Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - November 2021
Deteriorated Situations: Mali, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haiti, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen
Resolution Opportunities - None
Conflict Risk Alerts for November - Ethiopia, Sudan, Nicaragua, Yemen
Ethiopia: Tigray forces could advance on the Djibouti corridor or launch an assault on Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, with further devastating consequences for the country's stability and communal relations.
Sudan: Deadly crackdowns on tens of thousands of protesters opposing the military coup could foment splits in the military and lead to a violent escalation.
Yemen: A battle for Yemen’s Marib city looms after the Huthis made breakthroughs in the last contiguous bloc of territory held by government-aligned forces.
Nicaragua: Amid stifling of dissent, President Ortega’s controversial bid for a fourth term in Nicaragua’s general election on 7 November could fuel further political instability and isolation.
Source: International Crisis Group,
Early Settlement Concession For Young People Living Half Their Lives in the Uk
Some young people born or brought up in the UK without immigration status can now apply for settlement after five years rather than ten. The change in policy comes in a new and very welcome Home Office concession, published yesterday. Paragraph 276ADE(1)(v) of the Immigration Rules allows people aged 18-24 inclusive, who have spent half of their life living continuously in the UK, to apply for permission to stay. The catch is that they remain on the immigration system treadmill for a long time. While most migrants can settle in the UK after five years, young people with permission under this “half of life” rule have been on a ten-year...
Read more: CJ McKinney, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/pdh6sw
Progress Stalls on Vulnerable Immigration Detainees
On 21 October 2021 the Home Office published the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s (ICIBI) second annual inspection of the Adults at Risk policy, alongside its response. The report itself is an impressive piece of work and provides comprehensive information about the current state of immigration detention and how it is functioning. The themes that emerge from the report are depressingly familiar: poorly functioning systems for identifying vulnerable immigration detainees; poor quality casework; insufficient independent oversight of decisions to detain; and a pervasive culture of scepticism and disbelief amongst decision-makers. Background: the Adults at Risk policy For those not long in the tooth in this area, it is...
Read more: Jed Pennington, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/hu9k6f
Briefing: What is Section 3c Leave?
If a migrant makes a valid application to extend their leave (permission) to be in the UK before it expires, their existing leave will be rolled over until a decision has been made on the application, even if this is after the original expiry date. This is commonly known as “section 3C leave”, because it is in section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971. Section 3C leave is one of the most important concepts in our immigration system. It protects a migrant’s right to work and rent while they await a decision on an extension or switching application and ensures continuity of leave between grants of permission. This post explains...
Read more: Alex Piletska, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/l2qkzf
How do you Prove You’re a Gay Refugee?
People being persecuted on account of their sexual orientation can seek asylum in the UK, but face having to convince the Home Office that they are in fact lesbian, gay or bisexual. While asylum seekers are no longer quizzed about Oscar Wilde, more subtle forms of stereotyping persist. Decision-makers can demand of all LGBTQI+ asylum seekers a narrative that only some can provide: feelings of shame, stigma and difference, and a sort of emotional journey towards understanding their sexuality. On the podcast this month I hear from Katherine Soroya and Allan Briddock about what the Home Office expects from gay refugees and the problems that can cause for people who...
Read more: CJ McKinney, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/xie2v9
Restricted Leave and Russian Justice: When is Refusing ILR Irrational?
How should the Home Secretary deal with asylum seekers who are excluded from the protection of the Refugee Convention but cannot be deported? Since 2011, the restricted leave policy has sought to address that question. Restricted by name and restrictive by nature, the policy envisions short grants of leave, usually for six months at a time and with conditions. The objective is to prevent recipients from becoming established in the UK so that they are easier to deport as soon as conditions allow. The policy states that only in exceptional circumstances will a person who has been in receipt of restricted leave ever be granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR). ...
Read more: Amy Woolfson, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/pdh6sw
Immigration Act at 50: Is It Still Up To The Job?
Today Monday 1st November 2021, marks a significant date in the immigration lawyer’s calendar: it is 50 years exactly since the Immigration Act 1971 received royal assent. Free Movement staff have planned a party to celebrate the occasion (not). The 1971 Act is the root of British immigration law. 50 years on, it seems fair to reflect on whether it is still up to the task. The world (at least outside of East London) has moved on from pageboy haircuts and bell sleeves; perhaps it’s time we moved on from 1970s-style immigration control as well. Setting the Windrush trap The 1971 Act was passed with the intention of bringing all immigration powers into a...
Read more: Larry Lock, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/mjk5
Claiming Humanitarian Protection in Medical Treatment Cases
Seriously ill migrants claiming humanitarian protection status must show that a persecutor would intentionally deprive them of medical treatment, the Upper Tribunal has confirmed. The case is NM (Art 15(b): intention requirement) Iraq  UKUT 259 (IAC). NM suffers from end-stage chronic kidney disease and needs dialysis to stay alive. The First-tier Tribunal found that he wouldn’t be able to get treatment if sent back to Iraq. It allowed his appeal under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, but refused his bid for humanitarian protection. Humanitarian protection can be granted if someone would face a serious risk of serious harm, including “torture or inhuman or degrading treatment...
Read more: CJ McKinney, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/gpgyjk
Litigating to End Statelessness
Strategic litigation has always been a priority for the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) and its members. Having previously practised in the UK as an asylum lawyer, I recognise that part of the fight to end statelessness must take place in the courts.
An important new weapon in our armoury is the recently launched ENS Statelessness Case Law Database. Europe’s patchy record on statelessness Europe is home to a surprising number of stateless people: at least half a million, many born in Europe itself but also more recent arrivals. Equally, statelessness is not a new phenomenon. An international legal framework that guarantees protection to stateless people and sets clear rules.for preventing statelessness has been in place for at least a generation.
Read more: Chris Nash, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/90jmx5
‘Immigration Abuse’ a Particular Form of Abuse
An important new report published last week by the independent Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, considers how victims and survivors of domestic abuse with insecure immigration status can be better protected and supported.
The report notes that domestic abuse victims and survivors with insecure immigration status occupy one of the most precarious positions in society. Due to the precarity that insecure immigration status creates, vulnerable domestic abuse victims are being forced to stay with their abusers or risk destitution because they have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). In addition, perpetrators of domestic abuse often use a victim's insecure immigration status to exert further power and control, for example, by using the fear of immigration enforcement and threats of deportation.
Notably, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner's report recognises and uses the term 'immigration abuse' to describe this particular form of domestic abuse. Nicole Jacobs recommends to the Home Office that a working definition of immigration abuse should be introduced into all relevant domestic abuse policy and guidance.
Read more: EIN, https://rb.gy/sfpmme
Challenge to Automatic British Citizenship for Northern Irish People Thrown Out
In Re Ní Chuinneagain  NIQB 79 the High Court in Northern Ireland has thrown out a challenge to automatic British citizenship for people who reject it. The claimant is from Belfast and regards herself as 100% Irish, from passport to first language. Section 1(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 says that she is also a British citizen. Ms Ní Chuinneagain objects, and refuses to renounce her unwanted second nationality, saying that “doing so would represent an acceptance that she was born a British citizen, in addition to having to pay the administrative cost involved”. Mr Justice Scoffield found that being legally British “takes nothing away” from Ms Ní...
Read more: CJ McKinney, Freemovement, https://rb.gy/zr93d7