Red Cross report: Can’t Stay Can’t Go

Conclusions:Life for refused asylum seekers who cannot be returned is bleak. They may be homeless or sofa-surfing, hungry or lacking adequate clothing. They may be struggling to access some form of healthcare. They are often experiencing all of these things. They currently have no, or an extremely limited, chance of regularisation of their status. Asylum support options are not accessible to them and this issue is likely to worsen under Section 95A. Without support, these people are vulnerable to exploitation and they are likely to drop off the radar, making it even less likely that they can be returned. Continue reading

Refugee Action report: Slipping through the Cracks

A report based on research from Refugee Action’s work with people seeking asylum in the UK highlighting the delays people face in the asylum support system while claiming asylum. Delays in correctly assessing people’s need for support, overturning decisions on appeal and in getting support to people have devastating consequences for people’s lives. This report outlines the changes we believe need to happen to make the asylum system fair. Continue reading

Some Key Questions on Forced Migration.

Why are people forced to migrate? The causes are many and complex.  Each persons reasons for migration are a unique combination.

One example. A couple with their two children who fled from Eritrea to Sudan, Eritrea has one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.. He is a member of a Pentecostalist church which is not registered with the state. Only Churches that are registered are allowed to practice. He went ahead of the family to seek sanctuary in the UK. His application for asylum was refused. The Home Office immigration officer did not believe he had faced persecution because of his religion. The office of the lawyer who had advised him had closed.  He lost his minimal asylum support payments and was homeless. He was forbidden to work.  When I met him he was sleeping in train stations, churches and occasionally with friends. He was under Hammersmith Hospital for diabetes.   Continue reading

Despite the headlines, people care

‘Despite the headlines, people care’ say team behind new refugee befriending scheme

Londoners are being asked to take part in a befriending scheme that matches people with spare time and goodwill, to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need of friendship

A befriending scheme has been launched to match Londoners who have spare time and goodwill, with asylum seekers and refugees in need of friendship. Continue reading

Refugees Welcome? Executive Summary April 2017

“In the network we have people who are engineers, community leaders, teachers, people with important skills who can contribute to this country. When we’re talking about refugees that achieve great things for this country – like Mo Farah – not everybody is Mo Farah, but everybody has something to give to this country.”

Kolbassia, Survivors Speak Out network1 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

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

REFUGEE CRISIS: Faith Leaders’ Open Letter to the Prime Minister

12 September 2016: We are leaders from Britain’s major faiths: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Zoroastrian.  All our faiths compel us to affirm the dignity of all human beings and to offer help to anyone in need. As people of faith, we call on your Government urgently to revise its policy towards refugees. 

The best of this country is represented by the generosity, kindness, solidarity and decency that Britain has at many times shown those fleeing persecution, even at times of far greater deprivation and difficulty than the present day. We rejoice in the mosaic of different faiths and British communities that we now represent.   We are proud that in May 2016, in a survey by Amnesty International, 83% of Britons said they would welcome refugees into their neighbourhoods and households. Continue reading