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No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
Monday 27th November to Sunday 3rd December 2023

By the End of 2023 on Top of the 35.3 million Refugees we Already Have There Will be Upward of 2 Million New Refugees/Displaced People

This Additional 2 Million will be in the last Three Months of the Year

Home Office ‘Loses’ 17,000 People Whose Asylum Claims Were Withdrawn

Rishi Sunak has been accused of losing control of the UK’s borders after the Home Office admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of 17,000 people whose asylum claims have been withdrawn.

Amid a stalled Rwanda deportation scheme and rising costs for housing people seeking refuge in hotels, senior civil servants in the department were told by the Conservative MP and deputy party chair Lee Anderson they “hadn’t got a clue” after failing to provide answers on people seeking refuge in the UK or foreign offender removals. His comments emerged an hour before the prime minister was accused by the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, of facing an “open revolt” from the Tories after “losing control of the borders”.

At a meeting of the home affairs select committee, the Conservative MP Tim Loughton questioned why 17,316 asylum claims had been withdrawn in the year to September 2023 and whether the Home Office knew where the former claimants were. Simon Ridley, the interim second permanent secretary at the Home Office, replied it was not fortuitous. “In dealing with a lot of older cases there have been some of those people who have absconded at that point,” he said. Asked by Loughton if he had any idea where those 17,316 people were, Ridley said: “I don’t think we know where those people are, no.”

Read more: Rajeev Syal, Guardian, https://is.gd/t8YYnq

Foreign Care Workers Invited to UK ‘Exploited on Grand Scale’

Foreign care staff invited to the UK to help fix a chronic worker shortage are being “exploited on a grand scale”, a trade union has said, after it emerged some had been effectively paid as little as £5 an hour and charged thousands of pounds in unexpected fees.

One worker from Botswana being helped by the healthcare union Unison said she worked in domiciliary care from 6am to 10pm six days a week but was paid less than half the legal minimum. The Wiltshire company laid her off after losing the council care contract and now she fears deportation. Another company in Cambridgeshire, which recruited from abroad, shut last week, leaving workers fearing deportation.

In another case, cited by the union, an employer demanded £4,000 for “training costs” when a migrant care worker tried to leave for a job in the NHS and a third care worker was hit with hidden administration fees including £395 for a “cultural induction”.

Read more: Robert Booth, Guardian, https://is.gd/GBTJK0

Four Looming Problems in the UK Asylum System and How to Address Them

The asylum system seems finally to have turned a corner: the asylum backlog is starting to fall. Lots of asylum decisions are now being made. But what happens to the new refugees and those who are refused?

The backlog is the single most important problem with the asylum system. Unlike arrivals, it is something the government can control. It creates huge financial costs for the taxpayer. It sucks money out of the international aid budget. It distracts ministers and officials from other issues. The thought of asylum seekers staying in hotels is politically toxic. It is also terrible for the refugees waiting interminably for a decision. Their lives are on hold, they live in destitution-level support in poor accommodation and they are prevented from working or doing anything productive. Eventually 75% will be recognised as refugees and become permanent members of our society. Making their lives so miserable and difficult rather than helping them get on their feet is not a good idea for any of us. And, as we will see, barely anyone who is refused asylum is removed from the UK anyway.

The only group to benefit from the long waiting times are those whose cases will ultimately fail; by the time that happens they will have been living here for years and it will be even harder for the government to remove than would otherwise have been the case.

Here ‘Freemovement’ is going to take a look at what is really going on with the main features of the contemporary asylum system: arrivals, the backlog, appeals and removal. The information is drawn mainly from the quarterly immigration statistics and transparency data for the year ended September 2023, the most recent available at the time of writing.

Read more: Freemvement, https://is.gd/V36gu2

UK Must Improve Labour Market Enforcement in Order to Tackle Exploitation of Workers

The UK is falling significantly short of international labour standards. In fact, the government’s labour migration policy and wider hostile environment actively produces risks of labour exploitation. In 2022, labour exploitation was the most commonly reported form of adult modern slavery cases recorded on the National Referral Mechanism, amounting to 39% of all recorded cases.

Additionally, there have been an increasing number of reports of labour exploitation resulting from newly created and expanding visa routes such as the health and care worker visa and seasonal worker scheme (as discussed in a recent Free Movement podcast). In many of these cases, such instances of labour exploitation largely fly under the radar where they are not seen to meet the threshold for modern slavery, despite often significant harm.

The UK has ratified a large number of international conventions and protocols creating a raft of obligations. This article seeks to non-exhaustively set out some of the key areas in which the UK is failing to meet their own obligations and abide by international best practice on preventing labour exploitation.

Read more: Freemovement, https://is.gd/ie5CCa

16 Days of Activism’ to End Gender-Based Violence at Work

Thanks to the efforts of feminists, trade unionists, and human rights activists, violence against women, once a normalized practice, is now widely acknowledged as a human rights violation – including in the world of work.

From the struggle of domestic workers campaigning for legal protections in Indonesia to women athletes fighting against sexual abuse in sports, activists and trade unionists have pushed their governments for change. This collective effort gave rise to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Violence and Harassment at Work (C190), a landmark treaty that lays out comprehensive standards for preventing and responding to violence and harassment at work. As of November 14, thirty-six countries have ratified the convention.

During this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, a global campaign spanning November 25 to December 10, Human Rights Watch will highlight the stories of activists pushing their governments to end violence and harassment, including by ratifying C190.

Read more: Negar Mohtashami Khojasteh ,Macarena Sáez, Human Rights Watch


Texas: “Operation Lone Star” Kills 74 Migrants

In movies, police car chases are dramatic and exciting. In real life, they’re pointless and deadly.

This could be nowhere more clear than in Texas under the US state’s anti-migrant program called “Operation Lone Star,” which pressures law enforcement to pursue at high speeds cars thought to contain migrants. A new report shows a third of these chases involve speeds of more than 100 miles per hour (161 kph), and one was clocked at 180 miles per hour (290 kph).

The fatal result of people driving so recklessly is hardly surprising. In the first 29 months of the state initiative, dangerous chases have killed at least 74 people and injured at least 189. Along with drivers and passengers, bystanders have also been among the dead, including a seven-year-old girl out to get ice cream with her grandmother.

These tragedies are so senseless and avoidable. But such are the demands and expectations created by Operation Lone Star that these car chases keep happening.

Read more: Human Rights Watch, https://is.gd/Es9KPn

‘Many Care Homes Wouldn’t be Here Without Foreign Workers

Proposed policies restricting numbers and rights of foreign health workers create alarm among care home operators. For years, Mike Padgham just couldn’t get the staff. When he would post job ads for vacancies at his five care homes in Yorkshire, he’d get very few responses. But early last year, the government opened a new immigration route, expanding the health worker visa scheme to include care workers. Since then, Padgham’s company, St Cecilia’s Care Group, has hired 32 overseas staff members – mostly from India, Ghana and Zimbabwe. It’s not a “cheap fix”, Padgham says: the company covers the costs of recruitment, and when they arrive, the staff are paid the same as their UK colleagues. But without the overseas recruits, he believes at least two of his care homes, unable to meet minimum safe staffing levels, would have faced being forced to close.v

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has drawn up plans to restrict foreign health and care workers to bringing one relative each to the UK. Some reports suggest the Home Office could ban them from bringing dependants altogether. Other plans being considered include a cap on the number of NHS and social care workers hired from abroad, and changes to the minimum salary overseas workers must be paid.

Read more: Shanti Das, Observer, https://is.gd/YJOO3A

Nigerian Communities Can Bring Rights Claims Against Shell for Oil Pollution

The High Court has ruled that 13,000 Nigerian fishermen and farmers at the centre of a major oil pollution case against Shell can bring claims for breaches of their right to a clean environment under Nigerian constitutional law. If the case succeeds at trial, it will be the first time in legal history that a UK multinational will have been found to have breached a communities’ right to a clean environment.

The move is a major development in the landmark legal claim by the Ogale and Bille communities, who have been fighting the oil giant for a clean-up and compensation after the pollution devastated the area, leaving them without clean water and unable to farm and fish.

The judge found it could be argued the pollution has fundamentally breached the villagers’ right to a clean environment under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter and those constitutional rights were directly enforceable and can be relied upon against companies like Shell. Importantly, such claims have no limitation period, meaning Shell would not be able to evade liability on the grounds the communities did not bring their claims within a narrow time frame.

Read more: Leigh Day, https://is.gd/nrrmhB

IRR: Challenging Media Double Standards - Resetting the Agenda

The role of an objective press should be to present the facts and inform the public about what is happening in the world. But the mainstream media, wanting to set the 24-hour news agenda and shape public opinion, have long since jettisoned such an approach.

Over the last few weeks, however, we have seen welcome signs that the mainstream media may have lost its knack for shaping public opinion. Daily mobilisations in support of a permanent ceasefire in Gaza in towns and cities across the country have posed a direct challenge to the media’s double standards in reporting from Israel and the Occupied Territories.

These double standards are visible in the offensive presentation of Palestinian lives as less worthy of saving than others, the inflammatory use of language that treats Palestinians en masse as guilty, coupled with insensitive or downright hostile interviewing of British Palestinians who have lost family members in the conflict and an uncritical acceptance of all information coming from the Israeli authorities, which is presented as fact before verification.

It is not just the media’s double standards on Israel/ Palestine that have been challenged this week; the right-wing media’s anti-immigration agenda is now threatened too, by the Supreme Court’s ruling that the government’s Rwanda plan is unlawful, and the sacking of the right-wing media’s darling, Suella Braverman.

Naturally, none of this has caused the media to change its tune, either in terms of reporting on the carnage in Palestine or a miraculous conversion to a human rights-based approach to asylum seekers. On the contrary, if the media cannot shape public opinion, the media will reject public opinion! And that’s precisely what it has been doing these last weeks, denigrating those who call for a ceasefire as at best, naive and ill-informed, and at worst dangerous, guilty by association with – or rather by non-active disassociation from – Hamas.

Read more: Institute of Race Relations (IRR), https://is.gd/5mpap9

Thanks to Positive Action in Housing for Supporting the Work of No Deportation's

Positive Action in Housing - Working Together to Rebuild Lives

An independent, Anti-Racist Homelessness and Human Rghts Charity Dedicated to

Supoorting Refugees and Migrants to Rebuild Their Lives.


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