News & Views Monday 30 May to Sunday 5th June 2016  

Self-Harm in Immigration Detention Jan/Feb/Mar 2016

Total Jan Feb Mar
Quarter 1
Brook House 11 3 4 4
Campsfield House 2 1 1 0
Colnbrook 7 3 2 2
Dungavel 1 1 0 0
Harmondsworth 14 1 10 3
Morton Hall 2 1 1 0
The Verne 9 5 3 1
Tinsley House 3 2 0 1
Yarl's Wood 14 6 5 3
Larne 0 0 0 0
Pennine House 0 0 0 0
Cedars 0 0 0 0
Subtotal 63

Number of individuals at risk of self-harm Jan/Feb/Mar 2016

Total Jan Feb Mar
Brook House 128 43 43 42
Campsfield House 48 13 10 25
Colnbrook 99 38 27 34
Dungavel 24 12 7 5
Harmondsworth 148 47 52 49
Morton Hall 43 16 14 13
The Verne 68 20 25 23
Tinsley House 26 7 9 10
Yarl's Wood 77 31 22 24
Larne 8 6 0 2
Pennine House 1 0 0 1
Cedars Pre-departure 0 0 0 0
Subtotal   670      
Q1 - 670

UK Weapons Sales to Oppressive Regimes Top £3bn a Year

Big increase since 2014 in quantity of missiles and bombs sold to countries on Foreign Office’s list of human rights violators. The UK is selling record quantities of arms – including missiles, bombs and grenades – to countries listed by the Foreign Office as having dubious human rights records. Several have been accused of war crimes or suppressing popular protest. More than £3bn of British-made weaponry was licensed for export last year to 21 of the Foreign Office’s 30 “human rights priority countries” – those identified by the government as being where “the worst, or greatest number of, human rights violations take place”, or “where we judge that the UK can make a real difference”. Listed countries that last year bought British arms and military equipment include: ? Saudi Arabia, which has been accused of perpetrating war crimes in Yemen. ? Bahrain, which used troops to quell protests following the Arab spring. ? Burundi, which is being investigated by the UN for human rights violations. ? The Maldives, which in 2015 jailed its former president, Mohamed Nasheed, for 13 years following what critics said was a politically motivated show trial.

Read more: Jamie Doward, Observer,



Home office Charter Flights January Through March 2016

1. Number of males removed   438

2. Number of females removed   23

3. Number of escorts    875

4. Number of flights in total   10

5.  Destination Countries        
      Albania                 4 Flights             190 Returnees
      Nigeria/Ghana     2 Flights              78   Returnees
      Pakistan                4 Flights             193  Returnees

No children were removed on any of the flights

Source Freedom of Information request by ‘No-Deportations;

Growing Anti-Immigrant Sentiment and Islamophobia Among Key 2015 Trends

The ongoing migration crisis and the terror attacks were the key factors that influenced public debate and policies in Europe in 2015, said the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in its annual report published Thursday 26th May 2016. With Europe is witnessing an unprecedentedly high number of migrants and asylum seekers fleeing war, persecution and poverty, the commitment of many European countries to human rights-oriented migration policies was brought to the test.

Some governments resorted to restrictive border crossing measures, deterring migrants and asylum seekers from staying on their territories and criminalising the provision of aid to irregular migrants thus needlessly blurring the legal boundaries between abetting human trafficking or migrants’ smuggling and providing humanitarian assistance, the report says. In other countries, however, a “welcome culture” developed, where authorities and local volunteers dedicated their time and resources to assist the arriving people. In the second half of 2015, scepticism about the local ability to cope with the increasing number of migrants and asylum-seekers was voiced, against the background of openly xenophobic and islamophobic public debate and a number of attacks against reception centres.

“Countries need to combat racist violence and implement integration policies for migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees”, said Christian Ahlund, Chairperson of ECRI. “The principle of fair distribution is a key element for the development of effective policies in this delicate area.”

Read more: Council of Europe,

Scotland has Take In More Than a Third of all UK's Syrian Refugees

Home Office reveals 1,602 people have been resettled so far under plan to accept 20,000, with only 33 housed in London. The data, released on Friday by the Home Office, reveals that 1,602 people were resettled under the government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme (VPR) between October last year and March. It exposes a wide disparity in the acceptance rates of councils across the country. Scottish authorities have accepted 610 arrivals, including 68 in Renfrewshire, 58 in Argyll and Bute and 53 in Edinburgh alone. Councils in Yorkshire and the Humber have taken in 171 and 159 have gone to the West Midlands. Of the 33 London boroughs, by contrast, only Camden, Islington, Barnet and Kingston-upon-Thames have taken any refugees in the period. No councils in the north-west, including the 10 in Greater Manchester, accepted any refugees.

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 126

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 17 May and 30 May 2016.

European Countries Have to Prioritise Migrant Integration

Strasbourg, 31 May 2016 - “In the wake of the arrival of over one million people seeking protection in recent months, European countries share the common, pressing need to get integration right” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a report on migrant integration.
“After being consumed by short-term imperatives, such as reception and the processing of asylum claims, European governments have to focus now on the long-term goal of promoting the successful integration of migrants” said Commissioner Muižnieks.
The paper provides guidance to governments and parliaments to design and implement successful integration policies. In particular, it highlights the European standards which govern this field and sets forth a number of concrete recommendations to ease migrants’ integration, with a focus on family reunification, residence rights, language and integration courses, access to the labour market and quality education, effective protection from discrimination and political participation.

Read more: Council of Europe,

Theresa May Launches Sharia Law Review

An official review of the application of sharia law in England and Wales has been launched by the home secretary, Theresa May. The review forms part of the government’s counter-extremism strategy and will be carried out by a Home Office-appointed panel chaired by Prof Mona Siddiqui and including family law experts and a retired high court judge. The panel is to be advised by two imams who are religious and theological experts. May said the review would look into whether, and, if so, the extent to which sharia law was being misused or applied in a way that was incompatible with the rule of law in Britain. It would also assess ways in which sharia law may be causing harm in communities. The inquiry was expected to be completed by 2017.

The Home Office said there was evidence that some sharia councils were working in a “discriminatory and unacceptable” way, contrary to the teachings of Islam, such as seeking to legitimise forced marriage or issuing divorces that were unfair to women. May said: “Many British people of different faiths follow religious codes and practices, and benefit a great deal from the guidance they offer. “A number of women have reportedly been victims of what appear to be discriminatory decisions taken by sharia councils, and that is a significant concern. There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen.”

Read more: Alan Travis, Guardian,

Only 10 Migrants Arrive in Ireland Under EU Migrant Relocation Scheme

The Irish Government has only taken in 10 people under an EU migrant relocation scheme. Ireland has committed to accepting 2,622 people from Italy and Greece under the scheme. The Department of Justice has said the slow pace of the relocation programme is mainly due to difficulties in getting migrants to register in Italy and Greece. Sue Conlan the CEO of the Irish Refugee Council has said we have only accepted a very small amount of migrants so far. “Ten so far, it’s one family of ten have so far arrived who’ve been relocated from Greece,” said Conlan. “There are about another 30 on the way and thereafter the Irish Government have made a pledge that they’ll take 40 a month.”
Sue Conlan, Irish Refugee Council


Last updated 3 June, 2016