Refugee Week 2017 at Friends’ House, Euston Road, London

Dear Friends, 

Refugee Week is taking place from 20-25 June. It is an open platform for organisations to organise events amplifying the voices of people seeking sanctuary. Many meetings will be organising events for this, from talks to all-age semi-programmed Meetings for Worship. If your meeting is organising an event in Refugee Week please let me know so I can help promote it. Continue reading

Involved with a signing support group?

Right to Remain is looking to gather information about the current situation of reporting and how support groups operate across the UK:

  • Are you involved with a signing support group, or do you accompany people to their reporting event?
  • Is reporting conducted in your community, or has it relocated recently?
  • If you are required to report, do you face a lengthy, costly, and/or difficult journey?
  • Do you have any support, or would you like someone to accompany you at your reporting event?

Get in touch by commenting on our blog post here or by emailing lisa@righttoremain.org.uk

New Fast-Track Immigration Appeal Rules Proposed

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A new fast-track system to speed up immigration and asylum appeals for those in detention has been drawn up. The new rules, which if accepted would apply to failed asylum seekers and ex-offenders, could speed up about 2,000 cases every year as the time between an initial decision and conclusion of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal would be capped at between 25 and 28 working days. The previous fast-track system was suspended in 2015 after the Court of Appeal accepted that it was unlawful due to the speed of the process and insufficient safeguards for those making appeals. Continue reading

Doctors of the World Launch #StopSharing Patient Data Campaign

Doctors of the World Launch #StopSharing Patient Data Campaign – Help Spread the Word

Doctors of the World has just launched its #StopSharing campaign calling on the UK government to stop using NHS patients’ personal information to track down migrants. The deal struck in January between the Home Office and NHS Digital gives the Home Office easier access to migrant patients’ information, such as addresses, and allows them to track down, arrest and deport undocumented migrants. Patient confidentiality is essential for NHS staff to be able to do their job – and yet they have not been consulted about this deal, with concerns raised by medical organisations ignored. Continue reading

Children in Detention: Report on the Cedars

March 2017: C E D A R S Pre-Departure Accommodation Independent Monitoring Board 2016 Annual Report

2.3 Population Profile during 2016

The number of families accommodated at Cedars during 2016 was lower than in 2015, although this was for nine and a half months only. 14 families were accommodated during the reporting period.

The families represented nine different nationalities of which the top three were Albanian, Chinese and Nigerian. The top two religions were Islam and Christianity. Of the 14 families, two were removed from the UK, 12 were released into the community, of which five were released due to disruption or non-compliance. Three of these were released from Cedars and two at the departure point. Assessment, Care in Residence and Teamwork (ACRT) procedures were initiated six times, and there were no recorded incidents of actual self-harm. Continue reading

Minutes of QARN meeting 18 March 2017

2017/03/1  Treasurer’s Report

We have received the treasurer’s financial report for the last quarter and are pleased to see that there is a healthy balance. We note substantial support from Woodbrooke for our recent conference. We appreciate the work of Journeymen Theatre, to whom we made a grant of £1000 to develop their very effective production, ‘The Bundle’. We agree to approach them to find out if they require support for further capacity building work.  We would offer a grant of up to £1000. We ask John, Barbara and David to take this forward.
Continue reading

‘It’s a shambles’: data shows most asylum seekers put in poorest parts of Britain

More than five times as many destitute asylum seekers live in the poorest third of the country as in the richest third, according to a Guardian analysis, which has prompted leading politicians to call for a complete overhaul of the dispersal system.MPs have labelled the way asylum seekers are distributed around Britain “appalling”, “dreadfully designed” and “a deeply unfair shambles” because of the way it disproportionately houses people in poor, Labour-voting areas in the north of England and Wales, as well as Glasgow.

Migrant detention in the European Union: a thriving business Outsourcing and privatisation of migrant detention

June 2016: Conclusion: Under the guise of “mass” migration134, the EU and its Member States are continuously strengthening their systems to deprive migrant populations of their liberty. Emblematic of European policy for the exclusion of foreign nationals, migrant detention facilities offer fertile ground for human rights violations. The acts of resistance and rebellion by detainees are a sign of the injustice and despair caused to those who find themselves trapped inside. Continue reading

The Scottish Parliament: Equalities and Human Rights Committee Consultation on Destitution and Asylum in Scotland

March 2017: The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain _ General Meeting for Scotland _ The Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network

Summary

This submission comes from the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, which is the umbrella body representing Quakers across Britain, General Meeting for Scotland, which acts on the concerns of Quakers in Scotland, and the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN), a nationwide network of Quakers who have experience of working with asylum seekers and refugees.

A key aim of the network is to ensure that justice and compassion are the guiding principles in the treatment of asylum seekers, forced migrants and refugees. Our concerns are informed by our belief that everyone is equal in the eyes of God and by the experience of Quakers across Scotland and the rest of the UK. We see our work with refugees, forced migrants and asylum seekers as an expression of our commitment to justice, equality and peace.

We oppose policies which have the effect of making people destitute. We see that of God in everyone, no matter where they come from. Over the last few years, legislation passed by the UK government has removed support from asylum seekers. Enforced destitution should not be used as an instrument of immigration control and is, in any case, ineffective. Punitive measures taken by successive governments over many years have not significantly reduced numbers seeking protection in the UK. Asylum seekers who are fearful of return will not be persuaded to go back to their own countries by the removal of support.

Full report here: 2017 March Response to Scottish Parliament