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Monday 15th July to Sunday 21st July 2024

An unprecedented 108.4 million people around the world have been forced from their homes - every 2 Seconds a Person is Displaced according to UNHCR

Ukrainian Refugees at Risk of Homelessness and Exploitation in UK

Thousands of Ukrainian refugees who fled to the UK seeking sanctuary after Russia’s invasion have been placed at risk of homelessness and exploitation in the UK, according to the British Red Cross.

A report by the humanitarian organisation found that while overall the UK government’s schemes provided a lifeline to families seeking sanctuary, some Ukrainians faced weaknesses in safeguarding procedures and a lack of sufficient training and ongoing support for hosts.

Since the start of the Homes for Ukraine scheme in 2022, more than 9,000 out of about 200,000 families accommodated in the UK have been placed at risk of homelessness. This is often due to a breakdown of relationships with host families and difficulties in accessing the private housing market. Ukrainians were found to be four times as likely as the general population to experience homelessness.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://shorturl.at/fILVx

New EU Leadership Should Uphold the Right to Asylum in Europe

Member States Should Abandon Schemes to Outsource Processing

(Brussels Tuesday 9th July) – The EU and its member states should safeguard the right to territorial asylum in Europe, Human Rights Watch and more than 95 other organizations said in a statement released today. The recent and increasing attempts by several European Union member states to outsource asylum processing and refugee protection to countries outside the EU – such as in the Italy-Albania agreement on migration – contravene their legal responsibilities toward people in need of protection.

“All EU member states are obliged to ensure the right to asylum under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,” said Iskra Kirova, Europe and Central Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Neither the Charter nor the recently adopted EU Pact on Migration and Asylum provides any option for countries to transfer asylum seekers for processing to countries outside of the EU.”

The European Commission should firmly reject calls to facilitate shifting asylum processing outside EU territory, the groups said. Wherever such externalization schemes have been attempted, they have been rife with rights violations. They may place asylum seekers in prolonged detention in countries that lack capacity to fairly and fully examine claims and provide protection, leaving them in limbo and denying them crucial legal safeguards, while costing taxpayers inordinate sums.

Proposals to externalize asylum processing come against the backdrop of increased efforts by the European Commission to reach controversial deals and provide hefty migration cooperation funds to neighbouring countries to keep migrants outside of Europe, with little or no attention to much needed human rights safeguards, the groups said.

“Instead of wasting further time and resources on proposals incompatible with EU law and human rights commitments, the EU should support humane, sustainable, and realistic reception and asylum processing policies in EU territory,” said Kirova. “Such policies would benefit both the people seeking protection and the communities that welcome them.”

NGOs Joint Statement: EU Must Uphold the Right to Asylum In Europe







Home Office Required to Apologise Over ‘Devastating’ Asylum Approval Errors

The Guardian reports that the Home Office has apologised to asylum seekers who were granted leave to remain in the UK, only to have their approvals retracted. Some applicants, who had been mailed official residency permits, were instructed to destroy them. The Home Office has explained this was due to a ‘technical fault in our system’.

Charities have suggested there are multiple cases where individuals and their families had been celebrating being granted leave to remain in the UK to then be informed of Home Office’s error. The number of individuals affected by the error has not been disclosed.

The Guardian article gives an insight into the impact this has had on those involved. One asylum seeker explained: ‘I was so happy to receive this letter… I and my family had been left in limbo for two years not knowing what was going to happen to me. But then a few weeks later I got another letter telling me the Home Office had made a mistake, that I hadn’t received refugee status after all and that I had to destroy the biometric residence permits they sent me’. This was followed by a letter apologising for the ‘technical error’ and ‘inconvenience caused,’ but he was asked to ‘cut up the cards’ and ‘take a picture of the pieces’ to send via email.

Read more: Kiera Duffy, Justice Gap, https://shorturl.at/StegL

UNHCR: Recommendations on Asylum and Refugees For Uk’s Labour Government

UN refugee agency calls on Government to repeal Illegal Migration Act and restore access to a fairer and more efficient asylum system

It follows on from a group of United Nations human rights experts issuing a press release on Wednesday welcoming the Government's confirmation that the asylum partnership with Rwanda is being scrapped. The experts said it was an important step to ensure the right to asylum for all people seeking protection in the UK, regardless of how they arrive.

In today's recommendations, the UNHCR calls on the UK Government to repeal the Illegal Migration Act 2023 and restore access to the asylum system for all arrivals in the UK, including those crossing the Channel. As part of the Conservative government's attempts to deter Channel crossings, the Illegal Migration Act prevents people from being admitted to the asylum system if they arrive in the UK irregularly.

The UNHCR noted: "Without lawful, operational readmission or transfer arrangements, asylum-seekers are left in limbo indefinitely, with consequences for their mental health and well-being, and mounting costs to the public purse. Paradoxically, for those without a valid basis to stay, it is impossible to remove them as their claims are not examined."

A number of recommendations are also made to reform the UK's asylum system, making it fairer and more efficient.

Read more: EIN, https://shorturl.at/Yetln

Those Who Use Hate Speech Need Education Not Court Fines

If you had made one racist remark (eg “go back to your own country”) to someone who annoyed you when you were drunk, would you say or admit that you “demonstrated hostility to the victim based upon their race” and were “motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards persons of a particular race”? Probably not. Lots of people say racist things without seeing themselves as racist. Any racist speech is clearly wrong and needs to be addressed, but how do we get those who make racist remarks to understand the harm they cause and change their behaviour?

Most people from minoritised communities have been subject to at least some racist remarks in their life. Most don’t report them to the police most of the time. They may not know that the racist remarks constitute a crime, or not want to criminalise the person who made them. But if the remarks cause or are likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress then they are crimes, and if they are “motivated by hostility” to a particular group (race/faith/LBGTQ+/disability) they are hate crimes. And thousands of people are convicted for hate crimes over things they’ve said. You can also be accused of hate crime if you physically attack someone because of your hostility to their identity.

Ever since the murder of Stephen Lawrence, victims’ groups have been focussed on getting the police and the courts to take hate crime seriously. They have succeeded in getting it treated in some ways more seriously than any other crime. Racist speech causes great harm, so victims groups’ focus on prosecution is understandable. But does it achieve what victims want?

Read more: Transform Justice, https://shorturl.at/zcvXk









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Opinions Regarding Immigration Bail

36 Deaths Across the UK Detention Estate

UK Human Rights and Democracy 2020

Hunger Strikes in Immigration Detention

Charter Flights January 2016 Through December 2020

A History of

Immigration Solicitors

Judicial Review

Villainous Mr O