News & Views Monday 6th January to Sunday 12th January 2020


100,000 Children in London 'Without Secure Immigration Status'

New research estimates that more than 100,000 children are living in London without secure immigration status, despite more than half of them having been born in the UK. Children who are undocumented may face problems accessing higher education, health care, opening bank accounts, and applying for driving licences, housing and jobs. The findings were condemned by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as a “national disgrace”.

The study, commissioned by the mayor and undertaken by the University of Wolverhampton, estimated that there were around 107,000 undocumented children and 26,000 18- to 24-year-olds in London. Once an undocumented child turns 18, they face the threat of deportation to a country they may never have visited. Undocumented people can include those who arrived in the UK with proper documentation but who stayed beyond their permitted time, those who entered without proper documentation, trafficked children, unaccompanied minors whose temporary leave to remain was withdrawn once they reached adulthood and young people born to parents who are themselves undocumented.

The research found that more than half of the UK’s estimated 674,000 undocumented adults and children live in London. It warns that the number of undocumented young people could rise dramatically if the estimated 350,000 young European nationals in the UK are not helped to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme that will enable them to remain after Brexit.

Read more: Amelia Gentleman, Guardian,

Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - January 2020

Deteriorated Situations; Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Mozambique, Korean PeninsulaIndia (non-Kashmir), Honduras, Syria, Iran, Iraq.

Conflict Risk Alerts January 2020:  Central African Republic, Mozambique, Iran, Iraq, Libya.

Global Overview: In December, retaliatory attacks in Iraq raised U.S.-Iran tensions to new heights, compounding Iraq’s political and security woes and presaging further escalation in January. In Syria, regime and Russian forces stepped up their offensive in the north west, and Turkey’s potential deployment of troops in Libya could add fuel to the fire.

In Burkina Faso, suspected jihadist attacks and intercommunal violence surged, and in Niger jihadists carried out a major assault against security forces. Boko Haram intensified its attacks in Cameroon’s far north and Chad’s west. Fighting erupted in the capital of the Central African Republic and picked up momentum in the north east, where a battle for the provincial capital looms.

In Mozambique, suspected Islamist militants intensified their insurgency in the far north, and an armed opposition faction may follow through on its threat to mark the president’s inauguration on 15 January with attacks on civilians.

North Korea threatened to resume nuclear and long-range missile tests;

India’s controversial citizenship law sparked widespread protests; and a tide of killings shook the prison system in Honduras.

Home Office Faces Legal Cases Over Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers

The Home Office faces a series of legal challenges over its decision to allow Zimbabwean government officials to interview people from the country who are seeking asylum in the UK. The government was criticised earlier this year for working with the Zimbabwean state to accelerate the removal of asylum seekers after Robert Mugabe was forced from power, despite continuing human rights abuses in the country. Zimbabweans seeking asylum in the UK, who fear persecution by the new government, were asked to attend Home Office centres across the UK, only to find officials from the government in Harare waiting to question them. Lawyers acting on behalf of one of the applicants, Chishamiso Mkundi, 51, applied for a judicial review after his asylum claim was rejected.

Granting permission for the review last month, judges said: “It is at least arguable that the respondent [the home secretary, Priti Patel] failed to consider whether her own actions, in inviting an official from the Zimbabwean embassy to an interview with the Home Office in December 2018, might have brought the applicant to the direct attention to the Zimbabwean authorities.” Many asylum seekers from Zimbabwe sought refuge in the UK because of their anti-government protests or support for the country’s opposition. Their claims were often rejected on the basis that they were not of sufficiently high profile to come to the attention of the Zimbabwe authorities and thus risk being mistreated on their return.

Read more: Frances Perraudin, Guardian,

Deportation Charter Flights (Escorts and Removals) Q3 July/August/September 2019

1. Number of males removed?     44

2. Number of females removed?     2

3. Number of escorts?                    203

4. Number of flights in total?  4. Please note that some flights went to more than one destination.

France 3 flights 15 removed

Germany 1 flight 21 removed

Nigeria 1 flight 5 removed

Ghana 1 flight 5 removed

6. Number of children, if any?  A: None.

Note: this data should have been revealed early November 2019 but Home Office delayed the release until 0701/2020, no reason given.

Asylum Research Consultancy Country of Information Update Vol. 208

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 20 December 2019 and 6 January 2020.

Download the full document:

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2020

1 Afghanistan, 2 Yemen, 3 Ethiopia, 4 Burkina Faso, 5 Libya, 6. The U.S., Iran, Israel, and the Persian Gulf, 7 U.S.-North Korea, 8 Kashmir, 9. Venezuela, 10. Ukraine

Local conflicts serve as mirrors for global trends. The ways they ignite, unfold, persist, and are resolved reflect shifts in great powers’ relations, the intensity of their competition, and the breadth of regional actors’ ambitions. They highlight issues with which the international system is obsessed and those toward which it is indifferent. Today these wars tell the story of a global system caught in the early swell of sweeping change, of regional leaders both emboldened and frightened by the opportunities such a transition presents.

Only time will tell how much of the U.S.’s transactional unilateralism, contempt for traditional allies, and dalliance with traditional rivals will endure – and how much will vanish with Donald Trump’s presidency. Still, it would be hard to deny that something is afoot. The understandings and balance of power on which the global order had once been predicated – imperfect, unfair, and problematic as they were – are no longer operative. Washington is both eager to retain the benefits of its leadership and unwilling to shoulder the burdens of carrying it. As a consequence, it is guilty of the cardinal sin of any great power: allowing the gap between ends and means to grow. These days, neither friend nor foe knows quite where America stands.

The roles of other major powers are changing, too. China exhibits the patience of a nation confident in its gathering influence, but in no hurry to fully exercise it. It chooses its battles, focusing on self-identified priorities: domestic control and suppression of potential dissent (as in Hong Kong, or the mass detention of Muslims in Xinjiang); the South and East China Seas; the brewing technological tug of war with the U.S., of my own colleague Michael Kovrig – unjustly detained in China for over a year – has become collateral damage. Elsewhere, its game is a long one.

Read more: International Crisis Group,