March 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Destitution, News, Reports

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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  
Filed under News, Reports, What can you do

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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  
Filed under EU Borders, News

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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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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

UK immigration detention: the truth is out

March 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Indefinite detention, News

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open democracySuccessive governments have ignored and dismissed complaints of suffering in UK immigration lock-ups. This week, in Parliament and on national television, fresh evidence has been heard.

On Monday night Channel 4 News broadcast shocking undercover footage of guards talking about the women in their care at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire.

“Headbutt the bitch, I’d beat her up,” says one guard at the immigration prison, which is run for the Home Office by the private security company, Serco.

“Let them slash their wrists,” says another. Read more

Some reactions to the APP Inquiry into Immigration Detention

March 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Indefinite detention, News

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2015 March 3 Immigration detention
Time For a Time Limit – Parliamentarians call for a 28 day maximum time limit on immigration detention to be introduced

A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has recommended that the next government should introduce a maximum time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can be detained in immigration detention. The call comes in a report published today following a joint inquiry into the use of immigration detention in the UK by the APPG on Refugees and the APPG on Migration. Read more

The Report of the Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention in UK

March 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Indefinite detention, News, Reports

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2015 March 3 APPI reportA Joint Inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees & the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration

Key Recommendations

• There should be a time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can be held in immigration detention.

• Detention is currently used disproportionately frequently, resulting in too many instances of detention. The presumption in theory and practice should be in favour of community-based resolutions and against detention.

• Decisions to detain should be very rare and detention should be for the shortest possible time and only to effect removal.

• The Government should learn from international best practice and introduce a much wider range of alternatives to detention than are currently used in the UK. Read more


February 28, 2015 by  
Filed under News, What can you do

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time4atimelimitIt’s #Time4aTimeLimit on immigration detention

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The UK is the only country in Europe without a time-limit on detention.  Migrants can be imprisoned indefinitely, solely for bureaucratic convenience, often for many months and even many years.

Britain has a long tradition of legal protection for civil liberties. This tradition is undermined every day that migrants are detained without time limit. Many people experience long-term damage to their physical and mental health. Their families also experience the distress of separation. Detention without time limit damages the UK’s international reputation for defending human rights.

Souleymane, who has experienced the trauma of indefinite detention, has said that:

In prison, you count the days down [till your release].  In detention, you count the days up.

Time4aTimeLimitAs Detention Action’s recent report on the State of Detention in the UK shows, the statistics on indefinite detention are disturbing and yet even they do not paint the full picture:

In 2013, 904 migrants left detention after spending more than six months locked up; 237 more were still in detention at the end of the year, suggesting that 1,141 people went past six months in detention during the year. However, these statistics are misleading, as they arbitrarily exclude migrants whom the Home Office chooses to detain in prison, although their legal status is no different. Read more

Campaign to Close Campsfield

February 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Indefinite detention, News, Reports

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Campaign to Close CampsfieldThe current plans are to double the size of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre – IRC.  The Home Office and Ministry of Justice are pressing ahead before the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention has made its recommendations, and at a time when the Home Secretary is concerned about conditions in IRCS.  There is unanimous opposition locally and across all parties.

Quakers in Oxford signed a joint letter with 20 other organisations expressing concern. Read more

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