Medical Information – Brook House

The Home Office have recently started contacting asylum seekers and asking them to sign a consent form that would give the Home Office access to their personal medical records. The form and accompanying letter asks for the individual asylum seeker to sign and give consent for their doctor to disclose details of the individual’s (and their dependants’) medical history to the Home Office. Any information obtained may then be used to inform decisions taken on an individual’s case, including how to progress removal from the UK if an application for asylum is unsuccessful. The accompanying letter to the form does not make clear that giving consent is optional and we are concerned that asylum-seekers will feel obliged to share this information. Asylum Matters and DOTW have produced a document advising what asylum-seekers should do if they receive the letter

BBC Panorama: Undercover – Britain’s Immigration Secrets

In this episode, BBC Panorama go undercover to investigate Brook House, one of the UK’s 13 Immigration Removal Centres. The footage is recorded by a detainee custody officer and reveals self-harm and attempted suicides, as well as widespread mistreatment and violence against detainees. Diane Abbott called for a reform of immigration detention in a piece in the Huffington Post. Stuart McDonald has also tabled an EDM calling for the introduction of a 28 day time limit to detention and wider use of community-based alternatives to detention. You can share this with your supporters and encourage them to be in touch with their MPs, using the helpful campaign tools from Detention Action here.

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Guardian: We are locking up people indefinitely. This inhumane practice needs to end

24.8.2017: 

We are the only country in Europe to hold migrants in detention centres with no time limit – some of them for years. We can’t let the government off the hook.

Behind today’s headlines about net migration figures lurk statistics on those hidden within the UK’s immigration detention estate. We can’t let the government off the hook for failing to reduce our use of detention. With Brexit on the horizon our immigration system must be fit for purpose, now more than ever. Continue reading

Costing Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children July 2017

5. Conclusions:

5.1 This research clearly demonstrates a significant gap in UASC funding. The results of the financial analysis above give an average cost to local authorities supporting UASC in their care as £55,194 per UASC per annum. By comparison with the weighted average Home Office reimbursement per UASC per annum of £30,231, a current funding shortfall to East Midlands local authorities of £24,963 per UASC per annum can be identified. In other words, present Home Office funding levels cover just over half (54.8%) of the costs incurred by local authorities in support of the current UASC cohort. Continue reading

Hosting Toolkit: A Resource for Hosting Schemes

NACCOM members including Homeless Link have recently launched the ‘Hosting Toolkit’, a comprehensive guide for schemes accommodating destitute asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants. The resource has been developed in response to growth in hosting provision across the UK (particularly over the last 2 years) and is designed to be a practical guide both for people exploring hosting for the first time and for existing schemes wanting to learn from others. You can find the toolkit here and partners are encouraged to share with their networks and promote on social media using #hostingtoolkit. Homeless Link have published a feature blog on their website, guest written by Vicki Harris from Action Hosting in Newcastle. You can read the blog here.

Request to change humanitarian protection status to refugee status

Use this form if you were resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme or the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/request-to-change-humanitarian-protection-status-to-refugee-status

Yearly Meeting Gathering – Tuesday 1 August: Session 4 – Bridget Walker:

Yesterday Steve talked of speaking truth to power , drew on the image that Jesus used of binding the strong man, and asked us how ready we are to take on the Strong One.

Today I would like to start by asking how do we recognise that Strong One.

In 1919 William Charles Braithwaite wrote: ‘ Evils which have struck their roots deep in the fabric of human society are often accepted, even by the best minds, as part of the providential ordering of life. They lurk unsuspected in the system of things…..’ QfP 23.05

Identifying the evils in our society Continue reading