Home Office starts X-raying migrants’ bones and teeth to determine their age

10 January 2024: iNews: Home Office starts X-raying migrants’ bones and teeth to determine their age

Those who refuse to have X-rays to determine their age may be penalised, according to the Home Office

The Home Office will begin using teeth and bone X-rays to determine the age of asylum seekers arriving in the UK.

New legislation, that came into force on Wednesday, means the Home Office will now be able to use “scientific methods” to assess age, including radiographs of molars, hands and wrists, and MRI scans of the thigh bone and collarbone.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has described the X-rays as “pseudoscience” which fail “basic tests on ethics and accuracy”.

Read more: https://inews.co.uk/news/home-office-x-raying-migrants-age-2846156

StatusNow4All Newsletter – January 2024

Status Now 4 All Newsletter: January 2024

Welcome to the first Status Now Newsletter in 2024.  We hope the holidays have given you the opportunity to recharge your batteries and are ready for a year of vigorous campaigning in 2024!

Here are a few notes on how 2023 ended with regard to immigration and refugee issues, giving some context on the work we will be doing over the next 12 months.

Winning support from the trade unions

Status Now marked International Migrants Day on 18th December with a social and discussion event held in partnership with Unite the Union.  Supporters gathered to enjoy Filipino food provided by the domestic workers support group, Waling Waling and discuss what more could be done to build trade union solidarity with the fight for migrant and refugee rights.

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Now I Sing

3 January 2024: ‘Now I Sing: 50 poems to celebrate 50 years’ by Loraine Masiya Mponela

In the next of our serious of posts about how we can open hearts through the arts, we join Loraine Masiya Mponela in celebrating the publication of her second book of poems: ‘Now I Sing: 50 poems to celebrate 50 years’

The book is available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CRDW5SJZ

Painful pitfalls and pinnacle triumphs.Now I Sing by Loraine Masiya Mponela is both a lamentation and a celebration, offering 50 poems for the 50 years she has lived. This collection honours her people’s ancient wisdom while imagining her future. Reflecting on individual and collective journeys, it is a book about courage, fear, desperation and excellence.

Continue reading “Now I Sing”

Future changes to visa rules

Updated 19 January 2024: Thank you Freemovement: Scientific Age Testing of Children Becomes Law

The Immigration (Age Assessments) Regulations 2024 providing for the use of scientific age testing of children have come into force on 10 January 2024. A reminder of the response from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to these proposals:

Evidence shows that using x-rays to determine age can be widely inaccurate and the practice is ultimately unethical. It is appalling to see that the Government is persisting with these plans, which hinge life-changing decisions for some of the most vulnerable young people in our society on unspecific scientific outcomes and includes exposing them to radiation.

We have covered these regulations extensively, from when the drafts were first published, to when the relevant section of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 was brought into force, when the House of Lords’ Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee raised concerns and when the regulations were voted on by Parliament.

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International Migrants Day 2023: London campaigners issue a call for action from trade unions

StatusNow4All: London-based supporters of Status Now 4 All gathered at an event to mark International Migrants Day on 18th December.

The event was hosted by Unite the Union and took place at its headquarters office in central London.  The event combined a social gathering (excellent food provided by the migrant domestic worker supporter organisation, Waling Waling), with the opportunity to review work done in the past year and expectations for campaigning work in 2024. 

Status Now 4 All’s co-chair, Mariam Yusuf, was able to join the event by video link.  She said that International Migrants Day gave people the opportunity celebrate the advances made in securing rights for migrant and refugee people, and also to set down the fact respect was due to them because, first and foremost, “We are also human beings whose basic human, social and economic rights ought to be honoured by the authorities of the countries in which we live.”

She set the theme for the evening: the need to strengthen the bonds between migrant and refugee solidarity organisations and the trade union movement.

Continue readingInternational Migrants Day 2023: London campaigners issue a call for action from trade unions

Why we must fight for Safe Passage for refugees

19 December 2023: PCS: Why we must fight for Safe Passage for refugees

Charlotte Khan from Care4Calais writes about the miserable reality of trying to find safety and freedom as a refugee in the UK and the importance of PCS standing on the side of refugees.

I started writing this post over a week ago. It should have been easy.  

I should have been able to simply talk about our belief in the Safe Passage policy, how much we valued working with PCS in challenging the Rwanda plan, and what our hopes for the future are.  

But in the space of just one week I’ve had to rewrite it four times. 

The death of a man on the Bibby Stockholm barge, men at a former RAF base in rural Essex attempting to set themselves on fire, the death of a woman in the Channel, the death of a man in the Channel – tragedy after tragedy.  

Each one devastating for family and friends. Each one heart breaking. And each one infuriatingly preventable.  

Continue reading “Why we must fight for Safe Passage for refugees”

EU strikes historic migration deal

20 December 2023: [Tragic] Politico: EU strikes historic migration deal

Negotiators work through the night to agree on the overhaul of the EU’s asylum procedures.

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Wednesday broke years of political deadlock by agreeing on a deal that will significantly change how the bloc processes migrants, moves them around EU countries and effectively makes it easier to remove unsuccessful asylum seekers.

[…] While EU officials celebrated the agreement on the migration pact first presented by the Commission in 2020, human rights organizations and migrant advocacy groups have warned of the deal’s implications on migrants and asylum seekers reaching Europe’s borders.

“The final deal entails extremely disappointing outcomes across the board. Its main impact will be to increase suffering at borders and make it harder to seek safety,” said Olivia Sundberg Diez, Amnesty International’s EU advocate on migration and asylum, as news of the deal was made public.

Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-migration-deal-roberta-metsola-refugees-migration-asylum-rules/

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. 

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

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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