EDM 281: Treatment of Yazidi Women and Minorities By ISIL
That this House remains extremely concerned about the treatment of minorities in Iraq and parts of Syria by ISIL (also known as Daesh), and in particular the persecution of Yazidi women, who have been brutally targeted since August 2014 and who continue to be held in ISIL captivity in large numbers, as part of ISIL's ruthless attempts to eliminate non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslims in the area; is appalled by evidence given by formerly enslaved women and girls, including from a 17 year old girl who revealed how every day of her nine-month ordeal was like choosing between death and death; notes the Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which concludes that the acts committed by ISIL against the Yazidi minority might constitute genocide; also notes the traumatising effects of these abuses, which have caused some women and girls to commit suicide; calls on the Government and its international partners to increase humanitarian efforts to protect and assist Yazidi women, and minority communities more generally, in the region; and also calls on the Government to ensure that, in the light of the resolution passed by the UN General Assembly this year to commemorate 19 June as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, that date will be marked by the UK in future years to remind the world of the plight of Yazidi women and girls and others who are suffering in a similar way.
Primary sponsor: Clwyd, Ann - House of Commons 09/07/2015
Judgment in Case C - 153/14 - Court of Justice of the European Union
Member States may require third country nationals to pass a civic integration examination prior to family reunification
However, exercise of the right to reunification must not be made impossible or excessively difficult
Judgment in Case C - 153/14 Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken v K and A
Download decision here . . . .
UN Independent Commission of Inquiry (Gaza)
Today (08/07/2015) marks a year since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, a conflict that lasted 51 days, claimed 2,251 lives, including the lives of 551 children, displaced more than half a million people, and destroyed 77 health facilities and 261 schools. Each day, an average of 680 tank and artillery shells pummelled the densely populated areas of Gaza, leaving barely anywhere safe. Although the report recognises that Israel issued warnings to people to evacuate, there was often nowhere for them to evacuate to and no means of escaping the conflict zone.
Gaza is a tiny strip of land, covering just 139 square miles. If we bear in mind that west Yorkshire alone covers 780 square miles, it gives us some perspective of just how small Gaza is, yet 1.8 million Palestinians live in what is increasingly becoming a densely populated open-air prison, and they have nowhere to go. In 2012 the World Bank published a report, "Gaza 2020", which claimed that Gaza would become uninhabitable by 2020 as a result of the blockade, an increase in population size, and insufficient access to clean drinking water, electricity, and health and education services. After last year's devastation, Gaza has reached 2020 five years ahead of schedule.
Currently, 860,000 Palestinians in Gaza survive on UNRWA food parcels. In addition to the destruction of health facilities, schools and homes, there has been massive disruption of water supplies, sewage disposal and electricity supplies, and they have not yet been repaired. One year on, not one of the 8,377 homes that were totally destroyed in the conflict has been rebuilt, and repairs have been carried out on only 5% of the 23,597 homes that were partially destroyed.
Much of the aid pledged at last year's Cairo conference for reconstruction in Gaza has not yet materialised, and I hope that the Minister can update us about the UK's contribution. The UN requested $720 million, but it has received only about $210 million. UNRWA faces a severe funding crisis, as it has a deficit of $100 million, which of course is having a serious impact on its ability to deliver essential humanitarian aid.
Read more: House of Commons: 8 July 2015 : <> Column 117WH
Dungavel IRC - Well Run, But Some Concerns
Good outcomes have been maintained for detainees at Dungavel and detainees were positive about their treatment but there were concerns about casework processes, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. As today Tuesday 7th July 2015 he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the immigration removal centre in Lanarkshire.
Dungavel House holds up to 249 detainees, a small number of whom (14) are women. It is the only such centre in Scotland. Previous inspections have reported on good outcomes for detainees and this more recent inspection found these positive outcomes were maintained. Inspectors' main concern was about matters that were largely outside of the control of the contractor, namely some very long periods in detention and some decisions to maintain detention of very vulnerable detainees. It is to the centre's credit that detainees described their treatment in Dungavel in very positive terms.
Inspectors made 62 repeated and new recommendations.
Main recommendation To the Home Office
*Rule 35 reports should include diagnostic findings and be given due weight by Home Office decision makers. Detainees who have experienced torture or who have serious health issues should not be detained.
Inspectors were concerned to find that:
- some extended stays resulted from avoidable casework delays, a situation compounded by the variable quality of Rule 35 reports, which are meant to address whether detention is likely to be injurious to a detainee's health and to address the potential experience of torture in the detainee's home country;
- escort contractors continued to transport detainees during the night, which was poor practice; and
- the small number of women were held in a separate unit staffed by women officers, and although their individual needs were being met, there was no specific policy that could have provided ongoing assurance of appropriate strategic oversight and accountability.
Inspectors were pleased to find that:
- Dungavel was a safe place and detainees received a supportive welcome in their early days and were given help to deal with immediate problems;
- security was applied proportionately, violence was low, those at risk of self-harm were well cared for and force was rarely used;
- there were comprehensive safeguarding and child protection arrangements in place and access to legal support was better than inspectors usually see;
- the environment was relaxed, relationships between staff and detainees were excellent and there was good consultation with various groups and nationalities;
- detainees had excellent access to the grounds and facilities and the information and learning centre was welcoming; and
- welfare support had improved further and detainees could get help seven days a week.
Nick Hardwick said: "At recent inspections we have reported on good outcomes for detainees at this institution and these positive outcomes were maintained. Indeed, our main concern was about matters that were largely outside of the control of the contractor, namely some very long periods of detention and some decisions to maintain detention of very vulnerable detainees. These included a documented victim of torture and a woman with serious health issues. It is to the centre's credit that in our confidential survey and discussions with detainees, they nevertheless described their treatment in Dungavel in positive terms."
*P13: The quality of Rule 35 initial reports was variable and it was unclear why some people, including a torture survivor, had been detained at all.
P14: some were very clear, detailed and persuasive, while others were short and lacked diagnostic findings. Two of the 10 Rule 35 reports we looked at had led to release, but in other compelling cases detention had been maintained. For example, a torture survivor and a woman with serious health issues had both been kept in detention.
P17: Concern: The quality of Rule 35 reports was too variable, and in compelling cases detention had been maintained despite identification of torture and serious health issues.
P28: Slow responsiveness by the Home Office had also led to a traumatised women being held for too long. On 21 January 2015, two days after she had arrived at the centre, Glasgow social services advised the Home Office that the detainee was being counselled after an alleged rape and that detention could cause further trauma. The following day, the centre's health care team advised that the detainee was 'very traumatised' and that 'she should be released'. A Rule 35 report (requiring notification to the Home Office if a detainee's health is likely to be injuriously affected by detention, including if they may have been the victim of torture) was completed the following day, stating that she was 'unsuitable for detention'. On 26 January 2015, a decision was made to release the detainee but she had already left the centre, earlier that day, for Yarl's Wood IRC. It took four days to transfer her back to Dungavel House, where she was released into the care of social services. In all, the detainee had been held for nine days after the Home Office had been first alerted to her history of trauma.
P29: We reviewed 10 reports, two of which had led to release. In two other cases, the reports were compelling but detention had been maintained. For example, one reply conceded: '…you may have been a victim of torture. However, it has been decided that you will remain in detention'. The reply did not explain the exceptional circumstances to justify his detention. The same detainee had previously been released from another IRC following the submission of a Rule 35 report. In another case, a seriously ill woman had been detained, despite being at 'high risk of metastatic disease' .
Download the full report here . . . .
Syrian: Four Million People Forced to Flee as Crisis Deepens
The conflict in Syria has now driven more than four million people – a sixth of the population – to seek sanctuary in neighbouring countries, making it the largest refugee crisis for almost a quarter of a century, according to the UN. On Thursday the UN refugee agency, UNCHR, said the total number of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt and other parts of north Africa stood at 4,013,000 people. With at least 7.6 milion people forced from their homes within Syria, almost half the country's people are either refugees or internally displaced. The conflict, now in its fifth year, has killed more than 220,000 people.
Read more: Sam Jones, Guardian, <>09/07/2015
Early Day Motion 277: Conflict In Sudan And South Sudan
That this House is deeply concerned about ongoing conflict, humanitarian crises and human rights challenges in Sudan and South Sudan; notes the UK's important contribution to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended one of Africa's longest running civil wars and led to the secession of South Sudan; is gravely concerned that conflict now rages in both Sudan and South Sudan whilst issues between the two countries remain unresolved; is alarmed that in both countries, millions are displaced and humanitarian conditions are some of the worst in the world, despite substantial support from the UK; takes a long-term view of the wider challenges facing the two countries, including the outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan; and calls on the UK to continue and expand its humanitarian and diplomatic efforts to support the people of Sudan and South Sudan in their search for peace, reconciliation and justice.
Sponsors: Durkan, Mark / Mitchell, Andrew / Cox, Jo
House of Commons: 08.07.2015
Unlawfully Detained in Prison Under Immigration Powers
The Claimant's two years in detention followed an extraordinary period of unlawful detention of four years and eleven months in which it was found that at no point during this time period was it possible to effect removal, which in 2011, led to the landmark judgment on Sino v SSHD.
During proceedings, it was noted that in total, the client was detained under immigration powers for a period of seven years and two months. Although there has been one man who was detained for a longer period than this, Mr Justice Hayden noted that; "These periods total seven years and two months. Such a time span is a disturbing period for the executive to detain an individual under purely administrative powers. It would appear to be one of the longest aggregate periods that HM Government has ever detained an individual for in such circumstances. […] the powers of the Secretary of State do not extend generally to permitting her to curtail an individual's liberty on these broad behavioural grounds. Hers is an administrative power of detention, circumscribed by the requirement that there be some prospect of achieving deportation. This fundamental premise is rooted in the respect for liberty and personal autonomy and traceable to Magna Carta".
Read more: Duncan Lewis solicitors, <>02/07/2015
UKHO CIG - Democratic Republic of Congo: Treatment on Return
1.1 Basis of Claim
1.1.1 Fear of serious harm by the state on return to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) because the person has unsuccessfully claimed asylum in the UK and/or has been convicted of an offence in the UK.
1.2 Summary of Issues to Consider
1.2.1 Is a failed asylum seeker (FAS) and / or a foreign national offender (FNO) who is to return to the DRC (voluntarily or by force) at risk of mistreatment or harm by virtue of having claimed asylum in the UK and / or having been convicted of an offence in the UK?
1.2.2 If refused, is the claim likely to be certifiable as 'clearly unfounded' under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002?
Published on Refworld, 07/07/2015
Children are Holders of Rights, in Their Own Right
The Council of Europe has been fighting for childrenÕs rights since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force 25 years agoÐand even before. In that time there have been huge strides forward, not only in terms of the many special protections now in place for children, taking into account their unique vulnerability.
But also Ð and perhaps even more importantlyÐthe growing recognition that children are legal subjects and holders of rights, in their own right. This is a huge change: it moves children from being purely passive, with their rights defined by others, to individuals who must have certain freedoms and opportunities no matter what the adults around them think.
Read more: Council of Europe, 06/07/2015
Divided Families Demonstration Thursday 9th July 2015.
9th July 2015 marks the 3rd Anniversary of the Family Migration Rules. These rules continues to divide families and tear loved ones apart. To mark this date, a demonstration has been called by the Migrants' Rights Network, The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and BritCits.
Time: 2:00 pm. Date: Thursday 9th July 2015
Place: Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
Nearest Tube: St James Park
In July 2012, the government radically changed the family migration rules, adding a new minimum income requirement for British nationals wishing to sponsor children, spouses or close family members from outside Europe. In an attempt to control migration, these rules negatively impact upon ordinary British citizens and settled persons whose family members are torn apart from their loved ones.
An estimated 43% of employees in the UK do not earn enough to meet this requirement. This is much higher when applied to women only or to those living outside of London. The result of these rules is that tens of thousands of applicants are prevented from coming to the UK.
Please do all you can to mobilise for the demonstration by tweet or Twitter and by sharing this event on Facebook. Even if you are unable to attend the demonstration, you can help out by tweeting and facebooking.
We hope to see you on the 9th.
Best wishes, JCWI Team <firstname.lastname@example.org>
German Government Further Restricts Right to Asylum
A law concerning the right to residence and termination of residence of refugees has been passed by the German parliament with the support of a majority of the ruling Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD). It threatens all refugees who come to Germany with a massive expansion of detention.
The law, presented by Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere (CDU) and passed by parliament, will once again drastically reduce the right to asylum.
At the center of the new law is a further restriction (ÒrestructuringÓ) of the right to asylum. It provides authorities with even more opportunities to impose restrictions on travel into Germany and residence there. In order to carry out expulsions more quickly and effectively, the legislation provides for the introduction of a new form of Òoutbound detention.Ó Those under suspicion of wanting to escape deportation can be kept in detention centers for up to four days.
Read more: Elisabeth Zimmermann, <> 07/07/2015