Refugees in Calais speak of desperate condition

July 31, 2015 by  
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2015 July 30 conversation photoThe Conversation: ‘Is this really Europe?’: refugees in Calais speak of desperate condition

As the sun sets on Calais, a new barbed wire fence glints in the evening light, casting a shadow over the growing migrant camp known as the “New Jungle”.

Through the thick undergrowth of what was once an industrial dumping ground, tents and tarpaulin structures stretch into the distance. These are the makeshift homes currently providing insufficient shelter from the elements for more than 3,000 refugees. On the other side of the fence, cars and lorries trundle towards the port of Calais – and the northern edge of the Schengen Area, where people can move freely across much of Europe. Read more

Migrant madness

July 31, 2015 by  
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It is easy to send a camera crew to get footage of a group of migrants breaching the fences at Coquelles regardless of whether they manage to get lucky and subsequently jump on a train. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

It is easy to send a camera crew to get footage of a group of migrants breaching the fences at Coquelles regardless of whether they manage to get lucky and subsequently jump on a train. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Freemovement: Why do the “migrants” in Calais want to come to the UK? BY :

“Cockroaches” according to Katie Price. A “swarm” according to our likeminded Prime Minister, David Cameron, and The Daily Mail(again). An “army” according to the popular press, who seem to think we should literally send troops into France (without asking the French, we can assume) to hold the thin red line. But what do we know about who these people are — brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children, all of them — and why they want to come to the UK?

Back in 2002, at the height of the previous Calais hysteria, the Home Office commissioned some respected researchers to ask some of people themselves. Their answers are still the best information we have. Some of the nationalities have changed but the motivations are probably perennial.

But first, some numbers and some perspective. Read more

Fortress Calais: fleeting fixtures and precarious lives in the migrant camp

July 31, 2015 by  
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With street lights and bike shops springing up in the ‘Jungle’ there is a growing sense of permanence, but often little trace of the people who came and went:

Watch our film Life in the Jungle - The real story of the crisis engulfing Calais.
Video by John Domokos, Matthew Taylor, Mona Mahmood, Alexandra Topping and Laurence Topham

In the far corner of a cemetery on the outskirts of Calais, a couple of gravediggers chat quietly as they wait beside a small, freshly dug hole. Read more

Calais Migrant Crisis Quiz: 15 Questions To Test Your Knowledge

July 31, 2015 by  
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Huffington Post  By

Attempts by migrants to reach Britain have reached an all time high as hundreds of people rushed the Channel Tunnel for a third night in chaotic scenes on Wednesday.

The reasons for the crisis are many, global and complex, with experts believing that a series of factors over the last twelve months have caused a global increase in migrants “unprecedented since the World War II era”, leading to a “perfect storm” on Britain’s doorstep.

Prime Minister David Cameron promised that the Government “will do everything we can” to improve the situation, including spending £7 million on fencing at the Eurotunnel terminal.

These 15 questions will test your knowledge of the crisis, its causes and likely consequences… http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/07/30/calais-migrant-crisis-explained-questions-quiz_n_7904772.html

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These 15 questions will test your knowledge of the crisis, its causes and likely consequences…

Right to Remain: Unlocking Detention

July 29, 2015 by  
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Immigration detention: how does it affect YOUR community?

Right to Remain is gearing up to run the second Unlocking Detention project, with Detention Action and the Detention Forum. Read more

July 29, 2015 by  
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2015 July 29A different aspect of people drowning on the Mediterranean: STOWAWAYS AND CRIMES ABOARD A SCOFFLAW SHIP

Few places on Earth are as free from legal oversight as the high seas. One ship has been among the most persistent offenders. By  

CHIOS, Greece — The rickety raft made of empty oil drums and a wooden tabletop rolled and pitched with the waves while tied to the side of the Dona Liberta, a 370-foot cargo ship anchored far from land in the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa. Read more

Campaigns to welcome Syrian Refugees: Amnesty, People of Malvern and Croydon

July 29, 2015 by  
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AmnestyAmnesty International briefing: Syrian Refugees Activists around the UK have been campaigning tirelessly on the Syrian refugee resettlement issue. We’ve been raising this issue through protest actions, the #OpenToSyria online photo action, lobbying local councils to find places for Syrian families, and writing to MPs and Government ministers.

Here are a few facts and figures which may be useful if you’re talking about Syrian refugees. Read more

It is our antipathy towards migrants that kills in the Mediterranean

July 29, 2015 by  
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2015 July 28 HMS BulwarkGuardian: HMS Bulwark’s replacement yet to rescue any migrants in Mediterranean

 Home affairs editor: 

HMS Enterprise was sent out in place of much larger vessel that saved nearly 5,000, as David Cameron insisted UK would continue to play full role

The Royal Navy ship sent to replace the former flagship, HMS Bulwark, on search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean a month ago has yet to rescue any migrants, the Ministry of Defence has said. Read more

Right to rent & destitution concerns

July 29, 2015 by  
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city-of-sanctuaryThe Home Office is evaluating the Right to Rent pilot in the Midlands and JCWI and MAX are working with partners to carry out an independent evaluation. Meanwhile, the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group have written to Lord Best outlining their concerns over the impact that the implementation of this measure will have on refused asylum seekers. Refused asylum seekers often live in rented accommodation (supported by relatives, friends or a charity) while considering what to do next and the Act will make this illegal. For more information see: http://cityofsanctuary.org/2015/07/14/new-destitution-concerns-re-the-planned-implementation-of-the-right-to-rent/ :  Read more

Updates and action on cuts to asylum support

July 29, 2015 by  
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Still human still hereOn 16 July, the Home Office wrote to NASF members outlining why it decided to reduce the rates of support to asylum seeking families. The Home Office also made available the Policy Equality Statement which accompanied the review of support rates. Both documents are attached as files

On 21 July, David Hanson MP, Shadow Immigration Minister, formally opposed the regulations which brought in the cuts to asylum support. This is done by tabling an EDM which prays against the regulations, see: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/340. This EDM is supported by MPs from the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

Shortly afterwards, John McDonnell MP tabled a separate EDM opposing the cuts. This EDM specifically call for the Government to withdraw the cut and for a parliamentary debate to be held on the issue.  For the full text see:http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/344. This EDM (No.344) has 27 signatures to date (17 of which are from the SNP) and is one that backbench MPs can sign to show their concern over the impact the cuts will have on asylum seeking families with children.

Regional Asylum Activism (RAA) have put together a good campaign action on this issue. It calls on members of the public tocontact their MP and to ask them to write to the Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire MP, to voice their concerns regarding the cuts and/or to sign EDM 344. RAA have drafted a model letter which you can adapt and send to your MP. For more details go to: http://regionalasylumactivism.org/2015/07/21/government-cuts-support-for-children-seeking-refugee-protection/ 

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