MfS Search and Rescue Minute December 2014

April 18, 2015 by  
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quaker_home_theme14 Search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean
We receive minute 14/129 of Sussex West AM held on 8 November, regarding the announcement that the British Government will not support planned EU search and rescue operations to save migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea as they try to reach Europe.

We note that the Deputy Recording Clerk has signed a letter to David Cameron, calling on the Government to work with the rest of Europe to ensure that no asylum seekers are left to drown in the Mediterranean and to organise safe routes for these people to find shelter and security.

We forward this minute to QPSW for advice.

MSF and MOAS to launch joint Mediterranean search, rescue and medical aid operation

April 18, 2015 by  
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MOAS rescue 105 migrants in rubber dinghy Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/MOASMédecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) announced today that they will launch a joint search, rescue and medical aid operation in the central Mediterranean between Africa and Europe. The life-saving operation will run from May to October, when thousands of people are expected to risk their lives attempting to reach safe haven in Europe.

Last year was the deadliest on record for people crossing the Mediterranean; more than 3,400 people died trying to reach Europe. This year the death toll is predicted to be even higher, as even less assistance is available to boats in distress. The Italian navy’s search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, was discontinued in November 2014 due to a lack of funding from European governments and has not been replaced. Read more

Destitution: Meeting for Sufferings Minute 28 March 2015

April 18, 2015 by  
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quaker_home_theme1At a Meeting for Sufferings held in London on Saturday 28 March 2015 MfS/15/03/15 Asylum Seekers:

Destitution We receive the following minutes from Area Meetings: South East London AM minute 14/102; Pendle Hill AM minute 10; Leeds AM minute AM14/109; North East Thames AM minute 15/36; Leicester AM minute 15/32; South Wales AM minute 14:12:07; and Oxford and Swindon AM minute 16/2015c. These minutes bring to our attention a statement made by Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network about the use of destitution as an instrument of immigration control.

Sheila Moseley of Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network has spoken to the concern. Many Friends are deeply troubled by the situation and we have heard of the work that Friends are doing locally, both as Meetings and as individuals. Many are working with local asylum and refugee groups, the Red Cross and the City of Sanctuary movement.

This is not an issue that is going to go away quickly, and we feel it would be useful to develop a public statement that we can use in working with national and local governments.

We forward this minute to QPSW Central Committee and ask them to bring a draft back to a future meeting.

Ethel Livermore


Juliet Prager

Deputy Recording Clerk

Migrants killed in ‘religious clash’ on Mediterranean boat

April 17, 2015 by  
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2015 April search and rescueMigrants killed in ‘religious clash’ on Mediterranean boat

About 1,000 people a day are being rescued at the moment trying to reach the Italian coast

Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy. Read more


March 28, 2015 by  
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2015 March 25 JRF DestitutionExecutive summary:

Background: There is a widespread perception that destitution is increasing sharply in the UK. Media attention devoted to the prevalence of extreme hardship, and to the increased use of food banks in particular, is indicative of increasing public concern. Prominent public figures have made connections between destitution and government policies on immigration and asylum, welfare reform, homelessness, and exploitation and forced labour. Yet quantitative evidence on the causes, scale, trends and distribution of destitution in the UK is difficult to come by, as is data on the characteristics of those affected and the impact that this experience has on them. Read more

‘Position Statement’ Churches’ Refugee Network conference, meeting in London on 21st March 2015

March 25, 2015 by  
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CRNFor centuries Britain has been outstanding in offering protection to people fleeing persecution.  Many of them have done much to create this country’s reputation for fairness and justice and have contributed to the well-being of the nation.  That reputation still draws to the United Kingdom people experiencing political and religious discrimination, torture, rape and other trauma in their countries of origin.  Read more

Brussels plans migration centres outside EU to process asylum applications

March 10, 2015 by  
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2015 March 9European commission wants to use offices and embassies outside EU to process applications for asylum and refugee status before migrants reach Europe 

 Rescued migrants line up after disembarking from an Italian coastguard ship in the harbour of Augusta, Sicily. Photograph: Francesco Malavolta/AP
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Please don’t let the Mediterranean be a graveyard for migrants

March 9, 2015 by  
Filed under EU Borders, What can you do

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Avaaz MediterraneanPlease sign the petition:

To the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, We call on you urgently to reinstate a comprehensive search and rescue operation for migrants in the Mediterranean and to ensure that the treatment of all migrants is based on the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Media coverage: immigration detention

March 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Indefinite detention, News, Reports

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yarls-wood-001Channel 4 : “Harmondsworth undercover: ‘I don’t want to die here’” - 04/03/15
“At one point he films the aftermath of a detainee having an epileptic fit. Voices in the video say it is the third seizure the man has had in less than three weeks. The incident raises questions over the government’s detention policies – people with serious illnesses and disabilities, as well as pregnant women and the elderly, are only supposed to be detained in “exceptional circumstances”.”  See the footage in full.
Channel 4 – Yarl’s Wood: undercover in the secretive immigration centre - 02/03/15
The Channel 4 News investigation reveals: Numerous incidents of self-harm, Questions over standards of healthcare, Guards showing contempt for detainees. … Cameras have never been allowed inside. Even the United Nations special rapporteur for violence against women was barred entry.… Staff at Yarl’s Wood are filmed referring to the detention centre’s inmates as “animals”, “beasties” and “b**ches”. “Headbutt the b**ch”, one guard says. “I’d beat her up”. …”  See the video clips on the Channel 4 website. Read more

QARN response to the APPI into immigration detention

March 8, 2015 by  
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qarn logo smQuaker Asylum and Refugee Network – QARN: response to the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention Report released 3 March 2015

‘We detain a lot of people, some for a very long time, all with huge uncertainty, and we have very limited processes for individuals to challenge that detention’.

‘Crucially, this panel believes that little will change by tinkering with the pastoral care or improving the facilities. We believe the problems that beset our immigration detention estate occur quite simply because we detain far too many people unnecessarily and for far too long. The current system is expensive, ineffective and unjust.’ Read more

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