News & Views Monday 13th February to Sunday 19th February 2017  
One Day Without Us: National Day of Action

What would the UK be like, if all our Migrants and Refugees, were to leave the UK immediately?

One Day Without Us is a National Day of Action on Monday 20th Feb 2017 to celebrate the contribution of migrants & refugees to the UK, to coincide with UN World Day of Social Justice.

Part of the day of Action, will be a protest outside the Home Office against the pending forced removal of Ms Mwesigwa

Monday 20th February 2017, 4.30 - 5.30 pm

Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, Westminster, Sw1P 4DF

Erioth Mwesigwa’s Case Refused – More Help Needed

Thanks to the 100s of people who wrote in support of Ms Mwesigwa, a victim of multiple rape by soldiers in Uganda, targeted because her husband, a prominent local politician, was suspected of opposing the President.  Last Friday Ms Mwesigwa stopped her removal by refusing to go with the Yarl’s Wood guards when they came to take her to the airport. But the guards warned her that “next time” she would be physically forced onto the plane back to Uganda. 

Ms Mwesigwa has been told that if she wants to appeal she has to do it from Uganda. This is both cruel and absurd.  She won’t even have anywhere to live or means to feed herself, let alone access to lawyers and other support to pursue a legal case. 

Ms Mwesigwa is still in great danger and needs your help to demand the Home Secretary allows her the right to an appeal in the UK.  Ms Mwesigwa is a dedicated member of the All African Women’s Group which has organized a protest this Monday outside the Home Office. Ms Mwesigwa called to say:

All African Women's Group <>

UKHO: Country Policy and Information Note - Zimbabwe: Women Fearing Gender-Based Harm or Violence

1.1  Basis of claim

1.1.1      Fear of gender-based persecution or serious harm by non-state actors because the person is a woman.

1.2  Other points to note

1.2.1      For the purposes of this note, gender-based persecution or serious harm includes, but is not limited to, domestic violence and sexual violence, including rape.
Published on Refworld, 14/02/2017

Urgent! Keep the Nadeem Family Safe in Sheffield

Home Office Reference: N3002376 and N3002373 Saira Nadeem came to the UK from Pakistan in 2014 seeking protection for her family who had been subject to continual persecution and harassment following the untimely death of Saira’s husband in 2012.  Saira’s youngest child, Danyal, then aged 15, is profoundly autistic, has no verbal communication and due to his complex needs and challenging behaviour requires 24-hour care. The prevailing attitudes to autism in Pakistan resulted in a level of abuse and harassment that Saira could no longer endure.

Danyal, now aged 18, needs to be cared for by two people for his own safety. His mother and his sister, Zoya, are his primary carers. Zoya herself, now aged 27, was kidnapped by her father’s family in Pakistan in a failed attempt to force her into marriage with her cousin. She too needs protection and asylum. Zoya has spent nearly half of the last 14 months in detention and has been threatened with forced removal to Pakistan. This has caused her unimaginable distress and has left her mother without the essential support she requires to care for Danyal.

This family cannot return to Pakistan.  Danyal’s safety would be placed at risk because of the inhuman treatment he would face there and Zoya would confront the real threat of a forced marriage. This loving and caring family needs humanitarian protection so that they can stay together in the UK in the knowledge they will be able to rebuild their lives here in peace and free from persecution.

We, the undersigned, urge the Home Secretary to use her discretionary powers to allow the Nadeem family to stay in the UK on humanitarian grounds.

Post Code

Please download print version, send completed petitions to:

Keep the Nadeem Family Safe in Sheffield, 24 Stubbin Lane, Sheffield, S5 6QL

You can sign the 'Online' Version here -

Implications of the Recent Judgment of the Supreme Court in R v SSHD

Ask v SSHD [2017] EWHC 196 (Admin) (09 February 2017)

(i) The issues
1.  The issue in this case concerns an allegation that in 2013 the Claimant - "ASK" - was unlawfully detained in an Immigration Removal Centre ("IRC") pending removal from the United Kingdom and, once he was definitively declared unfit to fly, detained for an unreasonably long period of time before eventual transfer to a psychiatric unit. I was told that there are a growing number of similar cases before the Courts.
2.  The case raises a number of issues.
3.  First, the implications of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in R (on the application of O) (by her litigation friend the Official Solicitor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKSC 19 (" O v SSHD") and the change that it has brought to the law relating to detention, in the light of R (Das) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mind and another intervening) [2014] EWCA Civ 45 (" Das"). In O v SSHD the Supreme Court modified the test for when a person awaiting removal could be detained in a detention centre by rejecting the view of the Court of Appeal in Das that the Defendant was not required to take account of the possibility that a detainee would receive better care and treatment in a psychiatric unit relative to that available in the IRC.
4.  Second, the extent of the duty on the Secretary of State to make inquiries as to a person's mental health before she transfers an immigration over-stayer to an IRC and whether it is sufficient to complete the medical assessment only once the person has been detained?

5.  Third, whether there is a duty upon IRC caseworkers when they complete their records to refer expressly to HO policy and the questions they need to address and whether the omission of such information or entries in recorded form has significance in law?

6.  Fourth, how a court is to assess the point in time at which a detainee must be treated as definitively unfit to fly for the purpose of determining when an otherwise legitimate rationale of detention for the purpose of removal ends?

7.   Fifth, once a decision is taken that a detainee must be transferred to a psychiatric unit under the Mental Health Act 1983 ("MHA 1983") what is meant by " prompt" transfer and in particular what happens if there is disagreement between the transferring clinicians who issue certificates under sections 47 and 48 MHA 1983 and the receiving clinician(s) to whom the IRC wishes to transfer and entrust the detainee?

8. Sixth, how the Court should evaluate different types of evidence including: caseworkers reviews and notes, contemporaneous clinical notes and reports, and subsequent ( ex post facto) expert reports which rely upon earlier notes and clinical reports.
(ii) Conclusion on the evidence
9.  Notwithstanding the range and complexity of the legal issues raised I have ultimately concluded, on the evidence, that howsoever the legal complaint is formulated, the claim fails.

Published on Bailii, 09.02/2017,

Tightening the Borders

The government has recently announced the details of a change to migrant workers rules with an aim of reducing demand for migrant labour from British employers. The Immigration Skills Charge, expected to come into force on 6 April 2017, will be levied on employers that hire migrants in skilled areas. The charge will be set at £1,000 per employee per year for medium or large companies and at a reduced rate of £364 for small or charitable organisations. The sponsor will be considered to be a small business if its annual turnover is no more that £10.2 million and they have up to 50 employees. They will be asked to pay the skills charge as an add-on to the cost of the certificate of sponsorship, which currently stands at £199.

Furthermore, from April 2017, the Government plans to extend the requirement to provide a criminal record certificate to Tier 2 visa applicants coming to work in education, health and social care sectors. Their adult dependants will also be subject to this requirement. The applicants and their dependants will be required to submit the criminal record certificate before making their application. The certificate will be required for each country where they have resided continuously or cumulatively for 12 months or more in the past 10 years. 

Read more: Gherson Immigration,

Driving Licences of Thousands of 'Illegal Immigrants' Revoked

A crackdown on illegal immigrants in the UK has seen almost 27,000 drivers have their licences revoked since 2014. The figures also found a 22% rise in voided licences in 2016, compared to the year before. Some people caught had entered the UK illegally, but most obtained a licence while on a legitimate visa and had then illegally overstayed. However, critics say the "small" number of licences that actually go on to be surrendered "undermines" the system. The Home Office gave the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) the powers to revoke licences in July 2014. That month more than 3,500 licences were revoked. In 2015 it was 9,700 and in 2016 that number rose to 11,900, the figures released under the Freedom of Information Act to BBC South East show.

Read more: BBC News,

Pakistan: UN Refugee Agency Complicit in Mass Forced Returns of Afghan Refugees

akistani authorities have carried out a campaign of abuses and threats to drive out nearly 600,000 Afghans since July 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The returnees include 365,000 registered refugees, making it the world’s largest mass forced return of refugees in recent years. They now face spiraling armed conflict, violence, destitution, and displacement in Afghanistan. The 76-page report, “Pakistan Coercion, UN Complicity: The Mass Forced Return of Afghan Refugees,” documents Pakistan’s abuses and the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in promoting the exodus. Through enhancing its “voluntary repatriation” program and failing to publicly call for an end to coercive practices, the UN agency has become complicit in Pakistan’s mass refugee abuse. The UN and international donors should press Pakistan to end the abuses, protect the remaining 1.1 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and allow refugees among the other estimated 750,000 unregistered Afghans there to seek protection, Human Rights Watch said.

Read more: Human Rights Watch,
UKHO Response to the Independent Chief Inspector's Report: Country of Origin Information November 2016

1. The Home Office should clarify the guidelines it is currently working to when processing information for the purpose of Country Policy Information Notices, or in responses to Country of Origin Information requests, including its definition of any specific terms, for example ‘publicly available’. Accepted.

2. The Home Office should ensure that where an IAGCI review raises issues that fall outside CPIT’s remit the relevant business areas are made aware and respond. In this instance, the Home Office should confirm that the area responsible for ensuring the safety of vulnerable asylum seekers is aware of the reviewer’s comments in relation to the risks to LGBT Afghan asylum seekers living in mixed refugee communities. Accepted.

3. The Home Office should ensure that responses to points and recommendations made in IAGCI reviews are complete, and explicit regarding what action(s) CPIT and others will take and by when. Accepted.

4. The Home Office should share COIRs and CPINs that refer to trafficking and modern slavery with the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC) in draft to ensure that Country Guidance reflects the IASC’s knowledge and expectations. Accepted.

Download the full response:

Housing: Crackdown On ‘Illegal’ Immigrants Leading to Discrimination Against Ethnic Minority Britons

Foreigners and British citizens without passports, particularly those from ethnic minorities, are being discriminated against in the private rental housing market as a result of the Right to Rent scheme designed to crack down on irregular immigration, according to a new report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). The Right to Rent scheme requires landlords and agents to check the immigration status of all prospective tenants and refuse a tenancy to irregular migrants. If they fail to fully comply with the scheme they face a fine of up to £3,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years. The scheme creates structural incentives for landlords to discriminate unlawfully against foreigners and ethnic minorities, says the report. Currently in force in England and poised for imminent roll-out in the devolved regions, the scheme "does not contain adequate safeguards against discrimination, adequate mechanisms to monitor discrimination, or any form of redress for victims of discrimination". JCWI has called on the government to abandon it and to immediately halt any plans for roll-out.

Saira Grant, chief executive of JCWI, said: “We have been warning for some time that the Right to Rent scheme is failing on all fronts. It treats many groups who need housing unfairly, it is clearly discriminatory, it is putting landlords in an impossible position, and there is no evidence that it is doing anything to tackle irregular immigration.   Creating a so called ‘hostile environment’ that targets vulnerable men, women and children is bad enough, implementing a scheme that traps and discriminates against British citizens is absurd. Expanding the scheme to devolved nations without taking into account the discrimination it causes would be misguided and unjustifiable.  It is time to stop the scheme before it does any more damage.”

Read more: Scottish Legal News,

Ireland: Eight People Deported to the UK in Border Operation

An operation against illegal immigration into the Republic of Ireland has led to eight people being deported to the UK. Irish police carried out the operation last Monday near the border at County Louth. The police said that eight foreign nationals were returned to the UK as they were in breach of immigration offences. It is understood several different nationalities were involved. The eight people had made their way across the border having travelled from Britain to Northern Ireland.  Eleven vehicles were also seized by Irish police. BBC News

UKHO Country Policy and Information Note - Zimbabwe: Prison conditions

1.1 Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of being imprisoned on return to Zimbabwe and that prison conditions are so poor as to amount to a real risk of serious harm.

1.2 Points to note

1.2.1 This note is concerned solely with whether prison conditions are such that the removal of a person who faces a real risk of imprisonment would be a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). If so, they should be granted Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave.

1.2.2 If the person would be imprisoned for a Convention reason or subject to harsher treatment or punishment for a Convention reason then that may amount to persecution and they may be entitled to a grant of Refugee Leave.

Published on Refworld, 10/02/2017