Permission to work

Still human still hereTake actionStill Human is calling on the Government to give asylum seekers permission to work if they have been waiting for more than six months for their cases to be concluded, or if they have been refused asylum but cannot be returned home through no fault of their own (e.g. because removals have been suspended).

This will prevent vulnerable people being left in a state of limbo for prolonged periods of time, will reduce the burden on the taxpayer and allow a small number of asylum seekers to support themselves and their families while contributing to the economy. Those who are allowed to stay in the UK, will find it much easier to become part of British society if they have been given the chance to work. Continue reading

Actors and writers call on Cameron to increase help for refugee children

Guardian: Actors and writers call on Cameron to increase help for refugee children – Karen McVeigh @karenmcveigh1 

Public figures urge PM to raise Britain’s resettlement commitment and unite divided families ahead of UN summit …

Some of Britain’s most high-profile actors and writers, including the recent Oscar-winner Mark Rylance, Juliet Stevenson, Andrew Garfield, Steve Coogan, Michael Palin and Jude Law, have appealed to David Cameron to do more to help refugee children and divided families across Europe, ahead of a UN summit on Syrian refugees next week. Read more … http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/25/actors-writers-call-cameron-increase-help-refugee-children

TED Talk – Alexander Betts

2016 March Alexander BettsHow can we adapt an international refugee system created over 50 years ago for a changing and globalised world?Why is the current system not working and what can we do to fix it?Listen to the visionary words of Alexandre Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at Oxford speaking for TED in February.

Posted by University of Oxford on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 – see the video on the right …

 

Serious concerns raised about EU-Turkey Deal

ecreEU leaders agree on EU-Turkey Deal despite serious concerns over its consequences for human rights of refugees and migrants

During the European Council meeting of 18 March, EU leaders reached an agreement with Turkey, the so-called EU-Turkey deal. According to the statement issued on the day, the objectives of the measures agreed to are to end irregular migration from Turkey to the EU and to “break the business model of the smugglers and to offer migrants an alternative to putting their lives at risk”.

Prior to the meeting some of the action points agreed were described as “immoral”, “dangerous” and “illegal” by human rights organisations, including ECRE. These include the action point on the return to Turkey of all irregular migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece after 20 March 2016 and the resettlement of one Syrian refugee who travelled from Turkey to the EU in exchange for each Syrian returned to Turkey from Greece. The agreement also states that “Turkey will take any necessary measures to prevent new sea or land routes for illegal migration opening from Turkey to the EU, and will cooperate with neighbouring states as well as the EU to this effect.”

“Resettling one Syrian to the EU for every Syrian readmitted from the Greek islands to Turkey is as Kafkaesque as it is legally and morally wrong,” ECRE stated in a Memorandum issued before the European Council meeting. It argued that resettlement should not be part of an exchange which involves persons risking their lives; resettlement should be implemented separately from readmission and return. ECRE reiterates its opposition to any solution based on the flawed assumption that Turkey is a ‘safe third country’. Continue reading

Advocacy urged to increase refugee resettlement to Europe; Cameron – turn boats back

WCC23 March 2016 – The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), Conference of European Churches (CEC) and World Council of Churches (WCC) sent a letter to member churches and partner organizations in Europe urging them to undertake increased advocacy for more refugee resettlement with their national governments and parliaments in the next weeks. Continue reading

House of Lords votes to let lone child refugees come to Britain

Peers warn that government must act fast amid complaints about conditions endured by child migrants in Calais
Three Syrian 16-year-olds, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, arrived in London from Calais on Monday to be reunited with relatives.

The government has been defeated in the Lords as peers voted to allow 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees into the country.

Peers voted by 306 votes to 204, a majority of 102, to amend the immigration bill in order to require the government to let the children, currently in Europe, come to Britain.

Read more … http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/21/house-of-lords-votes-to-let-lone-child-refugees-come-to-britain

Mediterranean Alarmphone

Alarm PhoneWeekly Reports: Bad weather, violence and ongoing movements in the Aegean

Alarm Phone Weekly Report 7th – 13th March 2016

Despite stormy weather and attempts of the European leaders to prevent them from coming, refugees continue to cross the Mediterranean and are able to reach Europe, especially from Turkey. According to UNHCR estimates, about 9,942 refugees, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, arrived in Greece from Turkey in the second week of March.[1] Continue reading

House of Lords votes in favour of detention reform amendment

2016 Detention ForumDetention Forum statement re: the amendment that brings in a 28 day time limit on immigration detention which moves the system away from confining everyone indefinitely:

House of Lords votes in favour of detention reform amendment

Last night (15 March), the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to the Immigration Bill proposed by Lord Ramsbotham, Lord Rosser, Baroness Hamwee and Lord Roberts of Llandudno, that addressed the lack of judicial oversight on immigration detention in the UK. Continue reading

Immigration Bill: Letter to Lords for 9 March 2016

quaker_home_themeTo: Members of the House of Lords

Dear [name]

I am writing to you regarding the Immigration Bill which will be before the House of Lords on 9 March.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno has put down the following amendment:

Schedule 9

Page 147, line 26, at end insert—

  “( )     The Secretary of State must grant bail to any person detained under a

       provision mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) no later than the twenty-

       eighth day following that on which the person was detained.”

Continue reading