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No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
Monday 2nd October to Sunday 8th October 2023

Thousands of Refugees Could be Made Homeless in UK Asylum Backlog Clearance

More than 50,000 refugees in the UK could be made homeless by the end of the year unless ministers take urgent steps to support them as it clears the asylum backlog, the British Red Cross has warned.

The government has pledged to process all “legacy” asylum applications – made before 28 June 2022 – by the end of the year. Based on those currently in asylum accommodation the charity estimates that 53,100 refugees will be at risk of homelessness if the government meets its target.

The problem has arisen because the Home Office has speeded up the 28-day “move-on” process – the period after which people are forced to leave their state-provided accommodation once granted refugee status, leaving some people with as little as seven days to move out.

The Red Cross is calling on the government to immediately reverse changes to the move-on period and extend it to 56 days to allow more time for newly recognised refugees to find housing, employment or benefits.

Read more: Diane Taylor and Sammy Gecsoyler, Guardian, https://tinyurl.com/mr2ka2c5

DR Congo Set For Record Levels of Grave Violations Against Children for Third Consecutive Year

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is on track to have record levels of verified grave violations against children for a third consecutive year in 2023.

Intensifying violence, massive displacement, and proximity of armed groups to communities are leading to an alarming increase in cases of killing, maiming, and abduction of children in DRC. If trends continue, the country is on track to reach new highs since the United Nations Monitoring and Reporting mechanism started in 2005, and surpassing records set in 2022.

“I met children who survived the horrors of recruitment and use by armed groups and the unspeakable trauma of sexual violence – atrocities that no one should experience, let alone children,” said Sheema Sen Gupta, UNICEF’s Director of Child Protection, during a week-long mission to DRC. “These harrowing stories underscore the urgency for the government to intensify its efforts to safeguard civilians – especially the most vulnerable, the country’s children – and actions needed from partners and donors to be able to scale up our prevention and response activities.”

Latest data shows there has been a 41 per cent increase in the number of verified grave violations against children in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period a year ago.

Read more: Relief Web, https://tinyurl.com/3pybe4nd

What is the Difference Between Refugee Status and Humanitarian Protection?

On the face of it, refugee status and humanitarian protection seem like two sides of the same coin. Both are a form of international protection granted to a person in need. Both result in a grant of five years’ permission to remain in the UK on a pathway to settlement after that. They give most of the same rights to work, study and access benefits.

But as we shall see, they are underpinned by different legal frameworks and refugee status is superior to a grant of humanitarian protection in some important ways.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/vvmhy7fc

LGBT+ People Face Persecution & are No Less Deserving of Protection

Last year 1,334 people came to the UK and claimed asylum based on their sexual orientation, amounting to 2% of all asylum claims. A lot of them are probably feeling quite frightened this morning after the Home Secretary has chosen to single them out for attack, as being undeserving of safety.

There are 66 countries in which same-sex sexual activity is illegal. In a large proportion of these countries, the laws are a legacy of British colonialism. The Prime Minister in 2018 said that:

I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. As the UK’s Prime Minister, I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced, and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/yc5tntze

Fairness in Safe 3rd Country Removals: COA Judgment In Asylum Aid’s Case

Readers of this blog will have noticed that the fairness of the Home Office’s procedure for deciding who to send to Rwanda is not among the issues being argued in the Supreme Court in October. This post highlights the important findings made by the Court of Appeal on procedural fairness and what it means for future third country procedures, including under the Illegal Migration Act.

Asylum Aid’s case
The procedure used by the Home Office to decide who to send to Rwanda in 2022 was deliberately designed to be quick. It was based on an assumption that the issues were simple, so that it would be unusual for there to be anything to really argue about. It started with a standard screening interview, followed by service of a notice of intent informing the person they may be removed to Rwanda.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/4j8etp74


Suella Braveman - ‘Multiculturalism’ has Proved ‘Toxic’ for Europe

Multi-culturalism has failed, according to the Home Secretary. Delivering a speech to the American Enterprise Institution, a hard right think tank based in Washington DC, Braverman laid out her political anti-philosophy. There was no positive vision in this speech – which also served as part of Braverman’s leadership pitch to the firmly right-wing membership of the Conservative Party, should Sunak lose next year’s general election – but a screed against what Braverman fears Britain is becoming under the pressure of ‘uncontrolled and illegal migration’.

According to this narrative, the national and cultural identities of the European nation states are being eroded by the swell of refugees washing up on European shores. Rather than slowly blending into and enriching the cultural character of Europe, new arrivals are juxtaposing themselves against it. They are asserting the right of their culture to be transplanted into British soil, existing as an alternative to British cultural norms rather than merging with and becoming a part of British culture.

Given Braverman’s background, the implication is that this is not what refugees and migrants used to do. Her vision is one of migrant assimilation, where pre-existing social shibboleths and cultural touchstones are absorbed by society’s newest members.

Read more: Nicholas Reed Langen, Justice Gap, https://tinyurl.com/3fxvtanw

75% of Asylum Seekers Crossing Channel Would be Recognised as Refugees in UK

A new briefing paper published Tuesday 2nd October, by the Refugee Council finds that three-quarters of people who have crossed the Channel via small boat so far in 2023 would be recognised as refugees if their asylum applications were processed.

The paper explains that the majority of the top nationalities crossing the Channel in 2023 have very high initial asylum grant rates.

"More than half (54 per cent) have come from just five countries – Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea, Syria and Sudan. The current grant rates for Afghans, Eritreans and Syrians are 97 per cent and above; for Turkey it is 83 per cent; Iran and Sudan it's 74 per cent and 85 per cent respectively," the Refugee Council notes.

While the overall number of people crossing the Channel is around 20 per cent lower this year than last, the Refugee Council explains that this is overwhelmingly due to the reduction in the number of Albanian nationals making the journey. Across other nationalities, there has been a 19 per cent increase in people crossing the Channel. Arrivals from countries such as Afghanistan, Turkey, Eritrea, Sudan, India and Vietnam have all increased this year.

Read more: EIN, https://tinyurl.com/48yuwbdx

Seekers Claim They Are Put in Isolation ‘For Feeling Depressed’

Asylum seekers housed at a controversial “prison-like” former RAF base claim they have been put in solitary confinement after complaining of depression. The charity Care4Calais is understood to have been made aware of a number of similar allegations. RAF Wethersfield – a remote, 800-acre site in Wethersfield, Essex, surrounded by barbed wire fences – is the government’s latest answer to housing asylum seekers. In theory, residents can come and go.

But openDemocracy has spoken to asylum seekers and advocates who allege some men have been quarantined in their rooms for 48 hours. Ali*, 24, escaped the Taliban earlier this year and is now living at the centre. He told openDemocracy: “I complained that I had depression because I was at Wethersfield and they locked me up in a room for two days. They’ve done this to me twice.”

Staff have now promised him medication, he said, but six weeks on he has yet to receive it. “It’s happened to other people too,” Ali added. “If they go and tell them they don’t feel well or they have depression… they lock them in a room for 48 hours and make them quarantine – and they’re not allowed out. Wethersfield is like a prison. It doesn’t feel like we’re in any kind of home or hotel room – we’ve just been thrown into a military-style prison camp.”

Read more: Nandini Archer, Open Democracy, https://tinyurl.com/acn4y5ne

Age Assessments: How to Challenge A Negative Decision

The impact of age assessment decisions on unaccompanied asylum seeking children coming to the UK is huge. As we explored in this earlier article, an age assessment decision will affect a young person’s entitlement to social work support and care. It will also have implications on how their asylum claim is dealt with by the Home Office and ultimately their ability to remain in the UK.

For these reasons, it is crucial that if a young person receives a negative age assessment decision, they are able to access effective legal advice on any potential challenges.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/yc5whm64

New Illegal Working Fines Will Not Stop Channel Crossings

Back in “Small Boats Week” during the summer, the government announced the tripling of employer penalties for illegal workers to £45,000 per worker. The immigration minister said that the increase was necessary because “making it harder for illegal migrants to work and operate in the UK is vital to deterring dangerous, unnecessary small boat crossings” and “illegal working and renting are significant pull factors for migrants crossing the Channel, where people smugglers will often use the promise of jobs and housing to lure people into making these journeys”.

The link between Channel crossings and illegal working fines on employers is extremely tenuous. The minister’s statement was presumably made in the full knowledge of the Home Office’s report from September 2020 on drivers and impact on asylum migration journeys. This states, under the heading ‘Access to labour market does not drive migration’ that:

Economic rights do not act as a pull factor for asylum seekers. A review of the relationship between Right to Work and numbers of asylum applications concluded that no study reported a long-term correlation between labour market access and destination choice.

The justification for the increase is therefore extremely flimsy. But it might well have other, unintended impacts.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/27uu3un4

New Requirement to Notify Independent Monitoring Authority of Claims

From 1 October 2023 any claim governed by the Civil Procedure Rules relating to a breach of citizens’ rights under the withdrawal agreements must be notified to the Independent Monitoring Authority.

The authority was set up under the terms of the withdrawal agreements with a duty to investigate breaches of citizens’ rights after Brexit. The authority can investigate complaints, launch inquiries, and take or intervene in legal action.

A new practice direction is being added to the Civil Procedure Rules to support the authority in fulfilling its statutory duty in relation to claims relating to EU and EEA ETFA citizens’ rights.

The new practice direction is “Claims relating to EU and EEA EFTA Citizen’s rights under part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement and part 2 of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement”. This requires a party serving a statement of case which raise a citizens’ rights issue to also send a copy of the statement to the authority.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/yufh64xe

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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