StatusNow4All Newsletter January 2023

Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.

The first article analyses the renewed government attacks on the rights of migrants and invites all movements for migrant justice to come together and intensify our campaigns to defeat them. 
The second article reports the launch of the antiracist network promoted by the Trade Union Congress.
A call for the rights of domestic workers by our signatory Waling Waling is the topic of our third article, while a contribution by our signatory Migrant Voice denounces the horrible conditions experienced by asylum seekers in London hotels.
Finally we welcome our new signatory Migrant Democracy Project. 
Welcome to 2023, as the government renews its attacks on the rights of migrants

The New Year was underway before the prime minister offered up his ‘five pledges’ to the nation, one of which being to stop “small boats” crossing the Channel.  The use of phrase is intended to put a benign gloss on a political programme which aims at a final end to the right to seek asylum in the UK.
The right wing of Mr Sunak’s party sees a renewed attack on the rights of migrants as the only chance the Conservative party has of digging itself out of the deep hole of its current unpopularity and winning a general election sometime in 2024. They are prepared to throw everything they have got at the task of ending all vestiges of migrant and refugee rights and returning to the hostile environment policies which produced the ‘Windrush generation’ scandal of 2017. 

Continue reading “Welcome to 2023, as the government renews its attacks on the rights of migrants”
Britain’s unions launch of anti racist network 
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”
Waling Waling’s call for the rights of domestic workers

Waling Waling: In 1997/98 the then Labour government accepted that domestic work in the private household would be recognised as work in employment legislation.  This followed a ten-year long campaign organised by Kalayaan, Waling Waling, the Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW) and fully supported by the Transport & General Workers Union, now Unite.  Other organisations and individuals including parliamentarians in both Houses and in the European Parliament supported the campaign over the years.  Disgracefully, in 2012 the then Home Secretary in the coalition government, Teresa May abolished the domestic worker visa with rights and protections, saying that future domestic workers would be protected under the Modern Slavery Act, thereby reducing workers with legal rights and protections to victims with the promise of protection.  This system simply doesn’t work.

Continue reading “Waling Waling call for the rights of domestic workers”
Campaigning for better conditions of asylum seekers in London hotels

Migrant Voice have been engaging with asylum seekers accommodated in hotels across London, to learn about their conditions and experiences.
We are currently conducting a survey and we will be launching a report on the conditions and experiences of asylum seekers as part of a campaign to give them a voice and improve their situation.
The campaign came about from hearing from a number of asylum seekers in hotels and organisations supporting them. We learnt that some of the hotels are overcrowded, with some having up to ten people in one room and one toilet for the whole floor. We’ve heard complaints about the quality of the food, the lack of support, the mistreatment from some staff, lengthy waiting times in hotels which can exceed a year and a half, and lack of communication from the Home Office.
Among the asylum seekers are families, children and women, some of whom pregnant, who did not receive proper care. We are aware of women who have not been moved out of the hotel, even after giving birth.
Continue reading “Campaigning for better conditions of asylum seekers in London hotels”
Welcome to our new signatory Migrant Democracy Project

Migrant Democracy Project aims to achieve migrant justice by engaging migrants in UK democracy, including supporting voter registration drives, connecting migrant communities with elected representatives, and advocating for the extension of the right to vote so every resident, no matter where they are from, have the right to vote in the UK. Migrant Democracy Project works in coalition to achieve social change benefiting all migrant groups by empowering all migrants to make their voices heard. 
This is their statement explaining why they joined Status Now Network:
 “We want to be part of Status Now 4 All because we believe we achieve more when we join forces. Migrant Democracy Project’s main aim is to give a democratic voice to all migrants in the UK. We know of approximately 1.5 million residents in England and Northern Ireland who do not have a right to vote because of their nationality. We want to ensure everyone can have a lawful status in the UK to work, study, live and also to have the right to vote so that we can continue using that democratic power to build a fair immigration system for all”.

Join Status Now NetworkWe are looking for volunteers to help develop our work on social media
Fight the anti-refugee laws and stop deportation to Rwanda
Sign and publicise the pledge to defend the rights of asylum seekers to find sanctuary in the UK. Hundreds of organisations (including Status Now) and numerous MPs have already signed it but we need to be more! 
Upcoming events
27th – 29th January, Solihull (Birmingham) Status Now Network Strategy Weekend.
Spaces for attendance are limited but anyone representing an organisation which has registered its support for SNN’s principles is eligible to attend if there are still available places. If you would like to offer your ideas on what needs to go into the discussion, or wish to register an interest in attending, please email us at info@statusnow

 4th February 11am-4pm, SOAS, London, and onlineFighting for Antiracist Workplaces: SUTR and TUC Trade Union conference

18th March 2023 –  UN Anti Racism Day National demonstration March against racism
Please have a look at the website and send us your stories if we have missed them. The website is one of our outfacing sources of information, alongside Facebook and Twitter. Amongst other information you will find new and updated posts, our statements and related Early Day Motions, the Faith Calling Card,  information for local councils, Trades Unions and political organisations.
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