Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees

Scottish Faith Action GroupScottish Faiths Action for Refugees is a project which seeks to co-ordinate and promote action by faith communities in Scotland to support asylum seekers and refugees.

Offering hospitality to strangers is a common requirement of many different faith traditions. All religions teach a form of the Golden Rule (treat others as you would wish to be treated) and that there is an inherent value and dignity to every human being – and that our common humanity transcends national, racial, cultural or linguistic barriers.

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Colnbrook Detention Centre inspection – a mixed picture and a need for a ‘strict time limit’

HM Inspectors PrisonsDetention Forum: 28 July 2016: In its latest inspection report on Colnbrook detention centre, HM Inspector of Prisons said ‘There should be a strict time limit on the length of detention and caseworkers should act with diligence and expedition.’

Colnbrook detention centre, near Heathrow Airport, detains up to 396 migrants, including 27 women who are held in a separate unit.  The centre suffered from a lack of maintenance during the period of management contract transfer from Serco to Mitie a few years ago, resulting in significant deterioration of parts of the centre.  Continue reading

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees deadline 1 October 2016

parliament_logoThe All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees, chaired by Thangam Debbonaire MP, has launched an inquiry into the experiences of new refugees in the UK. The inquiry will consider the experiences of refugees who have claimed asylum in the UK, as well as those who have resettled here. In particular, the inquiry will focus on the integration of new refugees, including success in finding employment, securing accommodation and, where appropriate, help with English language skills. The deadline for submitting evidence is 1 October 2016. Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. For full details of the inquiry go to: APPG on Refugees call for evidence Continue reading

QARN AGM 9 July 2016

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) meeting at Bull Street FMH, Birmingham, on 09.07.2016
Present: Fred Ashmore, John Cockcroft, Elizabeth Coleman, Rosemary Crawley, Barbara Forbes, David Forbes, Catherine Henderson, Diana Hurd, Brian Kendall, Marian McNichol, Sheila Mosley, Alan Pleydell, Bridget Walker, Anthony Wilson

Prevented: Rosemary Andoh, Julia Bush, Crystal Dickenson, Chris Gwyntopher, Christine Hall, Libby Hudson, Val Whittington.

Our meeting began with a short period of silent worship and brief introductions. Continue reading

Minute of QARN Meeting July 2016 at Birmingham Central Quakers Meeting House:

16/05: We agree to approach Journeymen Theatre to produce a presentation on asylum.  We would hope to see extracts from this at our Woodbrooke conference in February. We ask John Cockcroft, Barbara Forbes and David Forbes to work with Journeymen Theatre on this and will ask them to provide an initial outline to be discussed by the Steering Group and an update for our meeting in October. We approve the expenditure of up to £1000 on this project.

Insufficient Regard to Detention Rule 35 Process

£25,000 for Claimant’s Unlawful Detention – Bailii
 IS, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1623 (Admin) (11 July 2016)
 1. In this claim for judicial review, the Claimant challenged the Defendant’s decisions on deportation, asylum and detention. Due to developments which have taken place during the course of these proceedings, the asylum and deportation issues are to be determined by way of statutory appeal and so only the Claimant’s detention now falls to be decided.

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QARN Annual Report 2016 – Steering Group

qarn logo smThe Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) is a network of Quakers across the UK who share a concern about the injustices that are practiced in our name, and a determination to bring about change for those who have been forced to seek asylum and to reach out with support for those who share our concern. QARN members hold discussions and share information through the email group, and those who can meet together about four times a year in a different part of the country each time.

Our members are active as individuals and as members of other groups (Quaker and non-Quaker) across a wide spectrum of asylum-related activities, giving us a broad and solid base of knowledge and expertise. We continue to be morally outraged at some of the decisions that are made by the Government and its agents in our name. Continue reading

Refugees Welcome march planned for 17 September

Refugee Council blueSave the date:  Last September, the image of three year old Alan Kurdi’s body on a Turkish beach horrified the world. 100,000 of us marched in London in response to tell our government that we want to welcome refugees in the UK, and to stop the drowning.

Since then, thousands more terrified and desperate refugees, including hundreds of children, have lost their lives trying to reach safety in Europe.

This September, world leaders will meet to discuss the refugee crisis at two crucial summits. This is the biggest opportunity of 2016 to show our Government and the world that Britain is ready to welcome more refugees.

That’s why we’ll be taking to London’s streets once again this September. We want to send a strong #RefugeesWelcome message to our Government. Continue reading

The UK’s family reunion rules: striking the right balance?

parliament_logoCommons Library Analysis: The UK’s family reunion rules: striking the right balance? Published Thursday, June 23, 2016.

There are various different provisions for refugee family reunion in the UK. Campaigners are pressing the Government to extend these further, particularly in respect of children’s cases.

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UK Immigration Rules Continue reading

Help keep our communities united

NVCOFrom: Constructive Voices
Whatever your view about the result of the EU referendum, it’s clear that charities now have an important role to play in fostering community cohesion, especially in the wake of a rise in the number of reported incidents of racial abuse and hate crime: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-eu-referendum-racial-racism-abuse-hate-crime-reported-latest-leave-immigration-a7104191.html.

You might want to get in touch with your local or national media and get your voice heard. Continue reading