10,000 People Have Crossed the Channel in Small Boats So Far This Year
Approximately 10,000 people have arrived in the United Kingdom on small boats from across the Channel since January 2022, according to figures disclosed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Since New Years Day, 9,998 individuals have reached the UK after leaving the French coast in vessels such as dinghies, marking an increase in the number of annual crossings recorded in previous years. 28,526 people were noted to have made such journeys in 2021, compared to 8,466 individuals in 2020 and 1,842 in 2019. The figures for 2022 stand at more than double of what they were during the same period last year; a total of 79 migrants were also reportedly brought ashore at Dover by Border Force yesterday.
The MoD defines a ‘small boat’ as a vessel used by individuals who cross the English Channel ‘with the aim of gaining entry to the UK without a visa or permission to enter – either directly by landing in the UK or having been intercepted at sea by the authorities and brought ashore.’
Last week, the Government agreed to launch a public inquiry into the drowning of at least 27 people who attempted to cross the Channel in a small boat on November 24, 2021 amid concerns that their dinghy had capsized in British waters. The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, acknowledged that the current probe by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) was not sufficient and did not comply with the investigative duty under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Read more: Udit Mahalingam, Justice Gap, https://rb.gy/iuonph
Hungary: Confinement of Iraqi Family, Including Four Children - Violation of Articles 3/4 and 5
The case concerned the confinement of an Iraqi family, including four children, in the Tompa transit zone at the border of Hungary and Serbia between 3 April and 24 August 2017. The applicants relied on Articles 3 and 8 (conditions in the transit zone), Article 13, Article 5 (unlawful deprivation of liberty) and Article 34 (non-compliance with an interim measure). In the context of his complaint under Article 3, the first applicant also alleged that he had been handcuffed and attached to a leash when he had accompanied the second applicant to hospital, escorted by police officers.
The Court, Unanimously, Declared the application admissible; Held that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the first applicant; a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the second to sixth applicants; that there has been a violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention;
Ruled - (a) that the respondent State is to pay, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement: (i) to the first applicant EUR 3,000 (three thousand euros), and to the second to sixth applicant jointly, EUR 12,500 (twelve thousand five hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage; (ii) to the applicants jointly EUR 1,500 (one thousand five hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants, in respect of costs and expenses; (b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
Source: ECtHR, https://rb.gy/1ov18s
Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - June 2022
Deteriorated Situations - Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Tajikistan, Egypt, Libya
Conflict Risk Alerts for June - Korean Peninsula, Ukraine, Colombia, Yemen
Improved Situations: Somalia
Resolution Opportunities: Yemen
As North Korea continued its provocative missile launches, the U.S. and South Korea issued warnings about the possibility of a nuclear test in the coming weeks, which would be the country’s first since 2017 and seventh to date.
Hostilities could further intensify and spread in Ukraine’s east as Russian forces seek to capture more towns and cities, fuelling yet more displacement.
Colombia’s tight presidential run-off pitting leftist candidate Gustavo Petro and conservative Rodolfo Hernández could fuel post-electoral violence following voting day on 19 June.
The April truce agreed between Yemen’s warring parties largely held as Sanaa airport opened for its first commercial flight in six years. Yet, if the UN fails to extend the deal, set to expire on 2 June, hostilities could resume.
Source: International Crisis Group
How to Respond to Rwanda Removal Notices
Asylum seekers arriving by boat have started to receive notices informing them of the UK government’s intention to remove them to Rwanda pursuant to the “Migration and Economic Development Partnership” announced last month. We learned yesterday that the Home Office wishes to begin removing people on 14 June. This article offers some practical suggestions on how representatives may wish to respond to notices of intent, based on my own experience and research so far.
These notices are not decisions or removal directions. If the person served with the notice is in detention, they are told that they must respond within seven days. If they are not in detention, the deadline is 14 days. The shorter timeframe for people in detention is presumably because of the supposition that legal advice is available through the Detained Duty Advice Scheme. The problems with this are well-known.
Read more: Freemovement, https://rb.gy/ndbgho
Feeling Suicidal in Immigration Detention - Get a Haircut or Play an Instrument
A suicidal detainee in immigration detention has been told by the Detention Centre Management that they are unable to provide counselling and instead given the detainee a trauma handout pack in English (a language he cannot understand). Suggestions include ‘try a new haircut’ and ‘play an instrument.’
May the Powers that be strike Boris and the Home Office with a bolt of Lightning
10 Years of a Hostile Environment for Migrants: It’s Time to Change!
Last month marked the tenth anniversary since the then home secretary, Theresa May, declared the aim of building a hostile environment for migrants in the UK. The policies which followed have produced scandal after scandal, with the infamous undermining of the rights of people from the Windrush generation of Caribbean migrants being only the most well-known. There is scarcely any group of people who came from abroad – whether they be refugees, migrant workers, students, or the family members of people settled here who haven’t felt the harsh consequences of this set of policies.
The government made the mistake of thinking that the hostile environment would be popular with the majority of people in the UK, but that hasn’t been the case. Right from the early days of its ‘Go Home vans’ campaign, through to the refusal to provide sanctuary to asylum seekers corralled on the wrong side of the English Channel, the shocked response to what was inflicted on Windrush generation people, and taking in solidarity shown to migrant workers in the key posts that kept the country running during the worst period of the Covid pandemic, more and more people have been showing a willingness to take the side of people who are trying to settle into normal lives in the UK.
The Status Now Network grew out of this popular reaction to the hostile environment. We are working today to win greater recognition of the injustices being inflicted on people settling in the UK, and for the solidarity that will be needed to defeat the threat that the hostile environment poses to their lives.
Our demands remain: End the hostile environment! - Status Now, for all!
Anger as Protesters Who Blocked UK Immigration Raid Face Day in Court
Before Thursday, 13 May 2021, few people beyond Glasgow’s southside had ever heard of Kenmure Street. But when its diverse community came together in their hundreds that day to block a raid by UK immigration officials, their action was celebrated internationally and the location made a byword for community spirit and inspirational activism.
Much coverage focused on the jubilant, communal atmosphere – families celebrating the first day of Eid joined seasoned activists, a pop-up tuck shop was established in a bus stop, and local Pollokshields businesses donated food and water to protesters.
The successful action saw the two detained Indian men – Sumit Sehdev, a chef, and Lakhvir Singh, a mechanic, suspected of overstaying their visas – released to rapturous cheers after an eight-hour standoff.
But now, a year on, some protesters remain locked in a bitter battle with police as they fight the charges they received that day.
Read more: Eve Livingston, Observer, https://rb.gy/alf8yt
Online Petition: Drop Charges Against Kenmure Street 3
We are three people who were violently arrested during the mass community resistance to a home office raid on Kenmure Street, Glasgow, last year. Despite the Scottish government condemning the raid, in February we found out that the state intends to prosecute us. Our trials are scheduled for the 3rd and 4th August 2022.
The police want you to believe that they were somehow there to facilitate the protest; they were not. They were there to enable the kidnapping of two men by the racist home office. While resisting this alongside thousands of others, we were brutalised, locked up, and are now facing a repressive and distressing court process. We should not have to go through this.
Please help us by signing and sharing this petition demanding that our charges are dropped now.
Three more things you can do to support us:
- Write to your MP to demand that our charges are dropped - please feel free to use this template letter https://rb.gy/g8exl9.
- Get in touch with us if you witnessed or have footage of our arrests, via our email, firstname.lastname@example.org. This could help our defence.
- Come and support us outside the court when we go to trial.
You Cannot Enter/Remain in the UK - if You Owe Money to the NHS
Owing a debt to the National Health Service is a ground for refusing applications for permission to enter or remain in the UK. Such debts arise because “overseas visitors” are charged for certain types of NHS treatment.
The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No. 238) required NHS trusts in England to charge 150% of the cost of secondary care. The charging regulations were expanded in October 2017, forcing community services to also impose charges and making provision for advance payments for non-urgent care. Separate but similar rules are in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This article focuses on the rules in England.
The official name for the now extensive system of NHS charging is the Visitor and Migrant NHS Cost Recovery Programme. “The programme’s overarching objective“, according to the Department of Health, “is to improve cost recovery and ensure that the NHS receives a fair contribution for the cost of the healthcare it provides to non-UK residents”.
The objective of the plan, though, is not limited to increasing the income of the NHS. It is part of a broader attempt to create a “hostile environment” for those without the right to stay in the UK, and thereby supposedly to reduce the number of migrants coming to or staying in the UK.
Read more: Freemovement, https://rb.gy/zkq7is