Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - July 2018
Deteriorated Situations for June: Somalia, Somaliland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia
Improved Situations for June: Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Korean Peninsula, Macedonia
Conflict Risk Alerts for July: Somalia, Somaliland, Syria, Yemen
Resolution Opportunities for July: Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Yemen
Global Overview June 2018: In June, Yemeni forces backed by the United Arab Emirates accelerated their offensive to take the Huthi-held city of Hodeida. A fleeting opportunity exists to find a mediated settlement and avoid prolonged urban warfare. In Syria, pro-government forces intensified efforts to retake territory in the south west, risking worse violence in July, while in Libya, new fighting over oil facilities aggravated tensions. The conflict between Somalia’s Puntland and Somaliland spread, and looks set to escalate; attacks linked to Nigeria’s farmer-herder conflict left over 200 dead; and radical Islamists in Mozambique stepped up attacks. The month saw heightened political rivalry in Tunisia, and election-related violence in Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea. High-level engagement between North Korea and the U.S. paved the way for a diplomatic process, and Macedonia and Greece reached an agreement on their name dispute. Opportunities to advance peace opened up in Africa with Ethiopia and Eritrea taking tentative steps to address their border dispute, and South Sudan’s warring leaders signing an initial framework agreement.
International Crisis Group: https://www.crisisgroup.org/crisiswatch
Court of Appeal Refuses to Reverse Deportation to Pursue In-Country Appeal
In the recent case of R (on the application of QR (Pakistan)) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1413, it was held that despite the change in the law brought about by the Supreme Court decision in R (on the application of Kiarie and Byndloss) v SSHD  UKSC 42, the court did not consider it appropriate or proportionate to order the return of a deported applicant to pursue his in-country right of appeal. His appeal against the refusal to proceed with the judicial review was allowed, but the court refused his application for interim relief which would have enabled him to return to the UK to pursue an in-country appeal.
In the landmark 2017 case of Kiarie & Byndloss it was held that the policy ‘deport first, appeal later’ might be unlawful if the relevant safeguards concerning proportionality and justification of the measure taken were not taken into account. In that case it was held that the public interest in removing a foreign criminal prior to his appeal being heard had to be balanced against the public interest of ensuring that the appeal remained effective for the purpose of protecting his rights under Art. 8 ECHR. There are a number of matters which have to be taken into account before it can be established whether an appeal remains effective if it is forced to be conducted from abroad. These include the availability of legal advice and the arrangements for communicating instructions potential difficulties preventing the appellant from giving live evidence and problems associated with obtaining expert or other professional evidence from abroad. The burden is on the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”) to show that a fair balance has been struck between the rights of the person subject to deportation and the interests of the community.
Posted by: Gherson Immigration, https://is.gd/kqpKTx
Virgin Airlines Says it Will No Longer Help to Deport Immigrants
Virgin airlines has said it will no longer assist the Home Office in deporting people classed as illegal immigrants, following pressure from LGBT campaigners and rising unease over the wrongful removal of Windrush people to Caribbean countries.
Virgin Atlantic said it had already informed the Home Office of its decision, which it said was taken “in the interest of all our customers and staff”. Migrant rights campaigners said the announcement reflected “a profound shift in public opinion on deportation since the emergence of the Windrush scandal”.
For years, Virgin airlines has provided seats on its commercial flights to detainees and security staff accompanying them. A charity in Jamaica that helps resettle deported people from the UK said detainees regularly arrived as passengers on Virgin flights. British Airways has also deported individuals to Jamaica.
The home secretary, Sajid Javid, admitted last month that at least 63 Windrush generation people had been wrongly removed to the Caribbean, despite having lived in the UK since before 19 71, and consequently eligible for British citizenship.
Read more: Amelia Gentleman, Guardian, https://is.gd/GJVTJM
EU's Migrant Centres Could Breach Human Rights, Say Campaigners
Secure migrant processing camps that may be set up in Europe under a deal reached by EU leaders risk becoming de facto detention centres breaching basic human rights, campaigners have said.
The summit’s vaguely-worded conclusions after marathon talks in Brussels gave no details of what the “controlled centres” would look like or which states might volunteer to host them, but diplomats said they could resemble “improved versions” of existing – and heavily criticised – EU “hotspots” set up in Greece and Italy.
“Rapid and secure processing” at the proposed EU-funded centres would allow economic migrants to be identified and returned home, the statement said, while those identified as “in need of international protection” would be resettled in EU states which agreed to take them “on the principle of solidarity”.
Arrivals across the Mediterranean have fallen by more than 90% compared with 2015, but a political crisis has erupted across the bloc, with deep divisions emerging among member states about how to handle the problem.
Read more: Jon Henley, Guardian, https://is.gd/xToX1V
MPs are Turning Over Hundreds of Constituents to Immigration Officials.
MPs have been accused of “colluding” with the Home Office as part of its “hostile environment” policy after figures revealed they have reported more than 700 cases of suspected immigration abuse to authorities since 2012.
MPs are in a position of trust and authority, and it is a grotesque breach of that trust to inform on people who need their support to the Home Office, a department whose dysfunctional procedures have resulted in considerable injustice towards hundreds of thousands of people living in the UK.
In a democratic society, this is an unacceptable practice. Everyone should have the right to safely meet their Member of Parliament and expect representation without fear of being detained or deported.
You can take action today.Write to your MP and ask them to reassure their constituents by signing the public pledge hereand committing to not report constituents to the Home Office for immigration enforcement. All MPs should provide fair and just representation for everyone living in their constituency, whatever their immigration status. We need our MPs to lead by example and take a stand to ensure this country, and our democratic system, is a welcome and safe place for all.
Scheme for Safeguarding People Who Lack Mental Capacity Is ‘Broken’
In a report published examining the Law Commission's proposals to reform the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards scheme, the Joint Committee on Human Rights concludes that the current system is broken and that urgent action is needed. A copy of the report is attached to this email. The Committee, made up of MPs and Peers and chaired by Harriet Harman MP, recommends that legislation is brought forward to implement the Law Commission’s with Liberty Protection Safeguards (‘LPS’ ) which would authorise the specific arrangements that give rise to the deprivation of liberty, but in a lighter touch way than the current scheme. It supports the proposals to extend the protection into domestic settings provided that the definition of “deprivation of liberty” is established more clearly. Different laws and rights apply to people depending on whether their disorder is mental or physical. In the long term, this must also be solved.
The report emphasises the vital need to have mechanisms to ensure that arrangements made for people who lack capacity are in their best interests. It is also important that resources are, as far as possible, directed to care rather than to legal and bureaucratic processes. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) scheme safeguards against the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of people who lack capacity to consent to their care or treatment, such as people living with dementia, people with autism and people with learning disabilities, providing legal authorisation for depriving a person of their liberty in a care home or hospital setting. However, there is widespread consensus that the scheme is broken.
70 per cent of the almost 220,000 applications for DoLS in 2016 -17 were not authorised within the required time frame. Consequently, many people are currently unlawfully deprived of their liberty, in breach of Article 5 ECHR. As many as 100,000 people are currently affected: the system is so broken those responsible for them have to consider how best to break the law. The decision of the Supreme Court in Cheshire West was that the “acid test” for deprivation of liberty is whether a person is under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave regardless of whether they are content or compliant. Extending the existing scheme to all those caught by this definition could cost £2bn a year. The Committee calls for Parliament to consider the definition of deprivation of liberty in the context of mental capacity law, ensuring it the safeguards of Article 5 apply to those who truly need them.
Unless the fundamental issue of definition is addressed, there is a risk that the Law Commission's proposals may become as impractical as the current scheme.
Source: Joint Committee on Human Rights
Man Dies After Falling From Building During 'Needless' Immigration Raid
A man has died after falling from a building in Wales during an immigration raid, prompting an investigation by the police watchdog. The 23-year-old Sudanese migrant had been working at a car wash in Newport when immigration officers arrived on the scene and reportedly started chasing workers. It is understood that following the arrival of the officers the man climbed onto a nearby factory roof. A short while later he was found on the floor of an annexe building next to the factory with critical injuries.
Onlookers said there was a “huge bang” as the man fell from the roof, and that the immigration officers “went white”. Officers called an ambulance and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transferred by ambulance to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where he was later pronounced dead. Lyn Saunders, 70, who was waiting for his car to be cleaned at the hand wash when the immigration officers arrived, said he saw more than a dozen officers jump out of two vans and start chasing car wash workers. “It was a bit like a Carry On film. There were about half a dozen of us sitting in the cafe next to the car wash waiting for our cars to be done. The worker’s just scattered. It was a bit of a shock to say the least,”
Read more: May Bulman, Independent, https://is.gd/g8RF0k
Pakistani Man Refused Residence In UK Over ‘Sham Marriage’ Wins Appeal
A Pakistani man married to a Polish citizen whose application for residence in the United Kingdom was refused on the basis that the marriage was a “sham” has successfully appealed to have his case reconsidered.
The Inner House of the Court of Session upheld the appellant’s argument that the First-tier Tribunal applied the “wrong onus of proof” by proceeding on the basis that it was for him to prove that the marriage was not a sham, rather than on the respondent to show that it was.
Opinion of the Court Delivered By Lord Menzies
In The Cause by Usman Asim Against SSHD https://is.gd/1yoQwm
Ireland: Government Unveils New Regime for Asylum Seekers to Access Labour Market
The Irish Government has set out the details of a new regime for asylum seekers to access the labour market, over a year after the absolute prohibition on employment was ruled unconstitutional. A temporary regime, criticised by immigration practitioners for being too restrictive, was put in place after the Supreme Court struck down section 9(4) of the Refugee Act 1996 in February. Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the new regime represented the entry into force of the EU (recast) Receptions Conditions Directive. Asylum seekers will have access to the labour market nine months from the date when their protection application was lodged, if they have yet to receive a first instance recommendation from the International Protection Office, and if they have “cooperated with the process”.
The Government has set out the details of a new regime for asylum seekers to access the labour market, over a year after the absolute prohibition on employment was ruled unconstitutional. A temporary regime, criticised by immigration practitioners for being too restrictive, was put in place after the Supreme Court struck down section 9(4) of the Refugee Act 1996 in February. Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the new regime represented the entry into force of the EU (recast) Receptions Conditions Directive. Asylum seekers will have access to the labour market nine months from the date when their protection application was lodged, if they have yet to receive a first instance recommendation from the International Protection Office, and if they have “cooperated with the process”.
Read more: Irish Legal News, https://is.gd/Iqqa01
#FamiliesBelongTogether: Thousands Protest Over Migrant Separations
Tens of thousands of people have joined nationwide protests across the US over the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies. More than 630 events were planned, with protesters calling for migrant families split at the US border to be reunited. Some 2,000 children remain separated from their parents, despite President Donald Trump bowing to public outrage and curtailing the policy. Concerns remain that records were not kept linking parents and children. Major protests took place in Washington DC, New York, and many other cities, using the hashtag #FamiliesBelongTogether. Marchers held placards calling for no more family separations and for the controversial immigration agency ICE to be abolished.
"It goes against everything we stand for as a country," one protester, Paula Flores-Marques, 27, told Reuters in front of the White House in Washington DC. President Trump was out of town. In New York they chanted, "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here". In Chicago, protesters marched to the local offices of federal immigration authorities. The original Trump administration "zero tolerance" policy required authorities to arrest and detain anyone crossing the Mexico-US border illegally. That meant separating children from their parents and holding them separately.
Read more: BBC News, https://is.gd/Rhbsoj
Over Charging of Children Wishing to Register British Citizens
The High Court has been asked by Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) to review whether the £1,012 fee imposed on children to register as British citizens – described by the current Home Secretary as “a huge amount of money” – is lawful. The huge fee bars children born in the UK, children who have lived here nearly all their lives and children with settled status from citizenship. The Home Office accepts that only £372 of the fee represents the cost of administering registration. The fee applies to all children including those in local authority care, the destitute, the disabled, and the stateless.
On 14 June 2018, PRCBC issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court to challenge this fee. Mishcon de Reya are acting pro bono as solicitors, and Amanda Weston QC and Richard Reynolds of Garden Court Chambers are acting pro bono as counsel, for PRCBC.
The challenge: When Parliament passed the British Nationality Act 1981, birth in the UK no longer meant automatic entitlement to British citizenship. Instead the Act provided for those with a “close personal connection” with the UK to acquire citizenship. For example, the Act included an entitlement for children born in the UK to register on reaching 10 years independently of their parents’ status. Parliament recognised that a general discretion for the Home Secretary to register any child as British was also necessary, to ensure citizenship for other children connected to the UK.
The consequences for a child of being unable to register as British are many and potentially severe; and mirror what has so recently been exposed as appalling treatment of so many people of the Windrush generation. Without citizenship, a child may be subject to immigration powers, including powers to remove them from the country, or blocked from work, education, health and other services and opportunities available to their British peers. They may also be unable to pass on citizenship to their children meaning the exclusionary impact of the fee extends across generations.
PRCBC in its judicial review, claims that in imposing a profit-making element on children’s citizenship the Home Office has acted unlawfully because it is under a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to act in children’s best interests unless those interests are clearly outweighed by other serious public interest factors. The Home Office has conducted no assessment of the impact of the fee upon children.
PRCBC’s position is that no child should be required to pay more than the administrative cost to register as a British citizen; no child in local authority care should be required to pay any fee to register; and waivers should be available to any child who cannot afford any fee to ensure it is not a barrier to a child registering as British.
An Early Day Motion on this fee has attracted support from all parties with seats in the House of Commons: https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1262
Amnesty International UK’s children’s human rights network are campaigning in support of PRCBC’s demands and have launched a petition: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/home-office-stop-profiteering-childrens-rights
If you have information to provide in support or are aware of a child unable to register by reason of the fee, please contact Lucy Grant of Mishcon de Reya at: PRCBC@mishcon.com
CPIN: Albania: People trafficking
Basis of claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by traffickers or other non-state actors because the person is a (potential) female victim of trafficking ((P)VoT) for sexual exploitation.
1.2 Points to note
1.2.1 Only trained specialists in the UK’s designated competent authorities can decide whether or not there are reasonable grounds to accept the person as a victim of trafficking for the purpose of the Council of Europe Convention on
Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. However, both Home Office decision makers and the court are able to take factual matters into account when making their findings in an asylum claim. If it has not already been done, decision makers dealing with the asylum claim must make an appropriate referral to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The case will then be routed to a ‘competent authority’ (see Victims of human trafficking: competent authority guidance).
1.2.2 The conclusive grounds decision will be included in any outstanding asylum decision made after that decision as a finding of fact on whether the person was a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery or not, unless information comes to light at a later date that would alter the finding on human trafficking or modern slavery.
Published on Refworld, 03/07/2018,