News & Views Monday 12th June to Sunday 18th June 2017  
Australia Agrees to Pay A$70m to Manus Island Detainees

The Australian government and its contractors have offered compensation totalling A$70m (£41m; $53m) to refugees detained in Papua New Guinea. The 1,905 claimants had alleged they suffered harm while being held on PNG's Manus Island between 2012 and 2016. The government said it "strongly denied" the allegations but that settling was a "prudent" decision. Australia turns away any refugees and asylum seekers arriving by boat and sends them to PNG and Nauru. It says this deters migrants from attempting the life-threatening voyage to its shores in trafficking boats.  The Manus case was due to be heard in the Victoria Supreme Court on Wednesday.

But shortly before the trial began, lawyers for the claimants said the government and its service providers had offered a last minute settlement of A$70m. They also offered to cover costs estimated to be more than A$20m. The full details of the settlement and the financial package are yet to be fully approved by the court.   But the policy has been heavily criticised both at home and internationally, including by the United Nations.

BBC `News:
EU Takes Action Against Eastern States For Refusing to Take Refugees

The European commission has launched a legal case against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in refugees, intensifying a bitter feud within the bloc about how to deal with migration. The Eurosceptic governments in Poland and Hungary have refused to take in anyone under a plan agreed by a majority of EU leaders in 2015 to relocate migrants from frontline states Italy and Greece to help ease their burden. The Czech Republic initially accepted 12 people but has since said it would not welcome more.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, the EU’s migration chief, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: “I regret to see that despite our repeated calls to pledge to relocate, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland have not yet taken the necessary action. “For this reason, the commission has decided to launch infringement procedures against these three member states … I sincerely hope that these member states can still reconsider their position and contribute fairly.”

Read more: Patrick Wintour,
Cholera Killing More People Than Bombs and Bullets in Yemen

According to the latest (and always growing) numbers, 923 people have died of cholera in Yemen since the end of April, 532 in May alone. For comparison, the UN recorded violent deaths of 98 civilians in May. When IRIN first reported on Yemen’s cholera outbreak in the middle of last month, it was bad: hospitals in the capital of Sana’a were overflowing, and humanitarians were racing to contain the disease. Aid agencies seemed to be ticking all the boxes: providing back-up for those medical facilities still operating in the midst of war, setting up centres to fight deadly dehydration, and chlorinating water that could spread the disease. But all the while, patients were likely passing cholera between each other in the very places they sought treatment. And in rural areas, with barely any health infrastructure or aid agency presence to serve the population or collect information on the scope of the problem, civilians were suffering at a scale much greater than anyone thought.

Read more: IRIN,
Migrant Domestic Workers - Still in the Dark, Still Disempowered

Last April, marked 12 months since changes were made to the immigration rules for migrant domestic workers. These changes followed the independent review by James Ewins who was asked to assess how far the then existing arrangements for workers were effective in protecting them from abuse. One of the main recommendations in the review and accepted by the government, was the introduction of group information meetings. These should provide a safe, comfortable and confidential space for workers to get independent information, advice and support concerning their employment and immigration rights while at work in the UK. They are also an opportunity for workers to come together, socialise and share their experiences with each other.

More than 12 months have passed since the government responded to the independent review and made changes to the immigration rules. During this time approximately 17,000 domestic workers will have arrived in the UK to work for their employer. Regrettably the government has still to implement the information meetings so workers remain uninformed of their rights in the UK. Unfortunately the changes made to the immigration rules are of no worth to domestic workers who are not aware of and are able to enforce their rights.

Read more: Kalayaan,
How Wars and Disasters Fuel Child Labor

An estimated 250 million children live in areas affected by armed conflict. Each year, almost 70 million children are affected by natural disasters. Many of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in conflict- and disaster-affected areas. Children also make up more than half of the 65 million people presently displaced by war.  Conflicts and disasters have a devastating impact on people's lives. They kill, maim and injure, force people to flee their homes, destroy livelihoods, push people into extreme poverty and starvation, and trap them in situations in which their human rights are violated. Conflicts and disasters push millions of children into child labour or into the hands of traffickers.  Internally displaced children and those who become refugees in other countries are particularly vulnerable.

During conflicts, children may be recruited, particularly by armed groups, to be used not only as combatants, but also as spies, helpers and porters - or become victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Besides the dangers of combat, they often suffer physical and psychological abuse, harsh duties and punishments, and are frequently exposed to alcohol and drug consumption. This creates deep scars in children's minds and reintegrating them once the conflict is over is often complicated.

Read more: Human Rights Watch,
Applications by Non-Nationals for Leave to Remain in the UK

The issue on this appeal is comparatively narrow, but it arises out of a particular situation which occurs quite frequently in connection with applications by non-nationals for leave to remain in the UK and which has generated a number of cases in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals. I will set out the essentials of the situation in generic terms – what I will call the paradigm case – before turning to the facts of the instant case. In doing so I will refer to the law as it stood in 2013, which is the relevant date for our purposes; but it should be noted that it has since changed in some important respects.

Published on Bailii, 12/06/2017
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 149

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 30 May and 12 June 2017.

Read the full update:
SSHD’s Abuse of Foreign National Criminal

In the recent case of Ibori v Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”), the High Court ruled that the SSHD had abused her immigration powers to detain a foreign criminal in the UK to face confiscation proceedings. The SSHD’s policy within the Enforcement and Instructions Guidance (“EIG”) explicitly states that immigration detention must only be used for one of the statutory purposes, namely for preventing a person’s unauthorised entry or with a view for a person’s removal (although not necessarily deportation). In addition it states that any detention must comply with domestic and ECHR case law and should only be used for a reasonable period in all the circumstances.

Mr Ibori, a Nigerian national, was serving a 13-year prison sentence in the UK for embezzling public funds as the ex-governor of Delta State, Nigeria. He had been issued a notice to initiate proceedings to confiscate his assets pursuant to s71(1)(a) Criminal Justice Act 1988. The SSHD informed Mr Ibori that he was liable for automatic deportation as a foreign criminal pursuant to s32 Borders Act 2007 and subsequently on 8 May 2015 issued a deportation order. Mr Ibori was due to be released on licence on 20 December 2016 but the SSHD wrote on 8 December stating, ‘we cannot deport Mr Ibori until the confiscation matter had been resolved,’ and thereafter issued an order for his immigration detention the following day.

Mr Ibori’s solicitors filed for a judicial review of the both the decision not to deport him and the decision to detain him. In doing so the CPS were asked whether they objected to Mr Ibori’s removal to Nigeria upon his conditional release from prison. The CPS responded that ‘any decision regarding the deportation is a matter for the Secretary of State for the Home Department.’ Upon urgent consideration of Mr Ibori’s judicial review claim, the judge ordered Mr Ibori’s immediate release from immigration detention on the condition that he remained with the jurisdiction. On 13 January the SSHD finally allowed Mr Ibori to depart the UK voluntarily, thus he managed to avoid the stigma of being depoted. In this case it was clear that the SSHD had disregarded the limits on her to detain Mr Ibori. Accordingly, his detention for a period of one day, 18 hours and 10 minutes was declared unlawful.

Gherson Immigration:

Instruments of Pain: Conflict and Famine

For the first time in three decades, four countries, driven by war, verge on famine. Over coming weeks, Crisis Group will publish special briefings on Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. Each conflict requires tailored response; all need increased aid and efforts to end the violence.

The last time the UN declared a famine was in 2011, in Somalia. The last time it faced more than one major famine simultaneously was more than three decades ago. Today we are on the brink of four – in Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan.

The spectre of famine is primarily the result of war, not natural disaster. According to the UN, more than twenty million people, millions of them children, are at risk of starvation. This is happening in man-made crises and under the Security Council’s watch. In some places, the denial of food and other aid is a weapon of war as much as its consequence. Combatants’ fighting tactics often make the problem worse.

Read more: Crisis Group,
Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere

Fragile hopes for lasting peace and cooperation across party and ethnic lines are imperilled. To avoid leaders of the corrupt and violent former regime taking back control of the country, President Sirisena’s two-year-old “unity government” should put aside short-term calculations and return to reform.

Two years into President Maithripala Sirisena’s term, Sri Lanka’s fragile hopes for lasting peace and cooperation across party and ethnic lines are imperilled. Despite significant achievements in the coalition government’s first nine months, progress on most of its reform agenda has slowed to a crawl or been reversed. As social tensions rise and the coalition slowly fractures, it is unclear whether it can push its signature new constitution through parliament and to a national referendum. Neither the president nor prime minister has made a serious attempt to win support for a more inclusive polity or to reform the national security state to tackle the institutionalised impunity that has fed ethnic unrest and harmed all communities. To protect democratic gains, enable lasting reforms and reduce risks of social and political conflict, the “unity government” should put aside short-term party and individual political calculations and return to a politics of reform and openness.

Read more: Crisis Group,
SSHD’s Appeal Against Upper Tribunal Refusal to Deport a Foreign Criminal - Dismissed

SSHD v Mosira [2017] EWCA Civ 407 (08 June 2017)

1. This is an appeal by the Secretary of State in an immigration case. The case concerns Mr Mosira, a citizen of Zimbabwe, who came to this country at the age of 17 in 2004 pursuant to the Secretary of State's family reunion policy promulgated in 2003 ("the 2003 policy") to join his mother, who had previously been granted refugee status to stay in the United Kingdom. Under the 2003 policy, Mr Mosira was himself granted refugee status by the Secretary of State.
2. In 2012, Mr Mosira was convicted on two counts of sexual activity with a girl less than 16 years old, who had been aged 13 at the relevant time. Mr Mosira had been aged 25. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of imprisonment for 3 years. There is no dispute that this constituted serious criminal offending. There is also no dispute that Mr Mosira qualifies as a "foreign criminal" for the purposes of section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007.

3. The Secretary of State gave notice that she intended to make an order to deport Mr Mosira back to Zimbabwe when he was released. She purported to give notice of cessation of his refugee status and then finalised her decision to make a deportation order.

4. Mr Mosira appealed to the First-tier Tribunal ("FTT"). His appeal was dismissed in circumstances discussed below. On appeal, by a decision of September 2014 the Upper Tribunal (UT Judge Clive Lane) allowed his appeal and set aside the FTT's decision, directing instead that there should be a fresh consideration by the Upper Tribunal itself of his appeal against the Secretary of State's decision.

5. In a decision promulgated on 14 August 2015, the Upper Tribunal (Knowles J and UT Judge McWilliam) re-made the decision on Mr Mosira's appeal. It allowed the appeal. It held that it had not been open to the Secretary of State to withdraw Mr Mosira's refugee status in the way she did and, in view of the low risk to the public now presented by Mr Mosira, it held that there was no sufficient public interest in deportation to justify his removal for the purposes of the 1951 Refugee Convention. This is the decision against which the Secretary of State now appeals, with permission granted by Rafferty LJ.

52.  This is a case in which the legal analysis proposed by the Secretary of State became confused at an early stage and was never reviewed and rectified. It also became procedurally very messy. However, the ultimate conclusion is in my view clear: the appeal should be dismissed.
Henderson LJ:

Published on Bailii, 12/06/2016