Homes For Asylum-Seekers Present New Crisis for G4S
Hundreds of asylum-seekers face uncertain futures because the security company G4S is having trouble finding accommodation for them. The giant company, which is struggling to repair the damage its reputation suffered in the run-up to the Olympics, won a contract in June to house asylum-seekers in the north of England, a job previously carried out by social landlords.
G4S's sub-contractors have until 2 November to find new homes for 1,200 asylum-seekers now being housed by councils in Yorkshire and Humberside. They had been expected to start moving in June, but most are still living in council accommodation.
Read more: Andy McSmith, Indpendent, Saturday 25 August 2012
Demands for Inquiry into Sri Lanka 'White Van' Abductions
Human rights campaigners have called on the Sri Lankan government to hold an inquiry after its own soldiers were implicated in political kidnappings by men in unmarked white vans that have been linked to dozens of disappearances.
Disappearances in "white van kidnappings" were a regular occurrence when the government's war with the Tamil Tigers was at its height four years ago. But in the last year there has been a resurgence and a rise in fear among those who have dared to oppose the government or powerful figures within it.
According to campaign groups there have been 58 disappearances in the last nine months and in 22 of them witnesses have seen the victims being bundled into white vans.
Read more: Dean Nelson, The Telegraph, 23/08/12
Database Launched To Track Down 150,000 Illegal Immigrants
Border chiefs are due to launch the project next month to deal with the huge backlog of foreign nationals who have overstayed their student or temporary work visas. Letters will be sent to those in the 'migration refusal pool' warning that they will be deported and barred from entering the UK if they do not leave within 28 days.
Private companies currently tendering for the multi-million pound contract include G4S, the controversial security firm which failed to deliver enough staff for the Olympic Games.
Read more: MailOnline, 22/08/12
'Stop G4S Campaign Coalition'
Individuals and campaign groups are invited to attend to share, network, strategise and plan how to build an even more effective Stop G4S campaign. The gathering on Saturday 6 th October at 'The Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX', is open to all who oppose G4S and want to work with others to Stop G4S from taking over public services for private profit while violating human rights.
Please respond to: firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place, find out more or to request a speaker to attend a meeting to discuss campaign plans.
Great News! - Christine did not fly!
When Christine Nakato Nankya arrived at the airport yesterday morning 20/08/12, she was told that she wouldn't be put on her removal flight. We're not sure why, Christine had managed to get some fresh evidence from contacts in Uganda and she submitted these over the weekend by herself, maybe these were enough to get the fight cancelled.
People going to leaflet passengers getting on the same flight as Christine were stopped almost immediately by security guards and banned from Heathrow airport for 24 hours. As they cycled home they were then stopped and searched by the police.
A huge thank you to the many people who faxed, phoned and emailed on her behalf.
UNITY Centre / email@example.com
Nigeria [Deep Concerns Over Violence]
Baroness Cox to ask Her MajestyÕs Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Nigeria regarding the concerns of the Christian communities in Tafawa Belewa, Bauchi State, over the absence of action to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of violence against them.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are deeply concerned by the recent violence in northern Nigeria, which has caused suffering in both Christian and Muslim communities. The UK condemns all such instances of violence. We have raised with the Nigerian Government the importance of bringing perpetrators to justice and will continue to do so. We welcome statements made by the Nigeria Government about co-operation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) following the ICCÕs decision to conduct a preliminary examination into Nigeria. The Government are committed to working with the Nigerian Government to tackle the threat from violent groups and to find a lasting resolution to conflict in northern Nigeria.
House of Lords 20/08/12
Forced Marriage - Protection Orders
Anyone threatened with forced marriage or forced to marry against their will can apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order.
Third parties, such as relatives, friends, voluntary workers and police officers, can also apply for a protection order with the leave of the court.
Full details of how the order can be effected below:
Baroness Uddin to ask Her MajestyÕs Government how many Forced Marriage Protection Orders have been made to date.
Lord Newby: Since the introduction of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 on 25 November 2008 and up to the end of March 2012, there have been 437 Forced Marriage Protection Orders made.
The Right to Help Each Other
The policy and discourse of human rights is mired in the dialectic of rights versus responsibilities. But this limited mode of thinking overlooks the synthesising power of one of our most important and uncodified freedoms: the right to cooperate.
Amongst all the rights defined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights there is no mention of our freedom to help each other. Nor has it been characterised as a human right since. Why not? The answer is simple: we have taken it for granted.
Posted on July 27, 2012 by Garden Court Chambers
In a recent interview with the I newspaper, David Blunkett has declared his intention to 'donate his brain to the scientific project, "Brains for Dementia Research".
This unselfish act is to be highly commended, given that Blunkett was one of the most demented Home Secretaries to serve in the last hundred years.
However, I must express my deep disappointment that Blunkett's charitable donation is not an immediate gift, but the 'Brains for Dementia Research' project are forced to wait until Blunkett's death to receive the bequest.
This appears to me to be pure selfishness on Blunkett's part to unreasonably delay this donation.
Keith Rose HMP Whitemoor Longhill Rd March Cambs PElS OPR
(As Home Secretary 2001/2004 he deported tens of thousands of asylum seekers/migrants, tried in vain to stop the National Lottery giving £350,000 to NCADC)
Kenya Clashes Result In At Least 48 Deaths
Hundreds of farmers attacked a village, killing at least 48 people in southeastern Kenya in an escalation of clashes between the farming and pastoral communities over land and resources, an official said on Wednesday. Some people were burned to death in their houses, while others were hacked to death or shot with arrows, said Tana river region police chief Joseph Kavoo.
The majority of those killed were women and children, said area resident Said Mgeni. He said the attacks began on Wednesday at dawn when about 200 people belonging to the Pokomo ethnic group raided a village in the Riketa area and torched all the houses belonging to the Orma, a pastoral community.
Read more: guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 August 2012
Roma Raids Intensify In France
France's new Socialist government is to hold emergency talks on the plight of the country's Roma after a wave of evictions of makeshift camps prompted accusations that François Hollande was following Nicolas Sarkozy's lead in persecuting the ethnic minority.
Human rights groups expressed outrage at a recent dawn raids and forced evacuations of caravan sites and squats across France. The police raids left hundreds of Roma, including many children, homeless after caravans were impounded and no arrangements for temporary housing were made. Others were persuaded to board flights home to Romania, activists in Lyon reported.
Read more: Angelique Chrisafis, guardian.co.uk, 21/08/12
Child Mortality Double Emergency in South Sudan Refugee Camp
On an average day in the Yusuf Batil camp, a hastily constructed expanse of tents among thick trees in a flood plain in Maban county in the north of South Sudan, three or four children under the age of five will die. In a "normal" emergency situation, the number would be one or two deaths daily for every 10,000 children.
The overall mortality rate, which takes into account adults and older children, is also substantially above the emergency threshold, according to a survey conducted at the camp last month by MSF. About 58% of the camp's reported deaths have been children under five, while more than 25% have been people over 50.
Read more: James Copnall, guardian.co.uk, 20/08/12
Anger as Iran Bans Women From Universities
Female students in Iran have been barred from more than 70 university degree courses in an officially-approved act of sex-discrimination which critics say is aimed at defeating the fight for equal women's rights. t follows years in which Iranian women students have outperformed men, a trend at odds with the traditional male-dominated outlook of the country's religious leaders. Women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year's university entrance exam.
Read more: Telegraph, 21/08/12
Uganda: Growing Intimidation, Threats to Civil Society
Research and advocacy organizations in Uganda that deal with controversial topics are facing increasing harassment by Uganda's government. Groups have recently faced forced closure of meetings, threats, harassment, arrest, and punitive bureaucratic interference.
A 50-page report, "Curtailing Criticism: Intimidation and Obstruction of Civil Society in Uganda,"documents increasing government attacks on organizations whose focus includes oil revenue transparency, land acquisition compensation, legal and governance reform, and protection of human rights, particularly the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Both government ministers and district-level officials have engaged in obstruction,
Read more: Human Rights Watch 21/08/12
Warning About Fake UK Border Agency Websites and Calls
UKBA are aware of a number of scam e-mails and websites claiming to be sent and operated by us; and of calls made by people posing as our staff.
The scams which we are aware of have been reported by us to action fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre. There may also be other scams which have not been brought to our attention.
If you believe that you received a suspicious call or e-mail, or come across a suspicious website:
Do not give out any personal information, or confirm that any personal information they have is correct
Do not make any payment
Do report the matter online to action fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) or by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
Read more: UK Border Agency
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 288
It's Never Over Until the plane Takes Off - Freda Nsumba, Still Here!
Freda had been taken to the airport and put on the plane yesterday. She even went so far as fastening her seat belt as the plane started to taxi to the runway before her lawyer phoned and told her that the injunction stopping her flight had gone through.
Thank you to everyone who helped stop her flight! / Unity!