500,000 Children into Poverty as Queen gets 1.79 Million Pay Rise
Over half a million more children will be forced into poverty by the time of the next election because of the Government's tax, benefit and spending changes, the Children's Commissioner for England warns today. New research for the Commissioner, analysing the effects of Coalition's policies on young people, found that while families with children make up 32 per cent of working population they will bare over half the costs of the Government's austerity drive. As a result around three million children will be living in poverty by 2015 - 600,000 more than in 2010.
As the Chancellor was announcing his destitution programme it was also announced that the Queens pocket money will be increased by 1.79 million from £36.1m to £37.89m, a nice rise if you can get it.
No Forced Returns to DR Congo Before February 2014???
[Treat this message with care and if you think it affects you, consult a good immigration advisor] It is being suggested by the Home Office representatives appearing before Tribunals in bail applications that there will be no forced returns to Democratic Republic of Congo before February 2014. A Judicial review will be heard on 19 February 2014 in the High Court looking at the issue of safety of returns to DRC for failed asylum seekers on the basis of comments made by the DRC ambassador to the UK government. [Case references Rugombagabo (CO/7194/2012) and D(DRC)(CO/5969/2012)]. There is nothing in writing from the Home Office to confirm their current policy on removals of failed asylum seekers to DRC but may be worth raising the issue of pending litigation on safety of removal to DRC if clients are in detention or at risk of removal.
Deportation on Suspicion - Operation Nexus
The Met has announced that it plans to use Operation Nexus, its joint operation with the Home Office which has led to immigration officials being embedded in seventy-two police custody suites across the capital, to deport an extra 2,400 'foreign criminals' each year. But the Home Office will not apparently await the outcome of criminal trials, but will initiate deportation proceedings straight away, and Met police intelligence files will be used to persuade the immigration tribunal that deportation is justified.
Read more: Frances Webber, <> IRR June 20th 2013
£3,000 Bond For Visitors From "High-Risk" Countries
Theresa May is pressing ahead with a controversial scheme to force visitors from "high-risk" countries in Asia and Africa to pay a "security bond" of £3,000 before they are allowed into Britain. Immigration groups have threatened legal action over a scheme they have condemned as discriminatory because it omits applicants from "white Commonwealth" countries. But the Home Secretary, who has overseen a fall of one-third in net migration levels, believes the moves are an essential step to deter people from overstaying their visitor visas.
Read more: Nigel Morris,<> Indpendent, 23/06/13
Early Day Motion 287: Women's Rights In Saudi Arabia
That this House expresses concern at the continuing guardianship policy in Saudi Arabia which prohibits women from travelling, participating in higher education, marrying, conducting official business or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission of a male guardian; believes such a policy fundamentally harms the interests of women in the kingdom and draws attention to a case highlighted in Human Rights Watch's 2013 world report where a woman seriously injured in a car accident which had killed her husband had an operation delayed due to not having a male guardian to authorise the procedure; opposes further discriminatory policies such as the ban on female drivers and expresses solidarity with campaigns such as Women2Drive which is seeking to overturn these; is disappointed that in custody disputes courts in the kingdom typically award custody of female children over the age of seven and male children over the age of nine to the father; expresses particular concern about the plight of female migrant domestic workers who require a sponsor's consent to change jobs or leave the country and often face severe psychological, physical and sexual abuse; and calls on the UK Government to publicly oppose all gender discrimination in practice and law in Saudi Arabia, make representations to its Saudi counterparts pressing them to safeguard women's rights in the kingdom as a matter of urgency and place women's rights at the centre of its relationship with the kingdom.
Sponsors: Clark, Katy/ Corbyn, Jeremy / Flynn, Paul / Hopkins, Kelvin / Riordan, Linda / Ward, David - <> House of Commons: 20.06.2013
Long Arm of the Law, Oops, Sorry, Meant Long Arm of G4S
G4S controls 18 operational and organizational services within the Lincolnshire Police force, including the control room, the crime management bureau, firearms licensing and custody, and is responsible for 575 police staff.
Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002
Lord Avebury to ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the case of The Queen (on the application of JB) (Jamaica) v the Secretary of State for the Home Department (C5/2012/1662) they will seek to amend section 94(4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 to reflect the finding that Jamaica is not a safe country for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people; and whether they will review the status of other countries designated as safe under section 94(4), with a view to protecting the rights of appeal of LGBT people to appeals against refusal of asylum claims on the grounds of their sexual orientation.[HL893]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The Government is carefully reviewing the full implications of the Court of Appeal's judgement in this case before it decides the extent of its response.
<> House of Lords / 26 Jun 2013 : Column WA148
Early Day Motion 301: £3,000 Visa Bond
That this House recognises the enormous importance of family visits for weddings, funerals and other special gatherings to many UK citizens with relatives living abroad; considers that visitor visas should only be issued to those whom entry clearance officers reasonably believe will comply fully with these visa conditions and leave the UK at the end of their permitted stay; and believes that those applicants who do not satisfy this test should not be able to secure a visa by offering to provide a £3,000 financial bond, as this is to erode immigration rules and discriminate against poorer families, and expose the UK to the accusation of operating a colour-coded immigration policy.
Primary sponsor: Gardiner, Barry / <> House of Commons: 26.06.2013
Violence Against Women World Wide Epidemic
Physical and sexual violence against women is more common than most health risks that affect women most, such as breast cancer. An estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner, or sexual violence by a stranger. The World Health Organization calls this a public health problem of epidemic proportions.
Domestic violence truly happens everywhere. Though there are clear differences between regions, the World Health Organization statistics—and Human Rights Watch's work around the world—show the global nature of this human rights abuse.
As a woman, you're more likely to be murdered by your partner than by a complete stranger.
Read more: <> Human Rights Watch, 24/06/13
Early Day Motion 294: Persecution of Christians in Sudan
That this House recognises the current persecutions of Christians in Sudan; expresses grave concern at the treatment of Christians in that country; and asks the Secretary of State for International Development to apply diplomatic pressure to see a change brought about to the policy of the government of Sudan which is leading to the removal of missionaries and the persecution of people who convert from Islam.
Sponsors: Shannon, Jim / Durkan, Mark / Russell, Bob
<> House of Commons: 24.06.2013
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 330
Commentary on UKBA Afghanistan Operational Guidance Note
This commentary identifies the main inconsistencies and omissions between the available country of origin information and case law and the conclusions reached in the current Afghanistan OGN (issued in June 2013). The commentary is intended as a tool to assist legal practitioners and to help ensure that all relevant material is considered by decision-makers. Download the report <> here . . . .
Previous commentaries on Afghanistan, DRC, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, OPT, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Zimbabwe can be accessed at http://stillhumanstillhere.wordpress.com/resources/
Worsening Violence Against Children In Afghanistan
121 killed and 293 injured: The number of children killed or injured as a result of the on-going conflict in Afghanistan is on the rise, with a 27 per cent increase in the first four months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. From 1 January to 30 April this year, 414 conflict-related child casualties were recorded, compared to 327 recorded during the same period last year. Such a sharp rise early in the year raises serious concerns.
The United Nations Secretary-General's report on Children and Armed Conflict released this week reveals that 1,304 child casualties were recorded in Afghanistan in 2012, resulting from actions by all parties to the conflict. These casualties are unacceptable and the increase in the first months of 2013 is very worrying.
Read more: <> Reliefweb, 21/06/13
Vietnamese Child Trafficking Victims Conviction sQuashed
Three children from Vietnam who were trafficked to the UK and forced to work for criminal gangs have had their criminal convictions quashed. The children were arrested after police raids on cannabis factories and later convicted of drug offences. In an unrelated case, a woman from Uganda had her conviction for carrying false documents overturned. The court ruled the four should not have been prosecuted because they were victims of a "vile trade in people". Lawyers for the four argued they should not have been prosecuted because they were all victims of trafficking.
The Court of Appeal overturned all four convictions and has issued guidance to courts about how potential trafficking victims should be treated by the criminal justice system.
'Victims of crime' Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice, said: "This vile trade in people has different manifestations. Whether trafficked from home or overseas, they are all victims of crime. That is how they must be treated and, in the vast majority of cases they are, but not always.'"
The guidance issued makes it clear it is not for the courts to decide whether someone should be prosecuted. But in cases where issues of trafficking arise, the court can stop the prosecution if it is thought the defendant is a trafficking victim and committing offences as a result of their exploitation. Lord Judge told the court he understood that the Director of Public Prosecutions was to "reconsider" what discretion prosecutors have in relation to trafficking victims.
<> BBC News, 21.06/13