Quaker Peace and Social Witness: Private Sponsorship of Refugees

quaker orangeResponse invited to: A consultative paper for Meeting for Sufferings, 6 February 2016. Please discuss this with your MfS reps:

1 Summary

1.1 The clerks of Meeting for Sufferings have agreed to allow this additional item to be brought to the Meeting at short notice. At the end of February Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee (QPSWCC) will be considering a paper of options for possible work to address the refugee crisis. Before then, the clerks of QPSWCC wish to consult Meeting for Sufferings on one very specific proposal, so that QPSWCC can take your response into account when they decide whether to proceed with it. If MfS Representatives are able to take some informal soundings locally, that might be helpful, but this is primarily a process of ‘taking the temperature’ of MfS as a wider and representative body of Friends. Continue reading

Immigration Bill continues

Still human still hereAmendments at Committee
Lord’s Committee takes place on 1 and 3 February next week and a number of amendments relating to asylum support have been tabled.
These include:
that clause 37 should not stand part of the Bill (which would mean that refused asylum seeking families with children would stay on S95 support);
that asylum seekers should have a right of appeal against a decision by the Home Office to refuse or discontinue s95A support;
and the move on period for those recognized as refugees before asylum support is cut off should be increased to 40 days.
In addition, important amendments have been tabled on
detention,
family reunion and
relocating 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children from European countries to the UK
– to name but a few! (the Government’s press release on this issue is attached). The full list of tabled amendments is available at: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/immigration/documents.html Continue reading

High-Tech Fortress Europe: FRONTEX and the Dronization of Border Management

European Public Affairs: 27 January 2016 | by 
Irregular migration has become one of the top issues on the European Union’s (EU) security agenda in terms of securing external borders, protecting the cultural and ethnic identity of EU Member States, safeguarding their socio-economic welfare systems, and combating terrorism and organised crime. Continue reading

Shaw: Review into the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons

2016 Jan 14 Shaw reportA very important report to the Home Office by Stephen Shaw: [before you press ‘print’  this is 349+ pages long]

The Shaw review makes over 60 recommendations, which … Courtesy of ein  … are excerpted below:

Recommendation 1: I recommend that the Home Office prepare and publish a strategic plan for immigration detention.

Recommendation 2: The Home Office should consider how far it can encourage a more cohesive system through more joint training and planning, shared communications, and a recognition scheme.

Recommendation 3: Where weaknesses in particular policies have been identified in Mr Cheeseman’s audit, I recommend these be remedied at their next iteration. Continue reading

Minutes of QARN Meeting – 9 January 2016, held at Friends House, London

qarn logo smMinute 16/01: QARN is enthused at the prospect of creating links with other Quakers across Europe. We appreciate that QCEA is not at this time able to prioritise work on the asylum/refugee issues and that it is undergoing a process of change. We agree to set up a Working Group that will consider ways in which we can create effective links across the Quaker family in Europe that will enable us to network and support each other in working for change in Europe. We ask Barbara Forbes, Brian Kendall, Catherine Henderson and Fred Ashmore to report to our April meeting with ideas about how this could be taken forward.  

We send this Minute to QCEA Council, QPSW and FWCC.

Minute 16/02: QARN considers it purposeful to have a Quaker presence on the National Refugee Welcome Board and we put forward a member of QARN to act as a representative. Catherine Henderson and Fred Ashmore will take on this responsibility in liaison with QPSW.

Minute 16/03: QARN has heard suggestions from Catherine Henderson and Brian Kendall for how time could be valuably applied to furthering our Quaker concern, and we are enthusiastically supporting further discussion taking place with QPSW regarding the creation of a paid post to take this forward. Catherine is in discussion with Helen Drewery.

We as human beings have to reach out to fellow human beings

Independent: Refugee crisis: Jeremy Corbyn visits Calais Jungle and Grande-Synthe camps

‘These conditions are a disgrace anywhere. We as human beings have to reach out to fellow human beings’

Jeremy Corbyn MP today visited the Calais Jungle and Grande-Synthe (Dunkirk) refugee camps to see the humanitarian crisesthere first-hand. It was his first official trip abroad as Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Corbyn first paid a visit to the Jungle in Calais. He walked around the camp, took selfies with inhabitants and discussed what needed to be done to improve conditions there with camp elders and representatives of the major volunteer organisations.

He then made the short trip north to the smaller camp at Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, where conditions have been described as “far worse” than in the better-known Jungle. [Sheila’s note: there are quite a few Kurds in this Dunkirk camp] Read more …

Guardian: Britain ‘poised to open door to thousands of migrant children’

David Cameron considering calls by charities as Jeremy Corbyn, who on Saturday visited refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk, urges emergency steps

David Cameron is considering plans to admit thousands of unaccompanied migrant children into the UK within weeks, as pressure grows on ministers to provide a haven for large numbers of young people who have fled their war-torn homelands without their parents. Read more ..

 

QCEA: Castle or community?

2015 Dec QCEA conference

QCEA organises biennial weekend conferences together with Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) of Britain Yearly Meeting. Our conferences are intended to stimulate discussion of European issues raised by our advocacy.

2015 Conference: Castle or community? Quakers’ role in building the new Europe.

This conference took place from the 4-6 December 2015 in Brussels. Click here to read a summary of the conference.

Friends from all over Europe gathered in Brussels to reflect on what kind of Europe we want and how we can work together to build it. We considered how Quaker values and processes can contribute to effective advocacy and how our witness informs our advocacy and affects European policy.

Scroll down to find articles, photos and videos from the 2015 conference Continue reading

Committee stage of the Immigration Bill

Still human still hereCommittee Stage of the Bill begins on Monday 18 January and will continue on 20 Jan, 1 Feb and 03 Feb. A number of amendments have already been tabled by the Labour front bench on issues of particular concern to Still Human Still Here.
These include, but are not limited to:
·         Permission to work for asylum seekers (now in part I of the Bill, following Clause 12)
·         Opposing the removal of support from refused asylum seeking families (clause 37 should not stand part of the Bill)
·         A right of appeal against a Home Office decision to refuse or discontinue support (amending Schedule 8)
·         Increasing the move on period for those granted protection to 40 days
The full list of amendments tabled so far can be found at: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/immigration/documents.html

Immigration Bill – Second Reading: That the Bill be now read a second time

parliament_logoThe Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My Lords, our country is diverse, democratic, peaceful and economically successful. We are all rightly proud of it. We want to protect it but it is also no surprise that we are a country experiencing positive net migration, attracting the brightest and the best, those seeking refuge and those in search of a better life. As more people seek to come here and as the global landscape continues to change, we must ensure that the UK remains a country with fair and safe workplaces, access to adequate housing, quality public services and security against changing threats. Continue reading

If we try to imagine – even just a little – what people have experienced

qarn logo smYou or I would probably get on a plane if we had to flee our country. But airlines are held liable if they carry people without papers. Airline staff can’t decide whether or not someone is a refugee. Visas are hard to come by and cost money. Some people have to destroy their own papers in order to stay safe.

By insisting on papers to cross borders we criminalise refugees. Perhaps this is partly how we justify the use of detention – indefinite detention in Britain – and a punitive asylum system leading to poverty such as the nineteenth-century author Charles Dickens would have recognised. Continue reading