News & Views Monday 28th March to Sunday 3rd April 2016  

Self-Harm (Suicide Attempts) in IRCs Reach All time High in 2015

There were 393 attempts (11% increase on 2014) by Immigration detainees across the detention estate, to self-harm throughout 2015, that is an average of more than one a day. Harmondsworth IRC had the highest number 105 and their were 64 attempts in Yarl’s Wood, The Verne 52, Morton Hall 51.

Two & half thousand (2,597) detainees were on suicide watch during 2015. 11 of these were children detained in The Cedars. Harmondsworth had the highest number 478, Brook House 364, Colnbrook 345, Yarl's Wood 335.

Their were two deaths both males in Immigration detention is 2015, one in The Verne in August and one Yarl’s Wood family unit in April.

Source for all data on ‘Self-Harm’ and those on ‘Self-Harm Watch’ Freedom of Information requests.

Complete statistics for 2015 Here . . . .

Statistics for the years 2007 through 2014 can be found here . . . .

Carlson Wagonlit Identified as Providers of Planes for Charter Flights

James Brokenshire: Forced Removals. The Home Office has a contract for the delivery of Travel Services with Carlson Wagonlit Travel Limited, which includes the provision of charter flights. The contract runs from 1st May 2010 and expires on 30th April 2017.

Number of Incidents of Self-Harm Requiring Medical Treatment October Through December - 2015
Total   October November Deccember
  Quarter 4
Brook House 10   10 4 2
Campsfield House 4   4 2 0
Colnbrook 6   6 3 1
Dover   Now Closed
Dungavel 0   0 0
Harmondsworth 10   10 3 4
Haslar 0   Now Closed
Morton Hall 23   23 9 4
The Verne 4   4 3 1
Tinsley House 2   2 0 0
Yarl's Wood 16   16 3 4
Larne 0   0 0 0
Pennine House 0   0 0 0
Cedars 0   0 0 0
Subtotal 75   32 27 16


Individuals on Formal Self-Harm at Risk in Immigration Detention October Through December - 2015
Total October November Deccember
Brook House 96 35 35 26
Campsfield House 39 12 20 7
Colnbrook 99 28 34 37
Dover 0 Now Closed
Dungavel 34 11 15 8
Harmondsworth 138 37 50 51
Haslar 0 Now Closed
Morton Hall 89 32 29 28
The Verne 58 24 15 19
Tinsley House 24 8 8 8
Yarl's Wood 82 25 36 21
Larne 6 3 1 2
Pennine House 4 0 4 0
Cedars Pre-departure 4 0 2 2
Subtotal   673 215 249 209


EU Drafts Plans to Return 80,000 Afghan Asylum Seekers/Refugees

Struggling to cope with the influx of Syrians, the European Union has drafted confidential plans to send 80,000 Afghan asylum seekers and refugees back to the war-torn country. Afghanistan's Government opposes the plan, saying it cannot guarantee their safety and does not have the resources to resettle them. The document, marked "restricted", discusses possible financial incentives to make the plan viable, including for potential forced returns. Hafiz Ahmad Miakhel, spokesman for Afghanistan's Refugee and Repatriation minister, said it could not accommodate such a vast number. "For now the Afghan Government is opposite [sic] for the forcible deportation because the situation is not good in Afghanistan," Mr Miakhel said. The EU's options paper states returns would not be possible to all provinces for safety reasons, and acknowledges yet more people are likely to flee due to the Taliban's advance.

Read more: ABC Net, 31/03/2016

Am I British? Revocation of Citizenship and Other Scenarios

The 2014 Immigration Act profoundly altered the appeals regime and drastically reduced the number of appealable immigration decisions. At present, appeal rights exist in limited situations such as in the case of refusal of protection or human rights claims, EEA decisions and refusals of applications made before the 2014 Act came into force. It is also possible to appeal against Home Office's decisions to deprive someone of his or her British citizenships. Section 40(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 allows the Secretary of State to deprive someone of their British citizenship if this is conducive to the public good. Generally deprivation happens when the individuals are abroad and appeals are usually heard in front of the Special Immigration Appeals Commissions.

Even if it may be difficult to succeed, individuals whose status has been revoked have the opportunity to challenge the Secretary of State's decision to deprive them of their British citizenships. Furthermore, revocation has no retrospective effect but section 66(2) of the Immigration Act 2014 states that in certain circumstances the Secretary of State may take account of the manner in which a person conducted him or herself before this section came into force.  The British Nationality Act leaves third parties' rights unaltered. For example, a child born abroad who has acquired British nationality because of her father's British citizenship, will not lose her nationality if her father's citizenship is revoked.

Read more: Gherson Solicitors, 31/03/2016

High Court Rules Unremovable Iraqi Not Entitled to Leave to Remain

1. The applicant, a national of Iraq, seeks judicial review of the respondent's decision dated 30 September 2013 to refuse his fresh application for leave to remain in the United Kingdom on the basis of his asylum and human rights claim. The application, as amended, also includes a challenge to a further 'decision' of 31 December 2013, although the respondent's letter of that date was, at least in form, an answer to the applicant's solicitors' pre-action protocol letter challenging the decision of 30 September 2013, not a new decision.

2. The basis of the application is the allegation that the respondent failed to take into account a material consideration, namely, that the applicant, as an 'undocumented' national of Iraq, cannot be removed from the UK and has not been removable for many years. The applicant asserts that, if that factor is properly taken into account on a reconsideration, the respondent might determine that there are exceptional circumstances within paragraph 353B of the Immigration Rules which mean that removal from the United Kingdom is no longer appropriate. Paragraph 53.1.2 of Chapter 53 of the respondent's Enforcement Instructions and Guidance ('EIG') provides that if removal is no longer considered appropriate then discretionary leave to remain should be granted.

3. The applicant recognises, through his Counsel, Ms Nicola Braganza, that the fact that a person's removal from the UK cannot be enforced does not in itself entitle a migrant to leave to remain: see Hamzeh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 4113 (Admin) per Simler J, approved by the Court of Appeal under the name SH (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1469. The applicant's case is that there must nonetheless come a point where a failed asylum seeker has been 'irremovable' for so long that that becomes a material consideration for the purposes of paragraph 353B and that that line was crossed in the present case.

Full text of Judgment here . . . .

Home Office 'To Review' Policy on Returning Afghan Military Interpreters

The Home Office is reviewing its controversial policy of returning Afghan military interpreters to their home country after granting asylum to a former interpreter it initially tried to remove from the UK, according to lawyers involved in the case. The 31-year-old interpreter, who had worked with UK and other coalition forces for seven years on the frontline in the battle against the Taliban, is celebrating after being told by the Home Office on Thursday that he has been granted leave to remain in the UK, despite government officials trying to force him onto a plane back to Afghanistan last April. Lewis Kett, the interpreter’s representative at Duncan Lewis solicitors, welcomed the news and said Home Office officials informed him at an earlier court hearing that a review of the policy of returning interpreters to Afghanistan is underway.
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, 25/03/2016

Actors & Writers Call on Cameron to Increase Help For Refugee Children

Some of Britain’s most high-profile actors and writers, including the recent Oscar-winner Mark Rylance, Juliet Stevenson, Andrew Garfield, Steve Coogan, Michael Palin and Jude Law, have appealed to David Cameron to do more to help refugee children and divided families across Europe, ahead of a UN summit on Syrian refugees next week. In a letter to the Guardian, 80 public figures from the worlds of literature, theatre, music and business urged the prime minister to increase Britain’s resettlement commitment and to strengthen family reunion policies. The letter, backed by Citizens UK and Refugee Action, welcomed the UK’s commitment to resettling 20,000 of the most vulnerable refugees by 2020, but said it was not enough in the face of Syria’s growing humanitarian crisis.

Read more: Karen McVeigh, Guardian, 25/03/2016

UKHO CIG Kenya: Sexual orientation and Gender Identity

1.1 Basis of Claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution by the authorities and/or non-state actors because of the person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
1.2 Other points to note
1.2.1 This instruction refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons collectively, although the experiences of members of each group may differ.

Published on Refworld, 30/03/2016

UKHO CIG Turkey: HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party)

1.1 Basis of claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by state or non-state actors due to the person’s activities as a member or supporter of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party).

Published on Refworld, 30/03/2016

Last updated 1 April, 2016