Civilian deaths in Afghanistan at highest level in a decade
A string of bigger and more complex suicide attacks by insurgents in Afghanistan have pushed civilian deaths to their highest level in a decade a United Nations report says.
The number of civilians killed in the conflict rose eight per cent last year to reach 3,021 – with more than three-quarters caused by attacks from the Taliban-led insurgency.
The findings that on average more than eight Afghans a day are being killed are at odds with Nato assessments that violence is falling. Deaths from suicide attacks rose more than 80 per cent to 431 over the year. The number of suicide attacks did not rise, but "the nature of these attacks changed, becoming more complex, sometimes involving multiple suicide bombers, and designed to yield greater numbers of dead and injured civilians" the report found.
Read more: Ben Farmer, Telegraph, 04/02/12
Malaria kills 1.2 million people every year
[How many people have UKBA deported to Malaria affected countries without proper immunization]
Malaria kills twice as many people every year as formerly believed, taking 1.2 million lives and causing the deaths not only of babies but also older children and adults, according to research that overturns decades of assumptions about one of the world's most lethal diseases.
The findings from the research, published on Friday, which has reanalysed 30 years of data on the disease using new techniques, will force a rethink of the huge global effort that has been under way to eliminate malaria. That ambition now looks highly unlikely by the UN target date of 2015.
It also raises urgent questions about the future of the troubled Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria, which has provided the money for most of the tools to combat the disease in Africa, such as insecticide-impregnated bed nets and new drugs. The fund is in financial crisis and has had to cancel its next grant-making round.
Sarah Boseley, The Guardian, Friday 3 February 2012
ECtHR: I. M. v. France - violation of Article 13
First-time asylum seeker not given effective remedy under fast-track procedure for examination of his case
[France: Applications under the fast-track procedure account for 24% of the overall number of applications, and 62.5% of fast-track procedures relate to first-time applications ] Full judgment is available only in French
Chamber judgment in the case I. M. v. France (application no. 9152/09), which is not final", the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
A violation of Article 13 (right to an affective remedy) taken together with Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights
The case concerned the risks the applicant would face in the event of his deportation to Sudan and the effectiveness of the remedies available to him in France in view of the fact that his asylum application was dealt with under the fast-track procedure. Read more . . . .
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - January 2012
Seven actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and two improved in January 2012, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch
Deteriorated Situations: South Sudan, Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Syria, Pakistan
Download the full report: Crisis Watch 102
AA (unattended children) Afghanistan v. SSHD
Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
138. In the light of our decision as to the appellant's entitlement to recognition as a refugee, it is not necessary to address the claim to humanitarian protection. Suffice it to say that we are satisfied that had he not succeeded in his claim to recognition of refugee status, he would have been entitled to humanitarian protection
139. The appeal is allowed on asylum and Article 3 ECHR grounds.
140. The appeal on humanitarian protection grounds is dismissed.
(1) The evidence before the Tribunal does not alter the position as described in HK and Others (minors - indiscriminate violence - forced recruitment by Taliban - contact with family members) Afghanistan CG  UKUT 378 (IAC), namely that when considering the question of whether children are disproportionately affected by the consequences of the armed conflict in Afghanistan, a distinction has to be drawn between children who were living with a family and those who are not. That distinction has been reinforced by the additional material before this Tribunal. Whilst it is recognised that there are some risks to which children who will have the protection of the family are nevertheless subject, in particular the risk of landmines and the risks of being trafficked, they are not of such a level as to lead to the conclusion that all children would qualify for international protection. In arriving at this conclusion, account has been taken of the necessity to have regard to the best interests of children.
(2) However, the background evidence demonstrates that unattached children returned to Afghanistan, depending upon their individual circumstances and the location to which they are returned, may be exposed to risk of serious harm, inter alia from indiscriminate violence, forced recruitment, sexual violence, trafficking and a lack of adequate arrangements for child protection. Such risks will have to be taken into account when addressing the question of whether a return is in the child's best interests, a primary consideration when determining a claim to humanitarian protection.
Download the full decision: Refworld CG  UKUT 00016 (IAC)
Patrice - Didn't Fly, No One Knows Why, but does he/we Care!
Patrick Ndjonssy contacted 'No-Deportations' to say, no escorts came to collect him for the journey to the airport yesterday morning. He was not and still has not been told why the removal was cancelled, he said to tell y'all, '"Many thanks to all who supported, still here but not there, where UKBA want me to be. The continued incarceration and repeated removal directions are not conducive to my mental health, I am really feeling the strain but contact/help from all who support my fight to remain in the UK, keeps me strong."
Background: 12th attempt to Remove Patrice Ndjonssy
Conflict-related sexual violence - Report by UN Secretary-General
Covering the period from December 2010 to November 2011; provides information on parties to conflict credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence
Armed conflict and its aftermath provide a specific context for sexual violence.
Conflict-related sexual violence refers to incidents or patterns (for the purposes of listing in accordance with Security Council resolution 1960 (2010)) of sexual violence, that is rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy enforced sterilization or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity against women, men or children. Such incidents or patterns occur in conflict or postconflict settings or other situations of concern (e.g. political strife).
The last year has seen several new and ongoing armed conflicts where sexual violence was widespread and, in some instances, may have been systematically targeted at civilians by armed forces and armed groups, in order to punish, humiliate and destroy. Mass rapes against women and girls were also witnessed. The general breakdown in law and order, the absence of justice, continuing conflict, entrenched discriminatory attitudes and practices and the prevailing culture of impunity in these situations allowed for these crimes to be committed not only with appalling consequences for the victims, but with a force that destroys the fabric of society as a whole.
The report covers the following countries
Bosnia and Herzegovina | Central African Republic | Côte d'Ivoire | Democratic Republic of the Congo | Colombia | Egypt | Guinea | Kenya | Liberia | Libya | Sri Lanka | Myanmar | Nepal | Sudan | Sierra Leone | Somalia | South Sudan | Syrian Arab Republic | Chad | Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Download the full report published on Refworld here . . . .
Zimbabwean's have you heard from UKBA
'No-Deportation's have heard but unconfirmed UKBA may once again be trying to remove Zimbabwean's with out status from the UK back to Zimbabwe. That they may be beginning 'trials for returns, what these 'trials' are we have no idea and hoping that the Zimbabwean community may be able to help. If you have had any correspondence from UKBA about returning you to Zimbabwe, can you get in touch with 'No-Deportations' immediately.
China/Islamophobia: Silencing Uighur Muslims
Rights groups have condemned China life sentences against two Uighur Muslims for unknown crimes after being deported from Cambodia where they had requested asylum, Reuters reported recently.
ÒThe imprisonment of these men, who were forcefully deported from a place of refuge, should serve as a wake-up call to the world about the brutal treatment awaiting Uighur asylum seekers who are sent back to China,Ó Uighur American Association president Alim Seytoff said in a statement posted on the advocacy groupÕs website.
Back in December 2009, 18 Muslim Uighurs, seeking asylum in Cambodia, were deported upon request from China after the Cambodian government ignored objections from the United States and international rights groups.
Following trials Ôshrouded in secrecyÕ, a court in the far western region of Xinjiang sentenced Nurahmet Kudret, 35, and Islam Urayim, 32, to life in prison, relatives of the men told the Uighur American Association and US-based Radio Free Asia.
Read more here . . . .
No Removal without Access to Solicitor
The Queen on the Application of Medical Justice v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1710 - read judgment
People who make unsuccessful claims to enter or remain in the United Kingdom cannot be removed without being given sufficient time for a lawyer to prepare a proper challenge to their claim. The government has failed in its appeal against the Administrative Court's finding that government policy unlawfully provided for expedited removal procedures in certain pressing circumstances - for example where there was a risk that the person concerned, if given advanced notification of his removal, might attempt to frustrate those measures of removal. The policy was quashed because it interfered with people's right of access to a lawyer.
Rosalind English, UK Human Rights Blog, Friday 27th January 2012
Gracia Kabambi's removal to DRC cancelled at last minute
All are delighted to hear the good news that the flight did not go ahead. It's not yet known why the flight was cancelled. This is, however, yet another case of removal being stopped at the last minute - when the person facing deportation is at the airport. This is incredibly distressing for the person facing removal, and all of their supporters. Gracia's legal fight continues. Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Gracia, we will keep you updated on her case.
Another Attempt to Remove Gracia Kabambi to DR Congo
She will be at risk because of her opposition political activity - particularly as political violence is on the increase in DRC following the disputed elections - and will be separated from her family who are in the UK, which Gracia has made her home. A Justice First report presents clear evidence that refused asylum seekers are at risk of ill-treatment and torture if returned to DRC, a report that has recently attracted media attention.
Gracia is currently detained in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre. She has already been issued removal directions for 31 December 2011, but her solicitor secured a last minute injunction to stop the flight. Gracia now has removal directions for Tuesday 31 January 2012.
More information model letters to airline/UKBA @ NCADC here . . . .
Source: NCADC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gracia Kabambi' Served with New RDs for Monday 6th
Pressure on Kenya Airways saved Gracia once: now it's Ethiopia Airways' turn
New model letter to Ethiopia Airways here . . . .
Email: email@example.com / Fax: 020 7747 9339
New model letter to Home Secretary here . . . .
Background here . . . .
G4S and asylum seekers' housing
By IRR News Team, 2 February 2012
Below we reproduce a letter signed by academics in the Yorkshire region expressing concerns over the awarding of a housing contract to a private company.
As researchers and university teachers in the fields of housing and immigration in the Yorkshire region we oppose the plans of the Coalition government, through the UK Border Agency (UKBA), to award national contracts of around £135 million for managing asylum seeker social housing to the three multinational security companies who manage most immigration detention centres, and forcible deportations in the UK; G4S, Serco, and Reliance.
Read the full article here . . . .
High court issues damning judgment on 'widespread unlawful use of restraint' in child prisons run by G4S and Serco
The children and young persons sent to [secure training centres] were sent there because they had acted unlawfully and to learn to obey the law, yet many of them were subject to unlawful actions during their detention. I need, I think, say no more - Judge Mr Justice Foskett
Children's Rights Alliance, 11/01/12
Brook House IRC - Substantial Improvements, but Significant Concerns Remain
Report on an unannounced full follow-up inspection of Brook House IRC, 12 – 23 September 2011 by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons. Report compiled November 2011, published Tuesday 31st January 2012
Brook House IRC is managed by G4S
Inspectors were concerned to find that:
- excessive and often illegitimate use of the separation unit - was of significant concern
- the use of the stark separation cells for those in crisis was inappropriate;
- use of Detention Centre Rule 15 - an administrative measure to certify all accommodation - as a catch-all to authorise and justify the separation of many detainees was unacceptable
- proper use of Rules 40 and 42 were not in place
- privileges were permitted or denied in a crude and sometimes unthinking way
- application of a prison¬style basic regime, was excessively punitive
- time unlocked was, by comparison to other IRCs, restrictive
- insufficient access to Muslim chaplains for the substantial Muslim population
- the appalling practice of taking 'reserve' detainees to fill spaces on escorted flights, with many returned, continued
- Access to the internet was problematic, with several helpful websites needlessly blocked
- education was minimal, despite the best efforts of the single tutor
- Legal advice surgeries were accessible but, in the view of many, of limited value
- there was no systematic consideration of detainees' needs prior to release or removal
- professional interpretation was used sparingly, despite situations where confidentiality and accuracy of interpretation were essential;
- - Inspectors have made 146 recommendations both repeated and new
Read the full inroduction to the report here . . . .
Damian Green: To Announce More Economic Apartheid
Damian Green is this week expected to outline the principles behind the Government's new ''selective'' immigration policy that will give preferential treatment to investors, entrepreneurs and world-class artists, dancers, musicians and academics.
Under the planned reforms ''fewer but better'' immigrants will be allowed to settle in the UK, with those who lack the skills to ''help drive economic growth'' or contribute to UK culture facing greater scrutiny.
Mr Green told The Sunday Times: ''What we need is a system that ... goes out to seek those people who are either going to create jobs or wealth or add to the high-level artistic and cultural aspirations we have. ''Getting the number down is the absolute key but what I am aiming at is fewer and better.''
Read More: Telegraph, 29/01/12
Appeal Allowed: LZ (homosexuals) Zimbabwe v. SSHD
[ 'Freemovement the blog, have written a briefing on this case, all is not as it would seem - 'the latest Country Guidance case on Zimbabwe finds, in essence, that despite vociferous and violent pronouncements about homosexuality at the highest level in that country, Zimbabwe is a safe haven for lesbians and gays. go here to read the briefing]
117. The determination of the AIT is set aside. We remake the decision thus: the appeal is allowed under the Refugee Convention.
United Kingdom: Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Publication Date 8 January 2012
Published on Refworld: 27/01/12
Sufficiency of protection
112. On this issue there is no difficulty. The sources agree, and the respondent accepts, that anyone who is at risk of persecution in Zimbabwe as a homosexual, male or female, will not receive legal sufficiency of protection from the police or other state agencies. Resort to such agencies may even make matters worse.
(i) There has been much public expression of extreme homophobia at the highest levels in recent years.
(ii) Male homosexual behaviour is criminalised, but prosecutions are very rare. Lesbianism is not criminalised.
(iii) Some homosexuals suffer discrimination, harassment and blackmail from the general public and the police. Attempted extortion, false complaints and unjustified detentions are not so prevalent as to pose a general risk. There are no records of any murders with a homophobic element. "Corrective rape" is rare, and does not represent a general risk.
(iv) There is a "gay scene," within limitations.
(v) Lesbians, living on their own or together, may face greater difficulties than gay men.
(vi) GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) takes a realistic view: Zimbabwe is "not the worst place in the world to be gay or lesbian even though the President, government officials and church leaders have whipped up a climate of hysterical homophobia."
(vii) Applying HJ & HT  UKSC 31,  Imm AR 729, there is no general risk to gays or lesbians. Personal circumstances place some gays and lesbians at risk. Although not decisive on its own, being openly gay may increase risk. A positive HIV/AIDS diagnosis may be a risk factor. Connections with the elite do not increase risk.
(viii) The police and other state agents do not provide protection.
(ix) A homosexual at risk in his or her community can move elsewhere, either in the same city or to another part of the country. He or she might choose to relocate to where there is greater tolerance, such as Bulawayo, but the choice of a new area is not restricted. The option is excluded only if personal circumstances present risk throughout the country.
European Social Charter = Very Strong Migrant/Social Rights
Conclusions of the European Committee of Social Rights for 2011
The European Committee of Social Rights has made public its Conclusions 2011 in respect of the States Parties to the European Social Charter.
These conclusions contain the Committee's assessment of the conformity of national situations with the provisions of the Revised Charter which guarantee fundamental social rights such as the rights of children, the right to maternity protection, rights related to the protection of the family, the rights of migrant workers and the right to housing.
In 2011 950 conclusions, including 258 findings of violations of the Charter, were adopted.
The provisions concerned belong to Thematic Group 4 which covers Charter rights pertaining to children, family and migrants.
The following rights concern both the Revised Charter and the 1961 Charter:
- the right of children and young persons to protection (Article 8)
- the right of employed women to protection (Article 7)
- the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection (Article 16)
- the right of mothers and children to social and economic protection (Article 17)
- the right of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance (Article 19)
The Committee's conclusions also cover the following rights with respect to States bound by the Revised Charter:
- the right of workers with family responsibilities to equal opportunity and treatment (Article 27)
- the right to housing (Article 31).
Conclusions by State/ General Introductions 2011 and XIX-4 (2011)
Full UK conclusions attached, below a few extracts
European Social Charter
European Committee of Social Rights Conclusions XIX-4 (2011) (United Kingdom) Articles 7, 8, 16, 17 and 19 of the Charter. Published Tuesday 24th January 2012
Article 19 - Right of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance
Paragraph 8 - Guarantees concerning deportation
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 19§8 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that family members of a migrant worker who are nationals of Contracting Parties that are not members of the EEA or EU, as well as children of a migrant worker who are nationals of EU member states or parties to the EEA but are aged under 17 years of age, are liable to be expelled following a migrant worker's deportation.
Article 19 - Right of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance
Paragraph 10 - Equal treatment for the self-employed
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 19§10 of the 1961 Charter on the same grounds for which it is not in conformity with paragraphs 4 and 8 of the same Article.
Article 7 - Right of children and young persons to protection
Paragraph 5 - Fair pay
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation is not in conformity with Article 7§5 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that the minimum wages of young workers between 15 and 17 are not fair.
Article 7 - Right of children and young persons to protection
Paragraph 10 - Special protection against physical and moral dangers
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 7§10 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that children who are victims of sexual exploitation may be
Article 8 - Right of employed women to protection
Paragraph 1 - Maternity leave
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 8§1 of the Charter of 1961 on the ground that the standard rates of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), after six weeks, and Maternity Allowance (MA) are inadequate.
Article 16 - Right of the family to social, legal and economic protection
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 16 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that the right of Gypsy/Traveller families to housing is not effectively guaranteed.
Article 17 - Right of mothers and children to social and economic protection
Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 17
of the Charter of 1961 on the grounds that:
- not all forms of corporal punishment are prohibited in the home;
- the age of criminal responsibility is manifestly low.
Injunciton Granted - Removal stayed
Urgent alert: act to help Ashot Aghababyan now
Ashot is facing removal to Armenia on Sunday 5 February
* Ashot is a high profile political opponent of the Armenian government
* he has been arrested several times because of his political activity
* the asylum system has failed him with interpreters in the wrong language being used
"I cannot go back to my own country, Armenia, until the government changes. This is because in 2008 I denounced the current prime minister and his allies as murderers to a crowd of about 10,000 anti-Government demonstrators in Liberty Square through a megaphone. I am the only person to have named them publicly, and to say that I could prove their guilt. As soon as I did this, my life was in danger and I fled the country"
Go to Ashot's campaign page @ NCADC for what you can do