Clegg falling short on promise over Detention of Children
Although the number has been cut from around 100 a month in 2009, a handful are still in detention. Ten, including five aged under five, were held at Cedars, "pre-departure accommodation" for failed asylum-seekers near Gatwick Airport. Another six, including four aged under five, were detained at Tinsley House near Gatwick. A 17th was held at Harmondsworth, near Heathrow.
Nick Clegg has still not fulfilled a promise to stop any child being held in an immigration centre, it emerged yesterday as the Home Office announced 17 young people were detained last month. The Deputy Prime Minister made the issue a personal mission, forcing a commitment to end the practice into the Coalition Agreement.
A Liberal Democrat source contrasted the small number with the "thousands effectively being kept in prisons for months at a time" under the last government. He said: "That simply wouldn't have happened without the Lib Dems and Nick Clegg."
But the Refugee Council's chief executive, Donna Covey, said: "When will they actually fulfil this pledge once and for all?"
Indpendent, Friday 27/01/12
12th attempt to Remove Patrice Ndjonssy
Say no to his deportation - Removal set for Monday 30th January
Patrice Ndjonssy is a 40-year-old Cameroonian national is currently detained at Brook House IRC. Patrice fled to the UK in 2008, to escape persecution in Cameroon. His safety is at severe risk, should he be removed.
UKBA plans to remove Patrice on Air France flight AF1481 from Heathrow to Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - France @ 8:20 hrs on Monday 30th January 2012, and then from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) - France. Air France flight AF900 @ 13;30 to Yaoundé, Cameroon. This will be the 12th attempt to remove Patrice.
For what you can do to help try and stop this deportation go here . . . .
Lydia And Bernard released from detention yesterday - but lawyer says Home Secretary's handling of case "continues to baffle"
Supporters have welcomed the release from detention yesterday of playwright Lydia Besong and her husband Bernard Batey - but their lawyer says the Secretary of State's handling of the case "continues to baffle".
Lydia and Bernard's "caseowner" at the UK Border Agency offices in Liverpool has confirmed that their decision to refuse Bernard Batey's protection claim has been withdrawn by the Home Office. Bernard was told about his imminent release yestrerday morning in Yarl's Wood IRC and Lydia found out on her return to the detention centre from an eye appointment at Bedford Hospital. They are now back in their home to Bury, Greater Manchester.
Their solicitor, Gary McIndoe, of Latitude Law, says: "Having confirmed that they are to reconsider their decision on Bernard's asylum claim, UKBA have today authorised Bernard and Lydia's release from detention, only 24 hours after communicating to us a refusal to release them. The Secretary of State's handling of this case continues to baffle; we hope the substance of the risks faced by Bernard and Lydia in Cameroon today can now be looked at with greater care and clarity."
Read the full Campaign press release here . . . .
Niger/Chad/Mali (Children at risk of starving to death)
Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, to ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the Save the Children and Oxfam report on the crisis in east Africa and the call for early responses to warning signs, what they will do to ensure a similar crisis is averted in Niger.
Baroness Northover: My Lords, the Government are very concerned about the emerging crisis in Niger and have been monitoring the situation closely. The Secretary of State for International Development has announced emergency support to mitigate the impact of the crisis. This will reach 68,000 children in Niger, Chad and Mali and provide livestock support to 30,000 families.
Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her response. The warning signs of looming disaster were there in the Horn of Africa two years ago, but no action was taken and tens of thousands of Somalis starved to death and millions of people in east Africa were affected. Against that background, will the Government give active endorsement to the UN-supported charter to end extreme poverty, which identifies five specific actions that must be taken when we know that a crisis is predicted and preventable? We can and must stop the drought in west Africa and the Sahel turning into a famine. We must say never again and mean it.
House of Lords / 25 Jan 2012 : Column 1047
Human Rights Watch - World Report 2011
This month and through to June, many NGOs ('UNHCR', 'Amnesty International', 'Human Rights Watch', Fund for Peace and 'USA Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor') will be publishing their annual reports on Human Rights Abuses in 2011. These reports will cover political, economic, ethnic and religious persecution in every country in the world. 2011 saw an alarming rise in extremely violent religious sectarianism a rise that is expected to continue throughout 2012.
These annual reports are essential tools not only for campaigning against deportations but are "authoritative" sources for compiling reports for asylum/immigration/migration hearings, making a fresh asylum claim.
Human Rights Watch - World Report 2011 is the first this year
HRW Individual Country Reports can be downloaded here . . .
HRW full report here . . . .
Terror attacks in Kano, Nigeria, kill at least 162
The death toll following coordinated bomb attacks and gun battles in the Nigerian city of Kano has risen to at least 162, a source at the city's main morgue has said. A curfew was imposed on Kano in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north after it exploded into violence on Friday evening, with eight police and immigration offices or residences targeted.
The main newspaper in the north said that a purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the violence, saying it was in response to authorities' refusal to release its members from custody. Scores of such attacks in Nigeria's north have been blamed on Boko Haram, though Friday's would be among the group's most audacious and well-coordinated assaults.
Telegraph 21 Jan 2012
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 . . .
Unfair, unsafe, undignified: treatment of women seeking asylum
A gender analysis of UK asylum law, policy and practice. The Women's Project at Asylum Aid has campaigned for over a decade to secure better treatment of women seeking asylum.
Women have constituted one in three of all main asylum applicants in the UK since 2003. There are considerable implications, therefore, when gender issues are not taken into account as part of the asylum process. After lobbying by Asylum Aid and others, the Government used the publication of its Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan in 2011 to promise fair treatment of all asylum-seeking women. This was followed by welcome public commitments to gender-sensitive asylum reform made by the Immigration Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.
Asylum Aid's new report combines original qualitative and legal research in a detailed gender analysis of UK asylum law and policy, to test the Government against these promises. It looks at the experiences of women in the four main stages of the asylum process: • the quality of asylum decisions; • the asylum procedure; • reception conditions; • detention conditions
Access the full report here . . . .
MPs attack private security guard immigration removals
Private security guards employed to forcibly remove people from the UK have used racist language and inappropriate force. A report by MPs Commons' Home Affairs Committee said the UK Border Agency should challenge unacceptable behaviour by some of its contractors.
* Inappropriate use of physical restraint, including some techniques that could be dangerous
* Some contractors using racist language
* Excessive numbers of security guards for some deportations
"It is a matter for serious concern that contractors should use racist language among themselves," said the report. "That they were content to do so in front of not only UK Border Agency staff but also inspectors from HM Inspectorate of Prisons is shocking. It is possibly the result of a relationship between the Agency and its contractors which had become too cosy."
BBC News Thursday 26th January 2012
DR Congo: new violence/displacement of thousands of civilians
The United Nations refugee agency has voiced concern over fresh violence in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that has forced more than 100,000 civilians to flee their homes in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu since November. In North Kivu, an estimated 35,000 people have been displaced as a result of raids on villages and clashes between rival militia groups in Walikale and Masisi territories. At least 22 people have reportedly been killed and an unknown number of women raped.
EU Law [ residence permits for third-country nationals]
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which EU regulations her Department has not implemented; on what date the regulations became EU law; and if she will make a statement.
Damian Green: There is one EU regulation that is awaiting full implementation.
Council Regulation (EC) No. 380/2008 of 18 April 2008 amending Regulation (EC) No. 1030/2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals.
This measure was adopted on 18 April 2008 and will come into force on 20 May 2012.
House of Commons / 23 Jan 2012 : Column 76W
Nigeria: [Boko Haram kill both Christians & Muslims]
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the causes of sectarian violence involving the Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Mr Bellingham: In the last year Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for attacks against a range of targets including government institutions, security forces and an international organisation, the UN. Recently, Boko Haram has also claimed responsibility for a number of attacks specifically targeted against Christians and Christian places of worship, although it remains the case that the majority of Boko Haram's victims to date have been Muslims, including Muslim religious leaders. We assess that the purpose of the attacks against Christians is to exacerbate religious and communal tensions. However, in some instances we judge that attacks carried out with criminal motives are also being ascribed to Boko Haram. Poverty, lack of economic opportunity, social inequality and political tensions all contribute significantly to insecurity in northern and central Nigeria.
House of Commons / 20 Jan 2012 : Column 1006W
Palestinian children – alone/bewildered – in Israel's Al Jalame jail
Special report: Israel's military justice system is accused of mistreating Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones
The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is a squat toilet, the stench from which has no escape in the windowless room. The rough concrete walls deter idle leaning; the constant overhead light inhibits sleep. The delivery of food through a low slit in the door is the only way of marking time, dividing day from night.
This is Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel. It is one of a handful of cells where Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks. One 16-year-old claimed that he had been kept in Cell 36 for 65 days.
Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, 22/01/12
A shameful spinning of the facts on immigration
In fact, the Government statistics debunk the myth of benefits 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).