Popov v. France
Detention of baby and young child with their immigrant parents in facility unsuitable for children was unlawful and incompatible with respect for family life
In today's Chamber judgment in the case of Popov v. France (applications nos. 39472/07 and 39474/07), which is not final", the European Court of Human Rights held:
Unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of the administrative detention of the children,
By a majority, that there had been no violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the administrative detention of the parents,
Unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 4 (right to liberty and security) in respect of the administrative detention of the children,
Unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) in respect of the administrative detention of the whole family.
The case concerned the administrative detention of a family for two weeks at the Rouen¬Oissel in France centre pending their removal to Kazakhstan.
Read the ECtHR summary here . . .
Asylum [No funding for refugee integration]
Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the integration of refugees in the UK;
(2) what steps his Department is taking to promote the effective integration of refugees in the UK; 
(3) what plans he has to monitor the integration of refugees in the UK; 
(4) what plans his Department has to develop a strategy for refugee integration in the UK.
Andrew Stunell: The Government plan to publish a document setting out its approach to integration shortly. The Governments' role is to create the conditions which enable integration to happen in all places and with all communities. But integration including for refugees is essentially a local issue led by public and private sector organisations, voluntary and community groups, social enterprises and other local organisations. As such integration activity should in the main be designed, delivered and monitored locally.
As a result of the need to make significant savings across the UK Border Agency, in line with the Government's strategy to reduce the deficit, it is no longer possible for the UK Border Agency to fund a refugee integration service. In response to concerns about the resultant impact on refugees, the UK Border Agency established a cross sector working group in April 2011. The group's aim is to identify cost neutral activities that will help address the integration needs of refugees. In the meantime, individuals granted refugee status have full entitlement to access public funds and services and the UK Border Agency is committed to providing documentation that helps facilitate access to these entitlements.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the right hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles), has discussed the Government's approach to integration with colleagues on a number of occasions.
House of Commons / 18 Jan 2012 : Column 809W
Defence for Children International (DCI ) v. Belgium
Complaint No. 69/2011 - Decision on admissibility
DEI alleges that the situation in Belgium of unaccompanied foreign minors unlawfully present or seeking asylum and accompanied foreign minors unlawfully present amount to a violation of Articles 7, 11,13, 16, 17, 30 et E of the Charter. Even though they are legally entitled to receive social assistance in Belgium, they are currently being denied such assistance in practice.
DEI, in particular, claims that :
a) the lack of reception facilities for foreign minors and families prevents them from exercising their right to appropriate social, legal and economic protection (Article 17);
b) these young people and families have extremely limited or no access to medical services and face increased risks to their health (Article 11);
c) these families do not enjoy the conditions for a full development (Article 16);
d) street children accompanying parents who are in the country unlawfully and engage in begging are not protected by Belgian State (Article 7§10)
e) effective access to housing for persons who live or risk living in a situation of social exclusion is not ensured (Article 30);
f) the non-asylum-seeking unaccompanied foreign minors, who are over the age of 13, are being denied the right to reception and all the entitlements that flow therefrom, on the basis of their administrative status. (Article E in conjunction with the substantive rights cited above).
European Committee of Social Rights Declares the Complaint Admissible
Waiting for Death: Forced Displacement/Villagization in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian government under its ÒvillagizationÓ program is forcibly relocating approximately 70,000 indigenous people from the western Gambella region to new villages that lack adequate food, farmland, healthcare, and educational facilities, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. State security forces have repeatedly threatened, assaulted, and arbitrarily arrested villagers who resist the transfers.
Forced Displacement and 'Villagization' in Ethiopi's Gambella Region, examines the first year of Gambella's villagization program. It details the involuntary nature of the transfers, the loss of livelihoods, the deteriorating food situation, and ongoing abuses by the armed forces against the affected people. Many of the areas from which people are being moved are slated for leasing by the government for commercial agricultural development.
Human Rights Watch, 17/01/12
Sudan: Ethnic Groups [displaced Dinka Ngok people of Abyei]
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on UK support for the request that the submission from the Dinka Ngok people of Abyei Area be considered at the 80th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 
Mr Bellingham: We are deeply concerned about the welfare of the 100,000 people who have been displaced from their homes in Abyei. We urge the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to implement their existing agreements in full, in particular the 20 June Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area, and the 8 September decision of the Abyei Area Joint Oversight Committee. We also urge both parties to withdraw their armed forces fully, allow unfettered humanitarian access, and establish an Abyei Area Administration. This will allow security to be provided by the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei and displaced people to return home.
House of Commons / 16 Jan 2012 : Column 588W
Child trafficking victims bounced back to France within hours of arrival in UK
Trafficked children arriving alone at Dover were sent straight back to France under a secret "gentleman's agreement" that was in force since at least 1995, an investigation by the children's commissioner for England has revealed.
The report by Maggie Atkinson reveals that unaccompanied children who arrived clandestinely at Dover docks or through the Channel tunnel are often hungry, ill, exhausted and distressed, yet were returned to France within 24 hours if they did not immediately apply for asylum.
The children, who arrived on the backs of lorries or in containers, included those being trafficked for exploitation as well as those fleeing war zones and persecution.
Read More: Alan Travis, The Guardian, 17/01/12
Hunger strike in Ukrainian Immigration Detention Centre
"Either they recognise us as refugees - or they say 'no' and then tell the whole world what they are doing here" said one of the hunger strikers, Sultan Haibe, speaking from the detention centre. He continues "We are not murderers. We left Somalia just to save our life." In Ukraine, 61 Somalians have been on hunger strike since 6th January in the Lutsk detention centre with another 15 reportedly on hunger strike in another detention centre at Chernigiv. 13 of the hunger strikers are women (7 of whom are under the age of 18). 17 of the men are also under 18.
The hunger strikers say that one 17 year old, Abdul Karim Siyad is very ill and in a separate room. He had not been examined by a doctor until recently, but Sultan Haibe said on Sunday 15th January that a doctor has now finally seen him.
The hunger strikers say they are detained in an asylum system which is profoundly unjust. They say that Somalians are always refused asylum in Ukraine, but Sultan Haibe points out that if they try to cross into the EU they are bounced back into Ukraine and detained. Only about 12 of the hunger strikers had attempted this.
The hunger strikers say that they are subject to police harassment and corruption and can be detained by the authorities for periods of 12 months if they don't have a temporary permit to stay legally in Ukraine. They say that an asylum seeker can be re-detained within a short period after release and then faces another 12 months in detention. Some of the hunger strikers have been in Ukraine for 5 or 6 years before they were detained. Some have been detained more then once.
Sultan Haibe Tel No: + 380 987 366 324
Full press release here . . . .
Somali Refugee camps in the Horn of Africa at risk
UNHCR is increasingly concerned about insecurity in and around camps hosting hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa.
The situation is particularly worrying, complex and tenuous in the Dadaab refugee camps in northern Kenya where the threat of improvised explosive devices, kidnappings, vehicle hijackings and banditry remains high. In addition to killings of police officers and kidnappings of aid workers, we are also seeing targeting of refugees. Two refugee leaders who had volunteered to help maintain peace and safety in the camps were murdered at the turn of the year. Both were involved in the work of Community Peace and Safety Teams (CPST) in Dadaab's Hagadera and Ifo camps respectively. The Kenyan authorities are investigating these killings along with other threats and abuses against refugees.
Read More: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Indonesia must protect Shi'a villagers from further attacks
Amnesty International has urged the Indonesian authorities to provide protection for hundreds of Shi'a Muslims forced to return to their village in East Java yesterday after an anti-Shi'a mob attack had driven them away.
Local government authorities forced some 335 displaced Shi'a villagers, including at least 107 children, onto trucks the evening of 12 January and took them back to the village of Nangkrenang, which was ransacked late last year. The displaced villagers had refused to return to their homes until they received adequate police protection, and until their attackers were brought to justice.
"We have concerns about conditions in their village - in many cases, they do not even have homes anymore," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia Pacific Director. "There also are serious questions about the willingness of the police to protect these people from more sectarian attacks or to hold the perpetrators accountable."
A shameful spinning of the facts on immigration
In fact, the Government statistics debunk the myth of Ôbenefits tourism
The only really surprising thing about the number of migrants claiming benefits in Britain is that the figure is so low. Even more cheering is that a mere 2 per cent of the claims are illegal. Out of 370,000 recipients, fewer than 7,500 are bogus Ð hardly more than a distant statistical murmur in the context of the 5.5 million people supported by the state. But if the numbers themselves are not shocking, their misrepresentation both by Government ministers and parts of the media most certainly is.
To be clear, the vast majority of the foreign nationals receiving benefits in Britain are wholly within their rights to do so. More than half are people who have since taken citizenship; almost all have come here legally, worked, paid taxes and are now entitled to support. Listen to the Employment Minister, however, and one could be forgiven for concluding otherwise.
Read more - Leading article: Independent, Saturday 21 January 2012
European Court of Human Rights - Practical Guide on Admissibility Criteria
The system of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms established by the European Convention on Human Rights ("the Convention") is based on the principle of subsidiarity. The task of ensuring its application falls primarily to the States Parties to the Convention; the European Court of Human Rights ("the Court") should intervene only where States have failed in their obligations.
Supervision by Strasbourg is triggered mainly by individual applications, which may be lodged with the Court by any individual or legal entity located within the jurisdiction of a State Party to the Convention. The pool of potential applicants is therefore vast: in addition to the eight hundred million inhabitants of greater Europe and the nationals of third countries living there or in transit, there are millions of associations, foundations, political parties, companies and so forth (not to mention those persons who, as a result of extraterritorial acts committed by the States Parties to the Convention outside their respective territories, fall within their jurisdiction).
EDM 2617: Bombing Of Kurdish Civilians In Turkey
That this House condemns as reckless and merciless the bombing of Kurdish civilians by Turkish F-16 war planes on 28 December 2011 in the border province of Sirnak, which killed some 35 Kurds aged between 13 and 28 years old, provoking widespread protests among the Kurdish community and condemned by Kurdish politicians as a massacre; believes that such actions, authorised by the government of Prime Minister Recep TayyipErdogan, applauded as a moderate in Europe, can only exacerbate social tensions and unrest between Turkey and the Kurds; further believes that it demonstrates the utter failure of Turkey's resort to a military solution to the Kurdish problem and that only a genuine democratic opening to the Kurds can resolve the historic grievances of the Kurdish people; and calls on the Government to make representations to the government of Turkey on this issue.
Primary sponsor: Hywel Williams, date tabled: 18/01/2012
EDM 2607: Kashmir Graves
That this House notes with sadness and regret the discovery of over 6,000 unmarked graves in the area of demarcation known as the Line-of-Control on the border between Indian and Pakistani controlled Kashmir; further notes that this discovery was the focus of a recent Crossing Continents programme entitled Graves of Kashmir produced by BBC Radio 4; believes that these graves, the majority of which appear to be the bodies of unknown young men, constitute a large proportion of the estimated 8,000 to 10,000 who disappeared during the conflict in Kashmir, one of the heaviest militarised zones in the world; and calls on the Government to press for co-operation on this matter between the governments of India and Pakistan, and for the early use of forensic and DNA techniques to investigate and establish the identify of those in the graves so that relatives may finally know the fate of loved ones.
Primary sponsor: Roger Godsiff, date tabled: 17/01/2012
EDM 2608: Can You Solve This - Campaign on Iranian Students
That this House notes the Can You Solve This campaign launched by students at 26 university campuses across the UK to date; further notes this campaign highlights the plight of Iranian students denied access to higher education on grounds of their beliefs; calls for an immediate end to the unjust and oppressive practices of the Islamic Republic of Iran in denying education to young people for ideological reasons; and further calls on the Government to join the thousands of students who have already spoken up on this issue by using the full range of bi-lateral and multilateral diplomatic channels at their disposal to press the Iranian authorities to end their practices of denying access to university or expelling from university young Iranian citizens on the grounds of their religious, political or social beliefs.
Primary sponsor: Tom Brake, date tabled: 17/01/2012
Othman (Abu Qatada), cannot be deported from the UK
Othman v UK: Diplomatic assurances will protect Abu Qatada from torture but he cannot be deported to Jordan while there remains a real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him.
Today's Chamber judgment in the case Othman (Abu Qatada) v. the United Kingdom (application no. 8139/09), which is not final1, concerned whether Omar Othman (also known as Abu Qatada) would be at real risk of ill-treatment or a grossly unfair trial if deported to Jordan, where he is wanted on terrorism charges.
The European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that, if Mr Othman were deported to Jordan: There would be no violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights; There would be no violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security) of the Convention;
but that: There would be a violation of Article 6 (right to a fair trial), given the real risk of the admission of evidence obtained by torture at his retrial.
The Court also held, unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).
This is the first time that the Court has found that an expulsion would be in violation of Article 6, which reflects the international consensus that the use of evidence obtained through torture makes a fair trial impossible.
Full transcript of the judgement here . . . .
Seeking Economic Asylum is what Moves the World to Move
What moves the world to move whether internally or to other lands is not in the main political oppression and ethnic/religious violence, though there is plenty of that. But economic need and therefore those seeking Economic Asylum should not be treated as undesirables to be repelled from every border in the affluent west in particular the European Union and if managing to cross those borders, hunted down and expelled.
France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom all members of the European Union (EU). Ruthlessly, economically raped Africa, Asia, South America, etc, throughout the 16th to 20th centuries. And though they have long since given up physical control of these territories the banks, big business of the EU, still have massive financial interference in their former colonies.
Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Central African Rep, Guinea, Pakistan are the worlds worst 10 'Failed States', unable/unwilling to protect their citizens from themselves or others, unable/unwilling to provide them with a duty of care, massive internal conflict, forced internal/external displacement. All of these countries were at one time or the other colonies of countries of the EU.
The vast majority of people who make it to the UK, seeking Economic asylum come from former British Colonies. Countries that the UK plundered of natural resources and when forced to depart, left most of the countries in political/economic turmoil the ramifications of which still bedevil these countries today. The legacy of European colonialism MUST be front and centre when we make arguments about the right to seek Economic Asylum in the UK or anywhere else in the EU. In the UK our tables are always full and we have clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads. There are tens of thousands in the UK who suffer deprivation (destitute refused asylum seekers and migrants without papers are even worse off) but that is in main caused by the political economic decisions of the government, that is only concerned with keeping the pockets of capitalism full, especially the bankers.
Migrant workers rebuilt the European Union after World War 11
At the end of the war in 1945 much of Europe's infrastructure (roads/railways/factories/housing) especially Germany, had been destroyed by the hostilities of World War 11. And to rebuild the roads/railways/factories/ and build new houses hundreds of thousands of migrants were invited by the EU countries to come to Europe to work and in particular to work on building and then working in the car factories, which were to be the mainstay of economic expansion.
The United Kingdom after World War 11 had to completely re-tool it's industrial sector, much if not all of the heavy plant in factories, dated back to Word War 1, to do this they had to bring in tens upon tens of thousands of migrant workers.
No words can describe the debt the European Union owes to migrants, they have been the workhorses of not just the period after World War 11 but an essential part of the 'Industrial Revolution' of all European countries, which would never of happened if migrants had been shut out. If the EU were to immediately kick out all the migrants with papers, their economies would come to a stand still with in months. Time to recognise its' 'Migrants That Make the World go Round'.
Economic migrants greatest source of Quality Economic aid
Economic migrants (with or with out papers) are the greatest source of direct quality Economic aid to their home countries, far out passing foreign aid sent by different governments. Much of the foreign aid sent by governments to other countries, seldom if ever gets into the hands of those that need it most, and substantial sums of this aid end up in the pockets of corrupt officials, but migrant economic aid always gets to the people direct and does the most good.
Everyone should eat from the same table
If you live in the third world or any where else for that matter and there is no food on your table, and you hear/see that the tables of the EU countries are laden with food, so much food that it can not all be consumed by those sitting at the table. Then it is quite clear that there is room at the table for you, so it is perfectly logical to make your way to that table.
Economic rape of the inhabitants of poorer world countries, that is poorer in comparison to EU countries, still continues unabated, forcing its' inhabitants to move. Seeking Economic Asylum is not a crime and should not be seen as such, the world has more than enough resources to feed/house everyone.
John O for 'No-Deportations'
Member states of the European Union
Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, UK, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria
UK asylum ruling on Zimbabwe can be challenged
It is significant and pleasing to note that the UK Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal against the current Zimbabwe Country Guidance case which had brought so much misery to Zimbabweans who have been seeking permission to regularise their stay in the UK.
The decision known as EM and Others (Returnees) Zimbabwe which was decided as a country guidance case was being heavily relied upon by the UK Border Agency to deny appeals and applications made by Zimbabweans. This case deemed it safe for Zimbabweans to return to most parts of the country.
In a new decision, JG and CM (Zimbabwe), just published on January 11, 2012, the Court of Appeal concluded that there was an arguable error of law in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)Õs country guidance. The Tribunal had erred that there had been a well established and durable change for the better in Zimbabwe since the previous country guidance in RN.
Read more: Vitalis MadanhiImmigration, Bake & Co Solicitors
Asylum support for women who are victims of domestic violence
Factsheet 13 provides advice to asylum-seeking and refused asylum-seeking women about applying to the UKBA for accommodation if they are experiencing domestic violence in their homes. It is aimed at women who are already living in accommodation provided by the UKBA and to those who are living in other accommodation, such as privately rented, who need to leave due to domestic violence.
Definition of domestic violence: The government defines domestic violence as: 'any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality'. This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so called honour killings. Research shows that domestic violence is more commonly experienced by women than men. (See www.womensaid.org.uk) Although the UKBA's policy on domestic violence applies to both men and women, this factsheet (Attached) is aimed at women.
Asylum Support Appeals Project
Iraq and the Pretense of Control
When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, its chest was swelled with self-confidence: A new democratic state would rise and prosper once Saddan was ousted. Nine years later, we know how unfounded that optimism was. The future of Iraq will not be controlled from Washington but by the sectarian forces unleashed after the invasion.
In invading Iraq in March 2003, the United States intended to create a tabula rasa on which it could erect a new state, friendly to US interests, a reliable buffer against Iran, an investment paradise especially in the energy sector, and equipped to set off a democratic domino effect throughout an autocratic neighbourhood. However, in ignoring and failing to grasp the nature of Iraqi society, with its deep fractures, bottled-up grievances, and a political command culture inculcated by decades of tyrannical rule, the administration of George W. Bush accomplished something quite different.
It created a political, managerial and security void that was filled by militias with competing agendas and by former-exile politicians who were distrusted and resented by ordinary Iraqis. It unleashed countervailing social forces that engendered extreme ethno-sectarian polarisation and civil war. And after it finally took action to reduce violence, it established a political system that invited all political actors around the table in a dysfunctional national unity government, which could barely see beyond each groupÕs partisan interests, was defined more by what divided them than what brought them together, and utterly failed to govern.
Read More: Joost Hiltermann, The European, 12 Jan 2012