OutCry! campaign update – help us to end the immigration detention of children

We hope that 2010 is treating you well so far. There’s lots to tell you about the OutCry! campaign and the momentum that is now building to end the immigration detention of children. And so much of this momentum is down to all of you who have helped take action on this issue, whether by sending a Christmas card to the Immigration Minister, spreading the word about OutCry!, signing petitions, contacting your MPs, gaining media coverage of the issue in your local area – the list goes on! So a huge thank you and well done to every individual, organisation or campaigning group who has raised the issue. Read on to find out what you can do next to help the campaign, especially using our easy online tool to email your local newspaper editor. Continue reading “OutCry! campaign update – help us to end the immigration detention of children”

Migration and Sanctuary – questions for prospective MPs


The right to asylum is a sign of our common humanity. Both practically and theologically we are responsible for one another. Our mutual responsibility cannot stop at national boundaries. Claims for asylum form a small part of the total annual migration to the UK. Both planned immigration (via work permits, study visits etc) and migration in response to persecution have contributed hugely to the richness of culture and diversity in the UK. Immigration is, however, a sensitive political issue. There is a current debate about an appropriate and sustainable level of population growth. Some people fear that changes to culture and society will mean that their traditional way of life is threatened. These fears have been exploited by extremist political parties.

There were 25,000 asylum applications in 2008, down from 84,000 in 2002. Continue reading “Migration and Sanctuary – questions for prospective MPs”

Don’t push asylum seekers deeper into poverty – email your MP now. It takes 2 minutes

38-degreesTell your MP to make a stand against asylum seekers being forced deeper into poverty. Email them now and ask them to tell the Home Secretary it’s time for a rethink.

If we all contact our MPs now and get them to contact the Home Secretary Alan Johnson, he will get a powerful message at just the right time.


About 38 Degrees

38 Degrees is the angle at which an avalanche happens. In the UK, 38 Degrees will enable people to act together, to create an avalanche for change.


Events coming up

medical-justiceMotherland, with Juliet Stevenso:

Following sell-out performances at the Young Vic in London, the true acount of women and children detained in Yarl’s Wood comes to Bedford.
One evening only – 7.30pm Thursday January 14th 2010
The Civic Theater, 2 Horne Lane, Bedford, MK40 1RA. Map .
(10 minutes walk from Bedford station, 37 minutes by train from London St Pancras) Continue reading “Events coming up”

Liberty Election Pledge


  • Before the next election, Liberty is calling on all MPs and parliamentary candidates to sign our asylum election pledge.

    Ask your MP to remember Britain’s history as a place of refuge for the persecuted. Show your representatives that you reject xenophobia in discussions about asylum and immigration policy.

    Asylum Election Pledge

    “There is no place for racism and xenophobia in modern British politics. Nor is democratic debate advanced by the denigration of the most vulnerable in our country, including children and asylum seekers who do not enjoy the right to participate in elections.

    I promise to remember the importance of refugee protection, even in free and wide-ranging debates about immigration policy. I will never play fast and loose with the proud tradition of a nation that must always offer succour to those in genuine fear of persecution.”

The Sanctuary Pledge

quaker_home_themeBritain has a proud history of providing sanctuary to people fleeing from persecution and tyranny.

Our nation provided sanctuary to Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in 17th century France, Jews fleeing the Nazi regime in the 1930s, Ugandan Asians forced out by Idi Amin in the 1970s, Bosnians escaping ethnic cleansing in the 1990s and Zimbabweans seeking a safe haven today. Our tradition of providing sanctuary is part of what makes Britain great.

That tradition is under threat.

In recent years the rise of extremist politics, media scare stories, and high profile failings by the Home Office have led to this issue becoming a political football.

Yet over two-thirds of the public still think it is important that the UK provides sanctuary to people fleeing persecution. We agree. We believe that sanctuary should not just be part of the UK’s history. It should be part of our future too.

The Sanctuary Pledge is our response. We need ordinary citizens – like you – to convince your political representatives to sign the Sanctuary Pledge at the 2010 General Election.

Please help us to rebuild support for sanctuary.

Attend a Sanctuary Pledge training session to learn how to negotiate effectively and commit to becoming a Sanctuary Champion

There are 14 training sessions across the UK. Places are free but you must register. Click here for details of when and where to train.

STEP 2. Build a delegation of people to meet with your Parliamentary Candidates

Build a small but strong and diverse negotiation team of community leaders.

STEP 3. Arrange for your delegation to meet your Parliamentary Candidates

We can provide you with the contact details of your local Prospective Parliamentary Candidates and a briefing pack. Contact training@sanctuarypledge.org.uk for more information.

STEP 4. Negotiate with your Parliamentary Candidates

Meet individually with your Parliamentary Candidates and ask them to sign up to the Sanctuary Pledge.

Explain the number of people you represent and how important this issue is to you and them. Tell them they will be asked publicly whether they have signed the Pledge.

STEP 5. Take action to publicise the Sanctuary Pledge

Ask a question about the Pledge at hustings events. Plan a media event to highlight the Pledge and engage the Candidates

Encourage your local churches, mosques, synagogues, schools or other institutions to learn about sanctuary and take action to support the Pledge. You can find lots of ideas here.

STEP 6. Meet with the elected MP six months later to review progress

Ask the candidates to commit to meet you six months after the election if they get elected.

Hold them to account for the commitments they made.


More ideas about what you can do about children in immigration detention


End Child Detention Now is a citizens’ initiative which sprang from a successful campaign to release a Barnsley born toddler and his parents from Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre where he had been held for more than three weeks in July 2009.
Ibrahim is one of the more than 2,000 asylum seeking children that are held in immigration detention centres in the United Kingdom each year.

With our votes, our voices and our determination we have the power to end child detention now.

Please join us by signing the No.10 petition, by contacting your local MP (if you are not sure who he or she is you can find out by visiting theyworkforyou.com) and urging them to sign the early day motion in the name of Chris Mullin, writing to your local newspaper, writing to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown, the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Alan Johnson, and the Immigration Minister, Rt Hon Phil Woolas.  More on the website: http://ecdn.org/about/

Doctors’ petition : “Stop the Administrative Detention of Children and Families” – ask your doctor to sign it

mj1Doctors’ petition : “Stop the Administrative Detention of Children and Families”

This doctors’ petition is being publicly launched today. The last doctors’ petition of that Medical Justice co-ordinated attracted over 700 doctors’ signatures.  This petition is expected to get more signatures.  Please circulate and ask doctors to sign.  Signature so far include ;
* Lord Alderdice
* Iona Heath, President, Royal College of General Practitioners
* Sir Iain Chalmers
* Professor Cornelius Katona Consultant Psychiatrist
* Dr Jonathan Fluxman, GP
* Dr Nick Lessof, Consultant Paediatrician
* Dr Frank Arnold, Clinical Director, Medical Justice