,000 vacancies for social care workers in the UK. Care is the only industry which will be covered by the ban on family members, leading to criticism that the move is discriminatory.

“It’s a distraction [and] does nothing to address the real problem of systemic exploitation,” said Dora-Olivia Vicol, chief executive of the Work Rights Centre, an organisation that supports migrant workers.

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StatusNow4All Newsletter – December 2023

====Status Now 4 All Newsletter===

++++++ December 2023 ++++++

As we get to the close of a very eventful year for supporters of migrant and refugee rights, we thank you for all the time and energy that you have given to working for changes that would offer settled status for all. We hope that the New Year will give you the chance to renew your campaigning energies ready for the challenges coming in 2024 to further this campaign for Status Now 4 All!

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Media Training for Friends of Status Now 4 All Campaign takes place in Birmingham

8 December 2023: A group of people who are still fighting for their stay in this country (called Friends of Status Now) living in the West Midlands underwent media training on Monday 4th December 2023. 

Status Now 4 All Campaign organised the training to help the group members to sharpen their skills on how to tell their story to the media.

One of the Co-chairs for Status Now 4 All Campaign ( https://www.statusnow4all.org ) Mariam Yusuf said “The training was useful for people with lived experience. They will be equipped with skills on how to share their stories with confidence and are comfortable to engage in speaking  out”

The charity Migrant Voice (https://www.migrantvoice.org) provided the media training which took place in Birmingham. 

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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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Report: Uniting Europe Against Islamophobia

Another Europe is Possible: Report: Uniting Europe Against Islamophobia

In a time of rising racism, this crucial report details practical strategies to empower Europe’s Muslim communities.

‘Uniting Europe Against Islamophobia’ is a pathbreaking report from a delegation of UK Muslim women activists and politicians to Cologne, Germany, that took place in May-June 2023 to discuss empowering the Muslim community and tackling Islamophobia and xenophobia across all our societies. The delegation was part of an ongoing collaborative partnership between Another Europe Is Possible and the German political education foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

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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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Alternative Security Review

November 2023: Rethinking Security: Alternative Security Review: Roundtables on Human Security

During the research phase of the Alternative Security Review, we held a series of roundtable discussions with representatives of UK civil society groups to learn more about what human security might mean in a UK context, what insecurities exist, what organisations are doing to address these insecurities, and what they would recommend for a Human Security Strategy for the UK.  

The discussions acted as consultations, comparable to those that the government carries out for security and other reviews. However, our aim was to invite representatives of groups who experience insecurity or do not have automatic access to policy-making spaces in order to develop an understanding of the insecurities faced by people in the UK that often go unheard in elite circles.

The collective message from these roundtable discussions is that, across all sectors, human and environmental security is not prioritised by government. Instead, traditional ideas about national security prevail, as does a commitment to neoliberalism and the built-in insecurity that creates for many.

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Status Now 4 All welcomes the defeat of the Government’s Rwanda Plan in the Supreme Court

19 November 2023: Status Now 4 All welcomes the defeat of the Government’s Rwanda Plan in the Supreme Court

Status Now 4 All joins all refugee and human rights organisations in welcoming the ruling of the Supreme Court that the Government’s so-called ‘Rwanda Plan’ (to remove virtually all people seeking asylum to Rwanda for ‘processing’ through the asylum system with, notably, no possibility of return to the UK) is unlawful.

It is important to note that the ruling was unanimous: five judges ruled the plan unlawful not only under the provisions of European human rights law, but also under domestic British law. Parliament must now also understand that the threat to renounce UK signatory state status to the European Convention on Human Rights, or to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998, will not fix the Rwanda plan in the way the UK Government intends, and both would bring about a significant risk to the human rights of everyone living in the UK and to the UK’s standing in international terms

We extend our deep gratitude to the legal team acting for the respondents in this matter, and all the charities and solidarity organisations which have worked with them to bring about this result.

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We Dare to Dream – film

Event: We Dare to Dream 

We Dare to Dream is the story of refugee athletes from Iran, Syria, South Sudan and Cameroon who swim, run and fight their way to opportunity and safety in host nations across the world. Spanning a breadth of backgrounds, personal stories and Olympic sports, the film reveals their lives and hopes as they train to compete on the world stage, showing the fire and the drive of young people forced to leave their families, homes and countries of birth to build new lives out of nothing.

You can see the trailer here: https://youtu.be/-KvH55DDNzQ

The film We Dare to Dream is coming to Birmingham on Sunday 10 December 2023:

2: 40pm at Mockingbird Cinema, B9 4AA, with Director Q&A. Book your ticket here https://www.mockingbirdcinema.com/production/we-dare-to-dream/

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The Rwanda Ruling Was a Victory – Here’s Where We Go Next

15 November 2023: Supreme Court: Court Judgement: In this appeal, the court is required to decide whether the Rwanda policy is lawful

  1. Conclusion: For the reasons we have explained in our discussion of Issues 2 and 3, at paras 42-105 above, we conclude that the Court of Appeal was correct to reverse the decision of the Divisional Court, and was entitled to find that there are substantial grounds for believing that the removal of the claimants to Rwanda would expose them to a real risk of ill-treatment by reason of refoulement. It was accordingly correct to hold that the Secretary of State’s policy is unlawful. The Secretary of State’s appeal is therefore dismissed. For the reasons explained in our discussion of Issue 4, at paras 107-148 above, the cross-appeal by ASM is also dismissed.

Read more: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2023-0093-etc-judgment.pdf

16 November 2023: Tribune: The Rwanda Ruling Was a Victory – Here’s Where We Go Next

Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled the government’s Rwanda policy unlawful. It was a victory for the PCS Union and others who initiated the legal challenge — but the fight for dignity for refugees is far from over.

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Braverman had no evidence for ‘fake gay asylum seekers’ claim

16 November 2023: Open Democracy: Braverman had no evidence for ‘fake gay asylum seekers’ claim

Home Office forced to admit it held no information to support allegation made by then home secretary

Suella Braverman had no evidence for her claim that “many” people pretend to be gay in order to “game” the UK asylum system, the Home Office has been forced to admit.

The sacked former home secretary made the allegation in September as she sought to shore up support for her flagship policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. The plan was deemed unlawful in the Supreme Court earlier today in a rare reprieve for hundreds of people who had been threatened with offshoring before their claims were decided.

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The courts won’t save us from the Home Office’s cruelty.

14 November 2023: Open Democracy: Supreme Court Rwanda ruling is a victory – but not the slam dunk you think

The courts won’t save us from the Home Office’s cruelty. Those who defend refugees must get bolder – fast

he UK Supreme Court has ruled that the government’s flagship Rwanda deportation plan for refugees is unlawful – a decision that will bring relief to thousands of men, women and children seeking asylum in this country who are trapped in the government’s backlog in crummy hotels or on the prison barge.

The Supreme Court found unanimously that there were clear grounds to believe refugees would not be safe in Rwanda, where 100% of people from Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan have had their asylum claims rejected, and where the government itself is accused of torture, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances. The real and serious danger in which our government was aiming to put people who came to us seeking protection is unthinkable and must never be forgotten.

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Migrant workers face exploitation as result of post-Brexit scheme, says report

14 November 2023: Guardian: Migrant workers face exploitation as result of post-Brexit scheme, says report

Analysis by Work Rights Centre finds Home Office system prioritises immigration control over workers’ rights

Thousands of migrant workers are at risk of exploitation because of multiple failures in the government scheme that allows them to come to the UK, a report has found.

The way the Home Office has set up the employer sponsorship system to replace freedom of movement after Brexit has prioritised immigration control over workers’ rights, according to the report, Systematic Drivers of Migrant Worker Exploitation in the UK, from the Work Rights Centre.

It analysed 40 cases of migrant workers at risk of exploitation, along with documents connected with their cases. According to the latest government figures in the year ending June 2023, 321,000 work visas were granted, a 45% increase on the previous year.

“The exploitation of migrant workers is not coincidental but the outcome of a system, an inadequate and increasingly hostile national policy environment,” the report said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/nov/14/migrant-workers-face-exploitation-as-result-of-post-brexit-scheme-says-report