From Report to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence

From Report to Court has been written to provide information and support to people who have experienced sexual violence, as well as to their families, friends and the organisations that support them. This handbook will explain the different stages of the legal process, from the point of deciding whether or not to report the incident to the police, through to the trial, verdict and sentence. From Report to Court also sets out the relevant law and what obligations the different agencies in the criminal justice system (for example, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service) have to survivors of sexual violence.

NEW! Rights of Women toolkit on violence against women here:
From Rights to Action: Using International rights and mechanisms on violence against women in the UK

Rights of Women.

Asylum Seekers – deportations to Greece

House of Lords: Written answers and statements, 7 June 2011.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to recommence normal procedures in dealing with asylum applications and returns to Greece if the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on returning asylum seekers there is that there is no breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and how they are addressing the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the matter.

Baroness Browning (Conservative)
…the European Court of Human Rights ruled … that Greece had violated Article three of the European Convention on Human Rights that prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment both because of …living conditions in Greece and the failure by the Greek authorities to properly consider his asylum claim. The Government accept that these findings prevent the return of asylum seekers to Greece under the Dublin Regulation until the situation there has improved.

Demonstration at Barnardo’s Head Office 6 June 2011

On the afternoon of the 6th activists visited Barnado’s HQ in Barkingside Essex to protest against their involvement with the UK Border Agency. Campaigners gave out leaflets informing Barnado’s staff of the work that Barnado’s will be doing at the soon-to-be-opened “pre-departure accommodation facility” near Gatwick and urging them to express their concerns about this to Barnado’s management.

London NoBorders, 6 June 2011

Glasgow Family Returns Project scrapped

A pilot scheme to ‘manage the return of failed asylum seeking families who had exhausted all appeal rights without using detention’ has been evaluated and found to have failed. The project has now been phased out.

The evaluation report found that, unsurprisingly, families only accepted housing at the scheme because the alternative was detention. Almost all were still fighting for their right to stay, rather than engaging with a ‘voluntary’ return. Many had not actually exhausted their legal claims – meaning that children were being threatened with detention before being appeal rights exhausted. Those that had been fully refused did not accept the decisions. Again, this is hardly surprising, given the notorious decision-making process and cynical culture of disbelief at the Home Office.

report available here at the UKBA website

The Real Immigration Debate

A keynote address to the annual conference of the Churches’ Refugee Network by Frances Webber.

The political and media campaign against immigration and asylum seekers shows no signs of abating. It is seen by the Home Affairs Committee as a matter of shame that so many asylum seekers, stuck in the system without a decision for (in some cases) up to twenty years, are allowed to stay. Cameron speaks out against multiculturalism and the Labour Party is involved in a process of breast-beating, saying it was perhaps wrong to have allowed mass migration during its time in power.

click here: Frances Webber, IRR, 9 June 2011

Culture of Disbelief – CHURCHES’ REFUGEE NETWORK – ANNUAL CONFERENCE

In response to Media comments on the House of Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on the Immigration system, we state as follows:

1.                 Permission for the 161,000 asylum seekers (from the ‘backlog’ of 450,000 cases uncovered in 2006) to stay in the UK has been granted over several years.

2.                 Many of those 161,000 may have had good grounds for claiming sanctuary had their cases been properly assessed in the first place. We draw attention to the following facts. Continue reading