Concerns About Current Immigration Regulations
Lord Roberts of Llandudno to ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received in the past year from organisations dealing with the welfare of immigrants expressing concerns about the current immigration regulations.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My Lords, the Government are determined to ensure that people in all parts of our immigration system are treated with dignity and respect. Regular engagement with external partners takes place through the national asylum stakeholder forum and is an important part of ensuring that issues about migrants' welfare are raised and addressed.
Lord Roberts of Llandudno (LD): My Lords, has the Minister read the all-party report on immigration detention, published in the last few days? If so, does he agree with that committee that the system that we have at the moment is totally unworthy? There have been protests in both Yarl's Wood and Harmondsworth in the past couple of days. Will the Minister work to remove the injustice whereby those affected are detained indefinitely, with indefinite deprivation of liberty and of human rights? Is it not hypocrisy to celebrate 800 years of Magna Carta while we allow this sort of situation to continue?
Lord Bates: My Lords, I have read the report which came out last week. The Home Office will, of course, give a proper response to such an important and thorough piece of work. As to the noble Lord's point about detention, he will be aware that 93% of those who are actually detained in immigration removal centres are there for less than four months. They are the most serious of cases-people who have come to this country clandestinely. We need to establish their identity because it would be a dereliction of duty not to identify those whom we are letting into this country. There are foreign national offenders and people whose appeals have been exhausted. However, we are keeping this under review and that is why the Home Secretary has asked Stephen Shaw to undertake a thorough review.
Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Lab): My Lords, in its recent report on violence against women and girls, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, of which I am a member, expressed concern about how current Home Office policies leave some people destitute during the immigration and asylum process. This can lead to women being at greater risk of violence and sexual exploitation. Will the Government now amend the very welcome action plan on violence against women and girls to stop this happening?
Read the full debate: House of Lords 1 Mar 2015 : <>Column 658
UKHO CIG: Somalia: Prison Conditions
1.1 Basis of Claim
1.1.1 Fear of being imprisoned on return and that prison conditions in Somalia, Somaliland and/or Puntland are so poor as to amount to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
1.1.2 This guidance is concerned solely with whether prison conditions are such that they breach Article 3 of European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and warrant a grant of humanitarian protection. Even if prison conditions are not severe enough to meet that threshold, Article 3 will still be engaged if, in that individual's personal circumstances, detention would amount to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
1.1.3 If the prison sentence or the prison regime, irrespective of its severity, is discriminatory or being disproportionately applied for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, the imprisonment may amount to persecution and the claimant may qualify as a refugee.
Published on Refworld, 11/03/15
Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories - Non Existent
The UN Special Rapporteur's observations and interactions with victims and witnesses living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the several months since assuming his mandate suggest that the protection that international humanitarian law and international human rights law should be providing for civilians, including children, across the Occupied Palestinian Territory is distressingly absent.
It is especially deplorable that Palestinian children are suffering the brunt of occupation policies and practices of Israel, whether as a result of the blockade and hostilities in Gaza, the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces in the context of legitimate protests and peaceful demonstrations, as well as search operations in the refugee camps, and abuse and ill-treatment in Israeli prisons. Voices from across the Occupied Palestinian Territory called in unison for accountability, an end to the blockade and an end to the occupation. If another round of deadly violence is to be avoided, the underlying problems perpetuating the conflict and the almost daily violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people must be addressed and those responsible brought to justice.
Read the full report: UN Human Rights Council
Harmondsworth IRC: Asylum Seekers' Hunger Strike Spreads
A hunger strike by hundreds of asylum-seekers at the UK's largest immigration detention centre has spread to a second site 150 miles away, amid signs that a wave of resistance is forming against the Government's detention policy. A number of detainees held inside Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Lincolnshire have started refusing food in solidarity with those at Harmondsworth, who began a hunger strike on Sunday in protest at overcrowded, prison-like conditions which they said were 'comparable to animal cages'. Morton Hall, which is run by the Prison Service, opened in 2011 and has 392 rooms for male detainees. In September last year, police in riot gear were brought in to restore order after the death of 26-year-old Rubel Ahmed, from Bangladesh, led to protests.
'The numbers are rising,' said Abbas Haider, 43, who is being held in Harmondsworth and is acting as a spokesman for the hunger strikers. 'One of the guys in here has been inside for 19 months. The staff tell us that if we don't stop our strike and disperse, we will end up in jail. But all the guys say in one language, in one sound: 'We are already in prison.' We don't have any human rights left here.'
Read more: Chris Green, Independent, 10/03/15
IRC Hunger Strike Against Human Rights Deprivations
Detainees at Harmondsworth detention centre started refusing food on Sunday and said they planned to continue their protest until the 'indefinite deprivation of liberty and human rights' there was brought to an end. Aerial cameras filmed around 100 people protesting in the exercise yard.
'We are writing to draw your attention to the miserable plight and condition of the detainees of asylum cases,' the protesters said in a handwritten letter seen by The Independent. 'Everyone here is burning in the fire of uncertainty, that is the worst form of mental and physical torture, without any offence or crime and without any punishment decided by the court.'
Read more: Chris Green, Indpendent, 09/03/15
The Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
The starting point is the right to freedom of peaceful assembly protected by Article 11 ECHR. Protesters will usually also be exercising their right to freedom of expression under Article 10, which in this context is treated by the European Court of Human Rights as an aspect of the Article 11 right.
The right to freedom of peaceful assembly is a fundamental right in a democratic society and one of the foundations of such a society. It therefore should not be interpreted restrictively: Djavit An v Turkey (2005) 40 EHRR 45 at . This does not mean, however, that everyone has the right to protest whenever, wherever and for however long they wish. The right may be subjected to limits which are prescribed by law, necessary in a democratic society to meet one of the legitimate aims set out in Article 11(2), and proportionate to that aim. The permissible aims are the protection of national security or public safety, the prevention of disorder or crime, the protection of health or morals, and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 11 imposes both negative and positive obligations on the state: see e.g. Djavit An at . This means that the state is required not only to permit, but also to take positive steps to facilitate peaceful demonstrations. These positive obligations are not unlimited: the state will not usually be obliged, for example, to require private landowners to permit demonstrations on their property, so long as the protesters can exercise their right somewhere else: Appleby v UK (2003) 37 EHRR 38. But where positive steps are necessary to ensure that the right is practical and effective, the state will be required to take them.
Read more: Hannah Noyce, Human Rights Blog, <>08/03/15
One Bath for 12 Women and 11 Babies: UK Asylum Housing by G4S
On a suburban street in Leeds, security company G4S packs 23 women and children into one house with a single bathroom. It was Violet, working with refugee women in South Yorkshire, who alerted me to conditions at the house. We are volunteer activists with SYMAAG (South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group). Most of the women have been here for nearly five months, they tell us. Each woman and her children have one room. When the women arrived, some with babies only weeks old, the filthy rambling mansion had been stood empty for many months. Cots were provided for some rooms but not others. For the first three weeks one downstairs room had no curtains at all. The G4S staff whoÕd been entrusted with the familiesÕ care gave no safety information on arrival Ñ no fire regulations or escape routes were posted in rooms.
Read more: John Grayson, Open Democracy, 07/03/15
20 Longest Recorded Lengths of Detention Q4 Oct/Nov/December 2014
As at 31 December 2014, National Statistics show that of the 3,462 people currently detained solely under Immigration Act powers in immigration removal centres, short term holding facilities and pre departure accommodation, the 20 longest recorded lengths of detention all males were:
|1,793 days - 4.9 Years
||1,699 days - 4.6 Years
|1,357 days - 3.7 Years
||1,210 days - 3.3 years
|1,183 days - 3.2 Years
||1,177 days - 3.2 Years
|1,075 days - 2.9 Years
||1,031 days - 2.8 Years
|995 days - 2.7 Years
||957 days - 2.6 Years
|894 days - 2.4 Years
||883 days - 2.4 Years
|861 days - 2.3 Years
||834 days - 2.2 Years
|831 days - 2.2 Years
||792 days - 2.1 Years
|778 days - 2.1 Years
||751 days - 2 years
|726 Days - 2 Years
||714 days - 2 years
UKHO CIG: - Bangladesh: Prison Conditions
Section 1: Guidance / Updated: 06 March 2015
1.1 Basis of Claim
1.1.1 Fear of being imprisoned on return to Bangladesh and that prison conditions in Bangladesh are so poor as to amount to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
1.1.2 This guidance is concerned solely with whether prison conditions are such that they breach Article 3 of ECHR and warrant a grant of humanitarian protection. Prison conditions which are systematically inhuman and life-threatening are always contrary to Article 3 ECHR. However, even if those conditions are not severe enough to meet that threshold, Article 3 may be breached if, because of a person's individual specific circumstances, detention would amount to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
1.1.3 If the prison sentence or the prison regime, irrespective of its severity, is discriminatory or being disproportionately applied for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, the imprisonment may amount to persecution and the person may qualify as a refugee.
Published on Refworld, 06/03/15
Don't Let Them Drown
Demonstrate in Sheffield Tuesday March 17th
The Mediterranean Sea is becoming a mass grave. Join us in our call for a humanitarian policy towards migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety in Europe
Assemble outside City Market,the Moor S1 4PF @ 12:15. March to Town Hall for rally at 1:00pm then to the Home Office at Vulcan House S3 8NU.
Every year millions of people around the world are forced from their homes by conflict, persecution and poverty. A small proportion of these seek safety and a better life in Europe. Every year hundreds of people die trying to reach Europe’s shores crossing the Mediterranean Sea. 339 people were drowned close to the Italian coast on one day in February this year. Many were sisters and brothers. The youngest was 12 years old.
Demonstrate with us Tell the UK Government: "Don't Let Them Drown"
Listen to speakers from around the world tell their stories and call for justice
Organised by South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG). Email email@example.com
Rule 35(i) reports Quarter 4/2014
Rule 35(i) reports made by Medical Practitioner to Home Office 21
Number of detainees Rule 35(i) reports relate to 21
Of which, number of Rule 35(i) releases from detention 7
All figures quoted have been derived from management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols.
Boko Haram Violence Displaces 1.2 million Nigerians
More than 1.2 million people have been driven from their homes in northern Nigeria, the vast majority as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, according to the latest figures from the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA).
The displaced are mainly from Borno (62 percent), Adamawa (18 percent) and Yobe (13 percent) - the three states hardest hit by the violence. The numbers represent an increase on the 981,416 NEMA reported in January, but are likely to understate the scale of the crisis as the agency had access to only three out of Borno's 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs). Two LGAs in Adamawa and two in Yobe were also unreachable at the time of the assessment "due to security reasons", according to a joint NEMA and International Organization for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report.
Published on Refworld, 06/03/15