Sudan and South Sudan
Baroness Cox to ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the humanitarian crisis in the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan.
Baroness Northover: My Lords, we are deeply concerned at the serious humanitarian impact of conflicts between Sudan and South Sudan, and within both countries. We are closely engaged with the UN and other humanitarian agencies to ensure an effective response to the needs of affected people, and are pressing both Governments to enter into political processes to resolve conflicts.
Baroness Cox: I thank the Minister for her sympathetic reply. Is she aware that I recently returned from a visit to four camps on the Sudan/South Sudan border, where 250,000 refugees have fled from sustained aerial bombardment by Khartoum or been expelled by President al-Bashir's commitment to turn Sudan into a unified Arabic Islamic state? Conditions in those camps were dire then; they are now becoming catastrophic, with a rapidly rising death toll. Will Her Majesty's Government make strong, urgent representations to Khartoum to cease aerial bombardment of its own civilians, and across the border in South Sudan? It is in no way justified by President al-Bashir's allegation of military action by South Sudan, which bears no comparison with his massive, sustained slaughter of his own people?
Read more: House of Lords / 17 May 2012 : Column 525
UKBA Expenditure on Deportation of Immigrants
2011/2012 - £28,442,081 millions
2010/2011 - £29,034,845 millions
2009/2010 -£29,290,204 millions
2008/2009 - £26,789,716 millions
2007/2008 - £20,295,271 millions
Net total £133,852,116 millions
House of Commons / 15 May 2012 : Column 63W
DR Congo: Bosco Ntaganda Recruits Children by Force
Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, who mutinied against the Democratic Republic of Congo in early April 2012, has forcibly recruited at least 149 boys and young men into his forces since April 19, Human Rights Watch said today. Ntaganda, a former rebel leader turned army general, is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes for previous recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Read More: Human Rights Watch, 16/05/12
South Africa shrinks from investigating Zimbabwe torture allegations
South Africa's North Gauteng High Court has just ruled that South African prosecutors and police illegally refused to proceed with an investigation of systematic torture in Zimbabwe. South Africa, like many countries, has adopted the international crime prosecution Treaty ("the Rome Statute"). This means that under ordinary domestic law (the ICC Act) the South African investigative authorities have the power to prosecute anyone who has committed torture, or a crime against humanity anywhere in the world, if the perpetrator is in the country (at any time when investigation is contemplated). Jurisdiction is also vested irrespective of the perpetrator's whereabouts if the victim is a South African citizen.
Read more: Rosalind English, UK Human Rights Blog, 14/05/12
EDM 16: Protection of Coptic Christians in Egypt
That this House notes with alarm the sectarian violence directed at Coptic Christians in Egypt; believes that the Egyptian authorities have failed to investigate or prosecute those responsible for these attacks on Christians and their places of worship; further believes that Egyptian military and police appear to have played a role in the violence; and calls on the Government to fulfil its legal and moral responsibilities to ensure that the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination on Religion or Belief is adhered to by pressuring Egyptian authorities to provide a prompt, thorough and impartial inquiry conducted by independent judicial authorities, leading to accountability and the better protection of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority.
Primary sponsor: Sanders, Adrian, Sponsors: Corbyn, Jeremy / Glindon, Mary / Hancock, Mike / McDonnell, John / Russell, Bob
Date tabled: 09/05/2012
Nowhere to run: rebels trapped in Burma's escalating ethnic war
Ethnic Kachin fighters are locked in battle against Burmese forces after a government offensive on the border town of Laiza – where the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) is based – sparked fears that authorities are planning a final push to oust the rebels. Fighting has been escalating since mid-April, when several rounds of peace talks – forming part of the government's much-heralded moves toward reform – reached no tangible outcome.
Read more: Padraig Byrne, Indpendent, 15/05/12
UKBA 'Detaining Children in Degrading Conditions' at Heathrow
Children held in small, stuffy rooms at airport for hours, often sharing space with adults they are not related to, watchdog finds. The Heathrow independent monitoring board (IMB) says children of all ages are being detained at the airport for immigration purposes almost every day, and are sometimes kept overnight. They are held in rooms that are small, stuffy and have no natural light. There is no access to the open air, no sleeping accommodation and only hand basins for washing. They often share space with unrelated adults and can be held in these conditions for many hours.
Read More: Alan Travis, The Guardian, 14/05/12
Keep Bernard Safe in Sheffield
Bernard Mboueyeu fled the Cameroon in 2007 when he was pursued by the authorities for supporting a political group opposed to the brutal ruling regime.
Bernard came to the UK in 2007 and married Sheffield woman, Sharon, a charity worker, in 2010. Sharon and Bernard have set up home in Wincobank and Bernard plays an active role in the local community, supporting local charities.
Despite their marriage, the Home Office have demanded Bernard return to Cameroon to apply for a spouse's visa. Bernard has offered to return if his safety is guaranteed but the Home Office have refused to make that guarantee.
If Bernard returns to Cameroon he could be detained, face torture, or locked up indefinitely and may never return to his wife Sharon in Sheffield.
Amnesty International's 2011 Report noted that the Cameroon regime "continued to restrict the activities of political opponents and journalists" and that "detention conditions remained harsh and often life-threatening".
Please Go to Campaign page here . . . . for Petition
Sharon Mboueyeu: email@example.com
Portugal: Austerity Measures Pose a Serious Threat to Human Rights
"Fiscal austerity measures implemented so far in Portugal have disproportionately affected the human rights of the most vulnerable social groups, especially children, the elderly and Roma. I welcome the government's efforts at cushioning the impact of the financial crisis, notably through the 'social emergency' programme which started to be implemented late last year. Much more and systematic work though is necessary in order to fully protect and respect the social and economic right standards by which Portugal is bound", said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, upon conclusion of his three-day visit to Lisbon."
Rea more: EU Commissioner for Human Rights, 09/05/12
Child asylum seekers 'still being imprisoned' by immigration service
A report by the Refugee Council to be published this week accuses the immigration service of continuing to detain child asylum seekers by wrongly classifying them as adults.
The report, Not a Minor Offence, has been welcomed by other groups working with refugees and asylum seekers who are growing increasingly concerned by the numbers of age dispute cases. Last year one child spent almost three months locked up before it was finally accepted that he was not an adult.
Read more: Tracy McVeigh, The Observer, Sunday 20 May 2012
Lydia Besong and Bernard Batey Win their Asylum Case
RAPAR: The Manchester-based Human Rights Organisation
Lydia and Bernard Must Stay Campaign
Tribunal recognises their political and cultural activities will place them at risk if they are returned to Cameroon
"This is a deeply important victory for everyone interested in ensuring the safety of our refugees" - Gary McIndoe, Lydia and Bernard's solicitor
Cameroon playwright Lydia Besong and her husband Bernard Batey heard today Wednesday 16th May, that they have won their asylum case.
that they have won their asylum case.
US: Sexual Violence, Harassment of Immigrant Farm workers
Hundreds of thousands of immigrant farm worker women and girls in the United States face a high risk of sexual violence and sexual harassment in their workplaces because US authorities and employers fail to protect them adequately, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The current US Senate bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would go some way toward fixing the problem and should be enacted, but much more needs to be done, Human Rights Watch said.
The 95-page report, ÒCultivating Fear: The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment,Ó describes rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farm workers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.
Read more: Human Rights Watch, 16/05/12
UK: Racism, bullying, threats ... daily life of migrant workers
Hundreds of migrant workers continue to live in a climate of fear, poverty stricken, subjected to inhuman conditions and indebted to gangmasters, a report published today reveals.
'Experiences of Forced Labour in the UK Food Industry', a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and one of the largest studies into the plight of those in the industry from farm and factory workers through to those toiling in restaurants, found a catalogue of abusive practices.
Its researchers discovered workers were subjected to racist or sexist bullying and threats. Isolated, unable to speak English and unaware of their rights, many complained of feeling depressed and some were driven to self harm.
Read more: Terri Judd, Independent, 15/05/12
India: Hold Police to Account for Sexual and Other Assaults
Indian officials need to immediately open transparent and impartial criminal investigations into recent cases where police have assaulted women, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the government of India to overhaul its policies and response to women, children, and transgender people who experience violence. The Indian authorities should protect victims from police intimidation and discrimination, and prevent police interference in investigations and post-assault medical treatment, Human Rights Watch said.
Read More: Human Rights Watch, 14th May 2012
Demo in support of Ruhul Anam, 17th-18th May
Ruhul Anam has been in immigration detention for the last 4 years.
The Court of Appeal has already determined that the first 18 months of his detention was unlawful and Ruhul has won the right to argue that his entire detention has been unlawful in the High Court. This hearing will take place on 17th and 18th May and London NoBorders are calling for a demo in solidarity.
We will protest from 9:00 am-11:00 am outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the 17th and 18th May, on the corner of Aldwych/Fleet Sreet, WC2A 2LL.
Please join us! London No Borders firstname.lastname@example.org
Preventing Trafficking in the UK
The Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group's (ATMG) research found that some preventative activities have been implemented across the UK and identified some areas of good practice, in particular at regional and local levels. Good examples were, however, somewhat obscured by the overall lack of a comprehensive prevention strategy. Consequently, prevention seems to be the weakest of the "three P's" - prevention - protection – prosecution - used to frame anti-trafficking work. There appears to be three main reasons for this: a limited understanding of the concept of prevention in the context of trafficking in human beings, the absence of a coherent prevention strategy, and the fragmented coordination of anti-trafficking efforts overall.
Executive Summary here . . . / Full report here . . . .
RAPAR here for Another Year
Growing from strength to strength since 2001 - because of YOU - dear Members, Friends and Supporters of RAPAR, please join us for our Annual General Meeting. We will present our annual report. There will also be a presentation about "SERCO" the private company recently contracted by the Government to replace UKBA asylum support services in the North West of the UK.
This meeting will be held on Friday May 18 th in Room 1, Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS, upstairs from our offices.
There will be snacks and hot drinks available. To help us cater please email email@example.com to let us know if you are coming.