News & Views Monday 26th March to Sunday 1st April 2018  

No UK Border Exit Records For 600,000 People

Theresa May’s long-promised system of “100% exit checks” at Britain’s borders is so unreliable that it contains no departure records for more than 600,000 people who should have left the country in the past two years, a watchdog has revealed. A report by David Bolt, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, said that the system also contains a growing “unmatched pot” of more than 201,000 records of departures of people for whom there is no Home Office record that they ever entered the country. Bolt quoted Home Office staff complaining that they had been “mis-sold the programme”, that it was “rushed” and “flawed” and that inside the department there had been no comprehension of the vast and complicated nature of the data and the patterns it showed. “Because it was not possible to to be certain about a person’s movements they could not rely on it as evidence of immigration (non) compliance,” the chief inspector said.

Read more: Alan Travis, Guardian,

Detention of Claimant Was Unlawful From 4th November 2015 Until 3rd February 2017

MDA , R (On the Application Of) v SSHD [2017] EWHC 2132 (Admin) (18 August 2017)

For the reasons, I have given in relation to Ground 1, at paragraphs [154] to [169] above, in this case, the Defendant did not make sufficient enquiries to gather the necessary information to enable her to properly take account of the Claimant's disabilities in the context of the decision to detain. As a result, the Defendant failed, in relation to the specific facts of this case, to comply with the requirements of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. This breach does not add anything materially to the outcome of this case.

Read the full judgment: Bailii, 28/03/2018, A9F7

Waiting Times For UK Immigration Appeals Soar by 45% in A Year

Waiting times for immigration appeals in the UK have soared by 45 per cent in the space of a year, with applicants now waiting an average of nearly 12 months, figures show. The Ministry of Justice said the considerable increase in waiting times between 2016 and 2017 was due to a “significant reduction” of an “outstanding caseload” as they cleared older cases during that period. But the increased delays mean families and individuals challenging refusals for them to stay in Britain waited on average 52 weeks for their appeals to be processed last year, compared with an average of 31 weeks in 2016.

Figures show that 50 per cent of these appeals are successful, meaning many of those who rightfully challenge the decisions are forced to wait and “put their life on hold” even though they have a right to be in the UK. The rise in waiting times comes despite a decrease in the number of immigration appeals lodged, which has plummeted from 25,000 in 2014 to 7,000 last year. 

Read more: May Bulman, Independent,

UK Policy on Saudi Arabia Has Worsened Suffering in Yemen

Next week marks the third anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the war in neighbouring Yemen. The way this war is being conducted by the Saudi-led coalition has exacerbated an already poor humanitarian situation, turning it into a full-blown humanitarian crisis - the “worst in the world” according to the United Nations. Some 1.8 million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished, there are more than one million suspected cases of cholera, and 8.4 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.

Yet the British government has been one of the strongest backers of the Saudis and their Gulf-led coalition. It has provided largely uncritical support for Saudi’s role in the war, as well as selling the Saudis £4.6 billion of military equipment over this period, seemingly ignoring its own rules about not selling arms when they are likely to be used unlawfully. British officials have also been present in Saudi Arabia throughout, advising their Saudi counterparts - according to the British Ministry of Defence - on how to conduct their military operations in a way that is consistent with the laws of war. At the same time, Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) is the third largest funder of humanitarian relief efforts in Yemen

Read more: Human Rights Watch,

Caroline Nokes Minister for Immigration - Hunger Strikers Deport Them Post Haste

The most appropriate way in which to respond to some cases of  refusal to take food or fluids is to prioritise the consideration of the individual’s case including, if appropriate, their removal from detention and the UK, whilst ensuring that the case is processed fairly.

1,021 almost 3 a day, detainees went on Hunger Strike Hunger Strike January through December 2017:
full breakdown here

Democratic Republic of Congo: Human Rights

Lord Alton: To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, published in January, which found that state agents in that country carried out 1,176 extrajudicial killings in 2017, and that that number has tripled over the past two years.

 Lord Ahmad: The British Government is deeply concerned about the increase of extrajudicial killings carried out by state agents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Following the violent clampdown on protestors on 31 December and 21 January, the UK released statements condemning the violence and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The UK supported a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in June 2017 mandating an international investigation into the violence in the Kasai regions. We have repeatedly told the DRC government that this investigation must be allowed to operate unobstructed, to hold those responsible in the Kasais to account.

We have also called upon the DRC government, as a HRC member, to demonstrate its commitment to the highest human rights standards and take decisive action against human rights abuses and violations.

House of Lords: 19/03/2018,

Migration Advisory Committee – Are EEA Workers More Attractive Employees?

According to the responses of over 400 businesses, industry bodies and Government bodies EEA migrants are viewed as more motivated, flexible and willing to work longer hours than the domestic labour force. Employers suggest that UK businesses employ EEA migrants because they are the best possible applicants for the job, not because they are prepared to accept lower terms and conditions.

In response, Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) have stated that it is difficult to objectively assess these claims, but did refer to analysis suggesting that EEA migrant workers report lower absenteeism rates than UK-born employees. Furthermore, the Committee noted that those from newer EU member states seem to be lower paid than the domestic workforce, though that does not imply migration has suppressed the wages of the domestic workforce.

Experts said many firms in lower-skilled sectors have built a business model in which the ready availability of migrant labour from the continent played an important and ‘sometimes vital’ role. MAC chairman Professor Alan Manning said employers in all sectors are now ‘concerned about the prospects of future restrictions on EEA migration.’ In assessing the impact of these future restrictions, the analysis concluded that lower migration into the UK will ‘very likely lead to lower growth’, though the impact on living standards was ‘less clear.’This report is likely to strengthen the hand of those in government pressing for a more cautious approach to curbing the number of EU migrants coming to Britain after Brexit. The Home Office, welcoming the report, said it is committed to 'controlled and sustainable migration' and said the evidence would be considered in the development of a new migration system which ‘works in the best interest of the whole of the UK.’

Source: McGill 7 Co,

What the State Does in Our Name - The Terror Of War

RAPAR ( and CAGE ( ) are jointly hosting an event in Manchester on Saturday April 7th which sees former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzem Begg join refugees to open up a discussion about the War on Terror and the Terror of War. There will also be a screening of "The Confession" which traces Moazzem's journey from the streets of Birmingham to conflicts in Bosnia and Afghanistan and to incarceration in Guantanamo Bay and Belmarsh. Refugees in Manchester will describe their own journeys - from the wars and conflicts which have led them to leave their home countries and seek safety in the UK.

Everyone is welcome. Please come along and join in the discussion - and help us spread the word.  The Eventbrite link is here:

Saturday, April 7th
Main Hall,
Friends' Meeting House,
6 Mount Street,
M2 5NS


Early Day Motion 1114: Sri Lanka, Legacy Crimes and Human Rights

That this House is concerned about the lack of a comprehensive strategy to address accountability for crimes committed during the 27 year civil war between the Sri Lankan Government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, further to UN Human Rights Council Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1; notes that despite headway on human rights and constitutional reform, serious violations continue there, including harassment of human rights defenders and victims, excessive use of force against protesters, torture, violence against women and girls, hate speeches against minorities, and impunity for violators; further notes with alarm an outbreak of violence against Muslim communities believed to be fuelled by hard-line Buddhist groups in the Kandy area; agrees with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that the Sri Lankan Government needs to address grievances with respect to victim protection in connection with transitional justice processes, militarisation, land occupation and security legislation; urges the Sri Lankan Government to adopt a concrete timeframe in which to implement the Resolutions, ensure new counter-terrorism legislation complies fully with international standards, and undertake meaningful devolution, to benefit all its citizens; and calls on the Government to ensure the Sri Lankan Government honours its international commitments and to offer its assistance when appropriate, further to its recent joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council, as well as to review continuing UK arms sales to Sri Lanka.

House of Commons: 22/032018,

Put Your MP to Work – Ask Them to Sign EDM 1114

To find your MP go here:

Provisions of Part V of the Police Act 1997 Incompatible with Rights Under Article 8 ECHR

QSA & Ors, R (on the application of) v SSHD & Anor [2018] EWHC 639 (Admin) (26 March 2018)
Mrs Justice Nicola Davies:

3. We have considered the forms of declaratory relief as proposed on behalf of the claimants and the defendants. We make the following declaration:

i) It is declared that the provisions of Part V of the Police Act 1997 are incompatible with the claimants' rights under Article 8 ECHR to the extent that they require disclosure of all previous convictions that are recorded on central records, on certificates under Part V of the Act where there is more than one conviction.

ii) It is declared that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 cannot be read or given effect in a way which is compatible with the claimants' rights under Article 8 ECHR to the extent that it excludes from the definition of "a person with a protected conviction" a person with more than one conviction.

iii) The declarations at paragraphs (i) and (ii) above shall not take effect until the judgment upon any proposed appeal or further order in the mean time, upon the defendants agreeing to prosecute their appeal with expedition.

Read more: