News & Views Monday 26th December to Sunday 1st January 2017  
Calais Child Asylum Seekers Launch Legal Action Against UK Government

Thirty-six child asylum seekers who previously lived in the Calais refugee camp have issued a legal challenge to the home secretary. They claim Amber Rudd acted unlawfully in the way she handled their applications. It is the first-time children from the camp have taken individual legal action against the government. The children were dispersed across France after the site was dismantled on 31 October. Twenty-eight of those bringing the legal action have had their applications refused, while another eight are awaiting decisions from the Home Office.
Of the 28 refused, 11 are aged 14, seven are 15, nine are 16 and one is 17. Sixteen are from Eritrea, 11 are from Afghanistan and one is from Sudan. They have been dispersed to 15 reception centres around France. In the legal challenge the government is accused of reneging on its commitment to bring vulnerable accompanied refugee children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act, known as the Dubs amendment. This makes provision for particularly vulnerabl

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,
Down and Out in Calais and Paris 

Nearly two months after the eviction the wall is completed but there are still people crossing from Calais. According to the Police Aux Frontieres (PAF), still many people are arrested every week at the ferry port or near the Eurostar, though fewer than before the eviction of the ‘jungle’. They are now put in detention, even when ‘there is no genuine prospect to deport them’ as a PAF officer candidly admits to the local press. Very few people still sleep in the Calais area, hiding from the police who are everywhere looking for them. There are special patrols looking for squats and new camps. To prevent people from resettling anywhere is a priority and the gendarmerie have a new helicopter dedicated to that purpose. Yet people are still arriving, including unaccompanied minors, and they have nowhere to go. Sometimes they contact local associations who give them warm clothes and blankets, at least. There is a centre for minors in St Omer, some kids are taken there but it is very small and only for 5 days stay. So effectively kids and adults arriving in Calais are at risk of dying of cold, as there is no shelter whatsoever and no plan for the extreme cold.

Read more: Chiara Lauvergnac,

DRC Violence Spreads Amid Political Instability

Militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least 34 civilians over the weekend, the army and local activists said, the mounting violence stoking concerns over political instability. Attacks have surged across the country in the past week alongside violent protests over president Joseph Kabila’s failure to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate on Tuesday.  While it is not clear that all the violence is related, analysts fear political instability over Kabila’s tenure is stoking localised conflicts by creating security vacuums. At least 40 people died last week in protests against Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last Tuesday. The government says he will remain in office until an election can be organised in 2018.

Read more: Guardian,

Two Year Reconsideration Period For EU Deportations

Neither a decision to make a deportation order nor a notice of intention to make a deportation order triggers the two-year period specified in regulation 24(5) of the EEA Regulations. The two-year period begins upon the making of the deportation order itself.

Regulation 24(5) provides for automatic reconsideration of deportation decisions if a person receives a deportation order but it is not actioned for a two-year period. It reads: Where such a deportation order is made against a person but he is not removed under the order during the two year period beginning on the date on which the order is made, the Secretary of State shall only take action to remove the person under the order after the end of that period if, having assessed whether there has been any material change in circumstances since the deportation order was made, he considers that the removal continues to be justified on the grounds of public policy, public security or public health…

In this case the deportation order itself had not been made so the two-year period had not begun to run and there was no mandatory automatic reconsideration by the Secretary of State.

 32. As set out above, we conclude that there is nothing in the EEA Regulations or the Directive to prevent the making of a deportation order more than two years following a preliminary decision intimating an intention to make such order without first conducting a reassessment under Regulation 24(5). None of the Applicant's grounds of challenge is made out. For these reasons this application is dismissed.

Source: Queen on the application of Said Aitjilal,

CPI Note - Albania: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

1.1 Basis of claim 
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the state or by non-state actors due to a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation/gender identity. 

1.2 Points to note 
1.2.1 Where a claim is refused, it must be considered for certification under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 as Albania is listed as a designated state. 

Published on Refworld, 28/12/2016
Hunger Strikes in Immigrartion Removal Centres

The management of food refusal in IRCs is handled in line with Detention Services Order (DSO) 3/2013.

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 any individual over the age of 18 years has the legal right to refuse food and/or fluid. The Act assumes that a person has mental capacity to make their own decisions to refuse food and/or fluid unless it is established they lack that capacity.

IRC suppliers monitor detainees' attendance at mealtimes and keep records of those detainees who have not attended. The reasons for non-attendance are followed up after 24 hours. This information is reported daily to Immigration Enforcement staff at each centre who update a food and fluid refusal escalation log of all cases that have reached the 48 hour point (food refusal) or 24 hour point (fluid refusal). The log also records detainees who have resumed eating and /or drinking in the previous 24 hour period. Detainees who are refusing food and / or fluids are closely monitored by healthcare professionals.

Competent individuals (i.e. those that have been assessed as having mental capacity) are considered to be engaged in a food and/or fluid refusal when they fail to partake in scheduled meals for a period of 48 hours (for food) or 24 hours (for fluids), and have not been confirmed as eating food and/or taking fluid from another source (i.e. items purchased from an IRC shop) and have stated that their reasons for not eating or drinking is as a result of a protest or other grievance.

Number of Individuals Recorded as Refusing Meals in Immigration Removal Centres

Q1 & Q3 2016 and Q1 2015

Q1 2016 Jan Feb March
Brook House 100 36 40 24
Campsfield 11 4 2 5
Cedars 0 0 0 0
Colnbrook 14 6 3 5
Dungavel 0 0 0 0
Harmondsworth 23 2 4 17
Morton Hall 16 3 4 9
The Verne 3 0 2 1
Tinsley House 20 8 4 8
Yarl's Wood 66 19 20 27

Q3 2016 July August September
Brook House 66 23 23 20
Campsfield 6 2 1 3
Cedars 0 0 0 0
Colnbrook 10 4 3 3
Dungavel 6 1 4 1
Harmondsworth 35 8 11 16
Morton Hall 12 2 4 6
The Verne 9 6 2 1
Tinsley House 35 17 10 8
Yarl's Wood 39 19 7 13

Q4 2015 Oct Nov Dec
Brook House 83 28 25 30
Campsfield 30 8 11 11
Cedars 0 0 0 0
Colnbrook 28 11 11 6
Dungavel 0 0 0 0
Harmondsworth 29 6 10 13
Morton Hall 20 4 12 4
The Verne 5 0 1 4
Tinsley House 34 14 13 7
Yarl's Wood 55 16 22 17