Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2014
6 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in June 2014, according to CrisisWatch <> N°131
Deteriorated Situations: Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Yemen
Iraq, Sunni jihadis fighting under the banner of al-Qaeda splinter group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured large swathes of territory in the north west. Large numbers of security forces fled their posts, leaving militants in control of several major cities including Mosul, while Kurdish forces seized control of Kirkuk. The mobilisation of thousands of Shiites into militias and their large-scale rallies across Baghdad exacerbate the danger of sectarian conflict escalating. The U.S. and Iran moved quickly to support the Iraqi government; the former deployed an aircraft carrier and military advisers and the latter reportedly sent ground troops.
Kenya suffered further terrorist attacks. At least 58 were killed mid-month in an attack on Mpeketoni town in Kenya's east, and scores more in attacks on nearby Witu and Poromoko towns in the following days. Moderate Muslim cleric Sheikh Mohammed Idris was shot dead in Mombasa on 10 June, the fourth prominent cleric to be killed in the city since 2012. Meanwhile, deadly clan clashes continued to escalate in Wajir and Mandera counties in northern Kenya.
Pakistan: An attack on Karachi international airport in early June, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban as well as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, killed scores and provoked an intensification of the army's bombing campaign of alleged militant hideouts in the north west. A ground invasion of the North Waziristan region followed in late-June – hundreds were killed and hundreds of thousands fled the region. U.S. drone strikes picked up again after a six-month pause and several strikes hit suspected militant compounds in North Waziristan.
Somalia: Al-Shabaab attacks throughout June saw the militant group recapture several recently liberated villages in south-central Somalia, displacing thousands. With the onset of Ramadan, Al-Shabaab is expected to intensify its guerilla offensives. Clan conflict in Lower Shabelle intensified as militias clashed over the formation of a federal South West State of Somalia. Divisions between clans are ripe for exploitation by Al-Shabaab, risking the formation of alliances against the Somali National Army and AMISOM. (See our recent briefing on Al-Shabaab.)
Sri Lanka: Two days of anti-Muslim violence erupted when supporters of radical Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) attacked Muslim businesses, homes and mosques in the south-western coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwela. The attacks followed a BBS rally where its Buddhist monk leader threatened Muslims with violence and which left at least four dead and 80 injured. The government's response was feeble: heavily armed police and army failed to stop violence even after curfew was declared and made no arrests of BBS activists. Government statements downplayed the attacks and blamed Muslims for initiating violence by attacking BBS marchers. (See a recent interview on Sri Lanka's religious violence).
Yemen's transition is gradually unravelling due to unprecedented security and economic challenges, partly caused by political infighting and weak consensus on national dialogue results. Several attempts to reach a ceasefire between the army and Huthi rebels failed, while fighting in the north killed hundreds (see our recent report on Yemen). The country's economic crisis meanwhile worsened. Tribal sabotage of the electrical grid left Sanaa without fuel or electricity for several days in early June, prompting mass protests calling for the overthrow of the government.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China (internal), China/Japan, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Korean Peninsula, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Somaliland, South China Sea, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe
Improved Situations: None
July 2014 Outlook - Conflict Risk Alert: Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Somalia
Conflict Resolution Opportunity: None
Early Day Motion 193: Income Threshold For Family Visas
That this House is aware that as a result of rule changes British citizens wishing to sponsor their non-EU husband or wife to join them in the UK must now earn at least £18,600 per annum; is concerned that these rules have priced out some citizens from being able to live with their spouse or partners because of their low earnings in employment; believes that the less well-off should not be discriminated in such a way; and calls on the Government to immediately stop such unfair practices.
House of Commons: <> 30.06.2014
Early Day Motion 194: Mental Health in the UK
That this House is aware that in the UK approximately one in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year, circumstances which demand that as a priority sufferers should get the support and respect they need; and pays tribute to the mental health charity MIND which has published a manifesto calling on law makers to set in place measures to improve the lives of everyone affected by this condition, including reductions in stigma and discrimination, priorities for treatment, speedy access to crisis care, increased funding and the implementation of a national strategy towards improving the wellbeing of those suffering from such conditions. House of Commons: <>30.06.2014
G4S Guilty Again of 'Sub Optimal Care' as a Another Prisoner Dies
The day before he died, Steve saw a GP in the prison. He saw him and was told he was fit to go the gym. Further tests were ordered about his high blood pressure. In the early hours of the morning of 6 February 2013, Steve a prisoner at In G4s managed HMP Oakwood, rang his cell bell and complained of chest pain. No ambulance was called. No doctor was called. Later that morning, Steve was found unresponsive in his cell. The two private prison officers didn't have more than two years experience between them. Chaos followed, both officers accepted that they panicked. One officer couldn't even enter Steve's cell through fear. When the Manager arrived on scene, he could not stay long as he had to run about the prison reorganising the few members of staff they had. In cross examination, he accepted that Steve's health was not put before the security of the prison. Eventually CPR started, but there was no access to a defibrillator the Court heard, not even an aspirin.
Brownhill cross examined the staff in the control room. There should have been two staff there, there was only one. There was complete confusion about who was to call an ambulance. From the moment that Steve was found unresponsive, it took an hour to call an ambulance. In Court, Dr Armitage, a Doctor instructed by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, accepted Brownhill's suggestion that Steve had received healthcare below the standard he would have received in the community. And, he agreed that the chances of survival are much greater for persons when an ambulance attends promptly. The Coroner concluded that Steve died of natural causes and received sub optimal health care. :Source: No5 Chambers, <> 30/06/14
U.S. Department of State - Trafficking in Persons Report 2014
Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the
person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age;
Forced labour trafficking the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services,
through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude,
peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another in order for the crime to fall within these definitions
In the 14 years the United States has produced the Trafficking in Persons Report, the world has made tremendous progress in the fight against human trafficking. There is no government, however, that has done a perfect job responding to this crime. In the years ahead, it seems unlikely that any government will reach perfection. But should that day arrive when human trafficking disappears, one fact will remain certain: what has happened to the victims of modern slavery can never be undone. For those who have endured the exploitation of modern slavery, even the most effective justice system and the most innovative efforts to prevent future trafficking will not reverse the abuse and trauma that millions of trafficking victims have endured.
With the right support and services, however, victims can move beyond their suffering and forward with their lives. With the right legal structures and policies, they can see justice done. With the right opportunities, they can make choices about the lives they want and even use their experiences to help guide and strengthen efforts to fight this crime. This process is unique for each victim, and each must take steps based on his or her own strength, agency, and determination.
Governments play a vital role in facilitating this process. While a government institution will never be able to reverse what has happened to someone abused in a situation of modern slavery, governments can aid an individual's recovery by providing support to each victim on his or her journey toward becoming a survivor. In addition to assessments of what almost every government in the world is doing to combat modern slavery, this year's Trafficking in Persons Report takes a hard look at the journey from victim to survivor, making recommendations and highlighting effective practices that, if implemented, could ease the path forward for countless survivors around the world.
Country by country reports and relevant materials <>here . . . .
The United Kingdom (UK) is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, including domestic servitude. Most foreign trafficking victims come from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. According to 2013 government data, the top five countries of origin for adult trafficking victims are Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam, Poland, and Romania, inclusive of children, the top countries of origin are Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania, and the UK. UK men continue to be subjected to forced labor within the UK and in other countries in Europe. UK children are increasingly subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Authorities reported that victims continued to be forced into criminal behavior. Unaccompanied migrant children in the UK continued to represent a group vulnerable to trafficking. Migrant workers in the UK are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, construction, food processing, domestic service, nail salons, food services, and on fishing boats. Domestic workers, primarily women, and including those in diplomatic households, are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and abuse. Children and men, mostly from Vietnam and China, continue to be forced to work on cannabis farms.
Gudanaviciene & Ors v Director of Legal Aid Casework & Anor  EWHC 1840 (Admin) (13 June 2014)
1. These six claims have been heard together pursuant to an order of Turner J made on 30 January 2014. Each challenges the refusal of the Director of Legal Aid Casework (whom I will refer to as the Director) to grant legal aid to the claimants. They raise common issues concerning the availability of legal aid in immigration cases under Section 10 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). A number of discrete issues have been identified. Some are common to a number of the claims and some depend on the circumstances of one or two of the claims but all will arise in many applications for legal aid by or on behalf of immigrants who wish to obtain a particular decision usually from the Home Office or an entry clearance officer or are pursuing an appeal against an adverse decision or are responding to an appeal against a favourable decision. The claimants contend that the policy adopted by the Director which applies guidance issued by the Lord Chancellor is wrong in law in being too restrictive. Further, each claimant asserts that in his or her case having regard to the circumstances the refusal to grant legal aid was wrong.
2. Permission had been granted in one of the claims. The others were to be treated as 'rolled up hearings'. I granted permission in those claims which needed it subject to an undertaking to pay the necessary court fee. This judgment deals with each claim on its merits.
128. In the circumstances, the decision of the Director in each of the claims is quashed. I have indicated in individual claims whether I was of the view that legal aid should have been granted, but I will leave open to Mr Chamberlain to submit that in any in which I have indicated that view I should not so order. The Lord Chancellor's Guidance is in the respects I have indicated in my judgment unlawful. I think that the appropriate relief would be a declaration that in those respects it is unlawful, but I will leave counsel to make submissions as to the order I should make.
Freedom in the World 2014
Eighth Year of Decline in Political Rights and Civil Liberties
The state of freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House's annual country-by-country report on global political rights and civil liberties. Particularly notable were developments in Egypt, which endured across-the-board reversals in its democratic institutions following a military coup. There were also serious setbacks to democratic rights in other large, politically influential countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Venezuela, and Indonesia. Fifty-four countries showed overall declines in political rights and civil liberties, compared with 40 that showed gains.
Some leaders effectively relied on "modern authoritarianism," crippling their political opposition without annihilating it, and flouting the rule of law while maintaining a veneer of order, legitimacy, and prosperity. Central to modern authoritarians is the capture of institutions that undergird political pluralism. They seek to dominate not only the executive and legislative branches, but also the media, judiciary, civil society, economy, and security forces.
A total of 48 countries were deemed Not Free, representing 25 percent of the world's polities. The number of people living under Not Free conditions stood at 35 percent of the global population, though China accounts for more than half of this figure.
Worst of the Worst: Ten countries were given the lowest possible rating of 7 for both political rights and civil liberties.
Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Read the full report: Freedom House <>01/07/14
Asylum Seekers in Standoff With Police at Berlin Protest
Kreuzberg, the heart of countercultural Berlin, is no stranger to protests. But a tense standoff between police and protesters over the past six days has set a new standard. Since last Wednesday, hundreds of police officers have been surrounding a former school building in which a group of mainly African asylum seekers are protesting against their treatment in Germany.
On Monday morning, around 20 officers lined up behind barricades on the junction of Ohlauer and Reichenberger Strasse, some of them deep in conversation with locals who wanted to get trolleys full of food and medicine through to the protesters.
The press are refused entry to the school building, allegedly because of a fire hazard. While some local politicians are trying to negotiate an agreement that would allow the asylum seekers to permanently remain in the building while their cases are being processed, Germany's police union is advocating an evacuation of the building.
Read more: Guardian, <>30/06/14
Fund for Peace - Fragile States Index 2014
Index compiled/researched by 'Fund for Peace' - An independent, nonpartisan, non-profit research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security.
Top ten worst countries in 2013: South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic , DR Congo, Sudan, Chad, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Pakistan
Fragile state: A state having little or no governance, endemic corruption, profiteering by ruling elites, very poor Human Rights, the government cannot/will not protect the population from others or itself, massive internal conflict, forced internal/external displacement, institutionalised political exclusion of significant numbers of the population, progressive deterioration of welfare infrastructure (hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses) not adequate to meet health, needs, progressive economic decline of the country as a whole as measured by per capita income, debt, severe child mortality rates, poverty levels.
The Fragile States Index ranks 178 (1 being worst, 178 best - (UK could only make 161, United States worsened by 1.9 points, a relatively significant downward move to 159) countries using 12 social, economic, and political indicators of pressure on the state, along with over 100 sub-indicators. These include such issues as Uneven Development, State Legitimacy, Group Grievance, and Human Rights. Each indicator is rated on a scale of 1-10, based on the analysis of millions of publicly available documents, other quantitative data, and assessments by analysts. A high score indicates high pressure on the state, and therefore a higher risk of instability.
Weak and failing states pose a challenge to the international community. In today's world, with its highly globalized economy, information systems and interlaced security, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbors and other states halfway across the globe.
States have erupted into mass violence stemming from internal conflict. Some of these crises are ethnic conflicts. Some are civil wars. Others take on the form of revolutions. Many result in complex humanitarian emergencies. Though the dynamics may differ in each case, all of these conflicts stem from social, economic, and political pressures that have not been managed by professional, legitimate, and representative state institutions.
Fault lines emerge between identity groups, defined by language, religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, class, caste, clan or area of origin. Tensions can deteriorate into conflict through a variety of circumstances, such as competition over resources, predatory or fractured leadership, corruption, or unresolved group grievances. The reasons for state weakness and failure are complex but not unpredictable. It is critically important that the international community understand and closely monitor the conditions that create weak and Fragile states-and be prepared to take the necessary actions to deal with the underlying issues or otherwise mitigate the negative effects of state failure. Fragile States Index <>Rankings 2014
AA (Sudan), R (on the application of) v SSHD & Anor  EWHC 2118 (Admin) (27 June 2014)
84. For the detailed reasons given above I find that: the Claimant's detention was unlawful for the period from 3 May to 1 July 2013, but the Claimant is entitled to nominal damages only for that period; the Claimant's detention was unlawful for the period from 8 November 2013 to date, and that the Claimant is entitled to real damages for that period; and that the Claimant is entitled to be released from detention because the Defendant is not able to effect deportation within a reasonable period of time. An anonymity order ought to be made for the reasons given in paragraph 8, but the Claimant's former partner should be provided with further information for the reasons set out in paragraph 10.
85. The parties are to liaise and attempt to produce an order to give effect to this judgment, and any necessary consequential matters. If the order cannot be agreed I will hear short further submissions.
1. This case is an example of what can occur when the Defendant has insufficient resources to monitor and review the administrative detention of persons who are subject to deportation orders.
2. It is established that the Courts will, in order to vindicate the rule of law, "regard with extreme jealousy any claim by the executive to imprison a citizen without trial and allow it only if it is clearly justified by the statutory language", R v Home Secretary ex parte Khawaja  AC 74 at 122E. This approach by the Courts includes cases of administrative detention of foreign nationals pending deportation pursuant to the Immigration Act 1971 ("the 1971 Act").
3. The Claimant is a citizen of Sudan who came to the United Kingdom in February 2003 and who made an unsuccessful claim for asylum on the basis that he had been tortured for his opposition to the Sudanese authorities. After his arrival in the United Kingdom, and his release on reporting restrictions, he has absconded on a number of occasions, and he has committed serious criminal offences, including criminal offences against a former partner.
4.The Claimant has, since the completion of his latest prison sentence on 30 August 2011, been detained by the Defendant pursuant to powers contained in schedule 3(2)(3) of the 1971 Act, following the signing of a deportation order on 6 July 2011. Since that date a number of medical reports have been obtained showing that the Claimant has more than 250 scars on his body, some of which must have been inflicted by third parties. This is independent evidence which supports, but does not prove, his claims to have been tortured when in Sudan. It is common ground that it is not for this Court to make findings about whether the Claimant was tortured in Sudan.
5. Notwithstanding this medical evidence, including a report setting out the detail of the scars served on the Defendant on 5 November 2013, and notwithstanding an order made by the Court of Appeal in January 2014 requiring the Defendant to respond to that evidence, the Defendant did not respond to that evidence until 18 June 2014. This was one day before the hearing before me. This created obvious difficulties for both legal teams and the Court. I am very grateful to the legal teams for their assistance, and to Mr Halim and Mr Lewis for their submissions.
6. The reason given for the Defendant's failures to consider the medical evidence and to comply with the Court orders was lack of resources. This has caused problems in other cases, see R(Jasbir Singh) and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2873 (Admin) at paragraph 15. I accept the explanation about the lack of resources, but it does not provide any legal justification for the lack of action. The effect of the failure of the Defendant to consider the medical evidence, and to review the Claimant's detention is that, as appears below and for the reasons given below: the Claimant's detention has become unlawful; the Defendant has incurred liabilities to the Claimant; and the Claimant must now be released.
7.It is also now common ground that the Defendant's decision dated 1 July 2013, to certify the Claimant's application to revoke the deportation order made against him as "clearly unfounded", should be quashed. The effect of the certification had meant that the Claimant could not appeal to the Tribunals against the refusal to revoke the deportation order.