A place of sanctuary?

2014 Nov 14CentreForum’s report, A place of sanctuary? urges the Government to make the asylum system fairer and more efficient. It argues that the most “draconian elements” of the current system were a response to the large number of applications in previous years which have fallen by 72% between 2002 and 2013. The report makes recommendations in the areas of institutional reform, detention, destitution, etc. For details see: http://www.centreforum.org/assets/pubs/a-place-of-sanctuary.pdf

Executive summary and recommendations
The UK’s asylum system was severely tested by a surge in asylum seekersaround  the turn of the century. The  government responded with a flurry of legislation designed to curb numbers by restricting border access for potential
asylum seekers, reducing the scope for successful applications and appeals and by making living conditions more uncomfortable. Continue reading

Early day motion 99: HIGH COURT JUDGMENT ON ASYLUM SUPPORT

parliament_logoDespite Refugee Action’s apparently successful judicial challenge of the rate of asylum support payments an internal Home Office review has concluded there is no need to alter the basic rate of asylum support payments. They have even suggested that  to equalise payments to parents for  children by reducing the rates for under 16 year olds. 

Currently 16 and 17 year old rate is £39.80  whereas under 16 year olds the rate is £52.96. Still Human Still Here will continue to lobby on this issue.

We are encouraged to write to our MPs  to sign Early Day Motion 99 calling for an increase in support  rates to a least 70% of Income Support. 89 MPs have signed so far:http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/99

Early day motion 99

HIGH COURT JUDGMENT ON ASYLUM SUPPORT Continue reading

QARN Statement on Destitution

qarn logo smWe ask Quakers to consider taking our Statment about Destitution to their Local Business meeting as a starting point on this issue,  to ask for it to be passed up to Area meeting and then on to Meeting for Sufferings with a request that time is given to discerning a way forward on this issue.

The statement can be downloaded here: QARN Destitution statement 25 Oct 2014

http://www.qarn.org.uk/homepage/qarn-statement-on-destitution/

QARN Statement on Destitution

qarn logo sm “That which is morally wrong cannot be politically right” 1822 Quaker  Faith and Practice 23.26

Enforced destitution is being used as an instrument of immigration control and, increasingly, of other government policies which primarily affect the most vulnerable. Quakers believe that there is that of God in every person and strive towards equality of respect. Refusing people any legal means of survival or dignity is denying the divine and humanity, which can never be justified.  While we being mindful of settled residents struggling with poverty and destitution because of austerity pay rates and austerity benefit policies, we should neither ignore nor blame those who have sought sanctuary in the U.K. Continue reading

Sign the letter: Saving refugees in the Mediterranean.

Italy MigrantsDear Mr Cameron,

It is with great sadness that we write to you today.

As the world faces its most pressing refugee crisis since the Second World War – with hundreds of thousands fleeing deadly conflicts and oppressive regimes across Africa and the Middle East – the announcement that Britain will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean has shocked us.

Where there should have been humanity, there was cold cynicism; where there should have been compassion, there was indifference.
This is not an issue of immigration or economics, but of ethics and morality.  The announcement on Monday has revealed that Britain’s respect for the sanctity of human life has all but vanished.     Continue reading