Look out for QARN at Yearly Meeting Gathering 2014

qarn logo smLook out for us at BYM: we are planning:

A joint QARN session with QUNO: the session title is ‘Refugees: national and international developments and challenges’ – Hear about the work of Quaker United Nations Office and Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network on human rights, refugees and asylum seekers. How can Quakers encourage the development of policies based on justice and compassion?

2 x  ‘journey’ sessions on destitution and indefinite detention

1 x  evening ‘option’ session for  Friends to share their experiences. 
We will also be at the Groups Fair
More information to follow …

Asylum seekers in the UK: Let them work and let them eat

open democracyROGER ROBERTS AND RUTH LISTER 19 March 2014

A new Bill would remove most grounds of appeal for immigration decisions, turn landlords into immigration police and extend charges for NHS care. On Monday Peers challenged the government to exercise some humanity.
  • The Immigration Bill, having passed through the Commons, is being scrutinised in the House of Lords again (Clare Sambrook writes). On Monday 17 March the Liberal Democrat Roger Roberts (Lord Roberts of Llandudnoand Labour’s Peer Ruth Lister (Baroness Lister of Burtersett) were among those urging amendments that would give asylum seekers the right to work (if the Home Office took more than six months to decide upon their asylum claim), and end the policy of enforced destitution for failed asylum seekers. 
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  • Lord Roberts of Llandudno Our progress as humanity has always been a continuous struggle to overcome discrimination and inequality. One can name Wilberforce, Lincoln, Pankhurst, Gandhi, Mandela and so many others who have contributed to ensuring that nobody suffers because of discrimination. All people are of equal value. The struggle continues. People are people wherever they are, and should be treated with respect and dignity.

However, there are some failed asylum seekers who cannot be returned home. . .about 3,000 such people living in the United Kingdom. They cannot work. They have no access to benefits and would, in many cases, be destitute were it not for support from government and voluntary agencies. This Section 4 support from the Government is entirely separate from normal asylum support for people whose claims are pending. Under Section 4, a person will receive £5 per day, or about £36 per week. Out of this, they must pay for food, clothing, toiletries and other essential living needs. We are glad that housing and utilities are provided separately. [Technicalities explained in the end note]. Continue reading “Asylum seekers in the UK: Let them work and let them eat”

Why the Jimmy Mubenga trial matters. By ex-Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham

Open Democracy – DAVID RAMSBOTHAM 21 March 2014

On Thursday the Crown Prosecution Service announced that three former G4S guards, Stuart Tribelnig, Terry Hughes and Colin Kaler, would stand trial for the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga on a BA plane in October 2010. Long before Mubenga’s death, Lord Ramsbotham was among those who warned repeatedly that Home Office contractors used dangerous methods of restraint.

When, in 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it had decided not to bring any charges against the three G4S detainee custody officers, under whose restraint Jimmy Mubenga, who was being returned to Angola, died in an airliner at Heathrow, I described the decision as ‘perverse’.

I did so because, at the time, I was chairing a National Independent Inquiry into Enforced Removals, during which we had been told that the restraint techniques used on Jimmy Mubenga, had also been used by G4S staff in Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, resulting in the death of 15 year old Gareth Myatt in 2004.  Continue reading “Why the Jimmy Mubenga trial matters. By ex-Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham”