Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - April 2019
Deteriorated Situations: Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Comoros Islands, Myanmar, New Zealand, Russia/North Caucasus, Venezuela, Israel/Palestine, Yemen, Algeria
Conflict Risk Alerts: Mali, Comoros Islands, Yemen, Algeria
Global Overview: March saw ethnic violence in central Mali rise in scale and frequency, risking escalation in April, and jihadist attacks intensified in Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad. Fighting flared in Yemen’s north and south as de-escalation in Hodeida stalled, jeopardising peace efforts. Retaliatory strikes between Israel and Hamas pushed both sides closer to war. In Myanmar, an ethnic Rakhine armed group ramped up attacks on security forces, and in New Zealand, a far-right extremist killed 50 Muslim worshippers in a terror attack. In Algeria, millions took to the streets as a risky transition got underway. Protests erupted in Comoros following disputed presidential elections; surged in the North Caucasus’s Ingushetia; and continued in Sudan despite hardened repression. Tensions between Uganda and Rwanda rose over Uganda’s alleged harassment of Rwandans, and Venezuela’s people faced nationwide blackouts amid heightened political polarisation. In a positive development in negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh, a much anticipated summit saw Armenia and Azerbaijan commit to strengthen the ceasefire, improve communications and implement humanitarian projects.
Source: International Crisis Group, https://www.crisisgroup.org/crisiswatch
JS and Others) v SSHD (Litigation Friends - Children)
This judgment deals with the principles on the procedural approach of the Upper Tribunal in immigration judicial review proceedings involving an applicant who is a child, specifically when it is necessary for a child to be represented by a litigation friend. It also has relevance to statutory appeals in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chambers.
All the applicants in the case are children and we represented NL. Although the court stated a litigation friend will only be necessary in the instance that the child is not capable of conducting or giving instructions in relation to the proceedings and that all cases should be fact specific. The court gave the following guidance in paragraphs 84-88 as to when a litigation friend is necessary:
Read more: Duncan Lewis, https://is.gd/Vu1Rql
Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
- The bill in its present form is a ‘blank cheque’ affording ministers excessive discretion to remove rights. The JCHR recommends an amendment requiring the Secretary of State to ensure that any regulations contain measures to protect the acquired rights of persons who benefited from EU free movement of persons prior to Brexit.
- The EU Settlement Scheme is unclear on the implications of failure to register the time limit. The JCHR recommends provisions for registration outside the time limit, and/or otherwise to limit the implications of the time limit.
- The EU Settlement Scheme in its present form would issue only electronic proof of a successful application. The JCHR recommends the issuing of physical proof, echoing the EU Justice Committee in a comparison to the Windrush scandal on this point.
- Vulnerable people may have difficulty in accessing the EU Settlement Scheme. The JCHR recommends that steps be taken to ensure that vulnerable people are aware of their rights, and have assistance in accessing the scheme.
- Finally, the JCHR recommends clarification of the Common Travel Area for Irish citizens.
Read More: https://is.gd/rQOPFM
Asylum Research Consultancy Country of Information Update Vol. 191
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 19 March and 1 April 2019.
Download the full document, https://is.gd/Si6DkS
Home Office Limit on Support for Slavery Victims May Be Unlawful
A high court judge has ruled that Home Office policy to cut off all statutory support to people six weeks after they have been formally identified as victims of slavery is potentially unlawful, ordering that assistance must immediately be extended.
All statutory support under the Modern Slavery Act, such as safe housing, counselling and financial support, currently ends 45 days after the Home Office has informed someone they have been officially recognised as a victim.
This week, two slavery victims won the first stage of a legal challenge they had brought against the Home Office, when a judge in the Birmingham administrative court agreed the existing rules could be unlawful.
The High Court ordered the Home Office to extend interim support to all slavery victims over the 45-day threshold until the next hearing in the case, which takes place on 14 April.
Law firm Duncan Lewis said that if their clients’ legal action is ultimately successful, it would require the Home Office to provide indefinite specialist support for as long as victims required it while they were in the UK, or until they received leave to remain.
Read more: Annie Kelly, Guardian, https://is.gd/NGrH0f
NI: Revised UK Immigration Rules 'Against the Grain' of the Good Friday Agreement
Revised UK immigration rules go "against the grain" of the Good Friday Agreement because they remove the right of Irish citizens in Northern Ireland to be treated as EU nationals, human rights chiefs have warned. Les Allamby, chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), told The Irish Times that the updated Immigration Rules jarred with provisions of the 1998 agreement regarding the right to be accepted as Irish or British or both. The Statement of changes in immigration rules published on 7 March 2019 defines an EEA citizen as a person who is a national of an EEA country, such as Ireland, and "is not also a British citizen".
Immigration rights campaigner Emma DeSouza, who is currently fighting to bring her husband to Northern Ireland as the family member of an EEA national living in the UK, brought the issue to attention on Twitter. Ms DeSouza's husband applied to live in Northern Ireland in 2015 but was refused on the basis that Ms DeSouza was a dual national. He successfully challenged the decision on the basis of Ms DeSouza's rights under the Good Friday Agreement, but the Home Office is in the process of appealing, The Irish Times reports.
Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking in Belfast in February, said she had asked the Home Secretary and the Northern Ireland Secretary to "urgently" review issues surrounding citizenship rights in Northern Ireland in order to "deliver a long-term solution consistent with the letter and spirit of the Belfast Agreement". Mr Allamby said: "We would call on the government to issue the terms of reference and a timetable for the review as quickly as possible in order to resolve questions of family reunion in Emma DeSouza and other cases."
Brian Gormally, director of the Belfast-based Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), said Brexit had highlighted the "legal reality" that protections under the Good Friday Agreement had not been written into legislation. He said: "Brexit has peeled away some things that have been hiding contradictions in British law relating to the Good Friday Agreement."
Scottish Legal News, https://is.gd/JlpbIt
Police Watchdogs to Investigate Police Forces Over Immigration Referrals
Police watchdogs are to investigate forces in England and Wales over the sharing of data on victims and witnesses of crime with immigration enforcement authorities, the Guardian can reveal.
The move comes after the rights groups Liberty and Southall Black Sisters lodged the first super-complaint against the police, challenging what they said was a potentially unlawful and harmful practice.
The super-complaint process became operational last year and allows designated organisations to raise issues on behalf of the public about harmful patterns or trends in policing.
After an eligibility assessment, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the College of Policing and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have launched an investigation into the groups’ complaint.
Debaleena Dasgupta, a lawyer at Liberty, said: “Referring victims of crime to the Home Office to enforce the ‘hostile environment’ policy is not only cruel, it is arguably a breach of the police’s duties.
“This practice means victims are too scared to report serious crimes and witnesses may be forced to withhold information that could be vital in police investigations.
Read more: Jamie Grierson, https://is.gd/ZmKsyr