HRW: Call to Greece #Opentheislands

13.12.2017: Good news! Last week the Greek government pledged to transfer 5,000 asylum seekers trapped on Greece’s islands, living in dangerous, overcrowded conditions, to mainland Greece by December 15. Currently, more than 1,500 people have already been transferred.

This decision came from the top – Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Which means we owe a huge thank you to everyone who reached out to him through our campaign, calling on him to protect these asylum seekers.

This is a major positive step, but there is more yet to do. Another 10,000 plus asylum seekers will remain trapped on the islands – some forced to sleep in summer tents or on the ground – because Greece, together with other EU countries, have a policy in place to prevent these people from leaving the islands and to try to return them to Turkey. Continue reading

Quakers: Sanctuary Everywhere Manifesto – challenging the ‘hostile environment’

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Drawing of a woman, man, child and baby.Challenging immigration policies 5.12.2017

Britain’s Quakers are pledging to challenge immigration policies. The position takes a stand against the scandal of indefinite immigration detention, pledges support for ‘new, peaceful, safer routes of migration’, and opposes the possibility of unjust deportations and forced removals.

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Independent: Austrian authorities investigate after 11-year-old Afghan boy ‘kills himself in refugee camp’

The child was left to care for his six siblings, according to reports …

‘Authorities said they noticed “nothing unusual”. The boy’s death appeared to be the latest in a wave of suicides among young refugees in Europe.

The UN’s children agency Unicef has denounced “the lack of protective measures for migrant children in Europe”, accusing EU member states of doing “much too little”. ‘

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/suicide-afghan-refugee-eleven-year-old-boy-vienna-camp-crisis-afghanistan-conditions-investigation-a8063171.html

QCEA: Child Immigration Detention in Europe

This report explores aspects of child immigration detention in Europe. After briey describing the legal framework and standards at international and European levels, the report gives an overview of the situation in Europe by addressing three main questions: How many children are detained in the context of migration?
Which laws and policies regulate the practice, and what are the existing alternatives to child immigration detention
The report also discusses the impacts of detention, giving special attention to the different impacts on girls and boys in detention.
The report concludes by reasserting that detention is never in the best interests of a child, having detrimental impact on health and well-being. While there is an international growing consensus on the need for alternatives to detaining children,
European countries are continuing to do so.

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

The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme

parliament_logoThe Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme Contents


Conclusions and recommendations

1.The success of the programme is dependent on pledges of offers of support from local authorities turning into firm places. The participation of local authorities in the programme is voluntary. Local authorities make indicative pledges to resettle refugees, which become firm offers once the local authority has secured appropriate accommodation, support and services. The number of refugees in the programme is small compared to the total number of people local authorities support. But some local authorities are concerned that the funding available will not be enough to cover the support and services they will need to offer refugees, particularly at a time when they face a number of other financial pressures. Practical issues such as whether families are ready and able to travel to the UK, and whether accommodation and school places are available in local authorities, have already caused delays in resettling refugees. There has also been some confusion over what local authorities are required to provide to refugees when they arrive. Failing to address these issues could pose risks to the successful delivery of the programme in future. The Home Office (the Department) told us that it has enough indicative pledges of support from local authorities to meet the 20,000 target, but it is essential that these materialise into firm offers of resettlement places. Continue reading