Questions in Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament, 27 May 2010 – Children in Dungavel, and dawn raids
QUESTION: Linda Fabiani (Scottish National Party)

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has sought clarification from the UK Government that the pledge in its coalition agreement to end detention of children in Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre will be extended to ensure the ending of dawn raids in Scotland. Continue reading “Questions in Scottish Parliament”

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Addendum : Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Extracts: Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Jorge Bustamante, on his mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 22–26 June 2009

Publication Date 16 March 2010

Human Rights of migrants in UK – United Nations report
Report from the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants in includes some strong criticism, particularly around detention and children’s rights.

The Rapporteur highlights the disecepancies between UKBA policies and the reality for asylum seekers and migrants. For example,the New Asylum Model is said to offer “accelerated decision-making processes and increased contact with asylum-seekers without resorting to detention”, but the Rapporteur found many “cases of children, torture survivors and trafficked women who were detained while their asylum cases were being decided”, as well as “numerous allegations of instances of indefinite periods of detention of asylum-seekers” . Allegations acknowledged as true by UKBA officers.

The Rapporteur found that although the House of Commons stated in a report that 1,000 children in families are detained each year, stakeholders estimate that the figure is actually double that.

The Rapporteur also expresses concern about age-disputed cases. He “notes with dismay that this guidance relies excessively on subjective criteria, having as a consequence the possibility that minors could be considered as adults throughout the application process and detained on this basis.”

Click here to download the full report with recommendations, including that the UK stops detaining children. http://bit.ly/ cKE2uo Continue reading “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Addendum : Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”

Immigration: Detention of Children

Immigration: Detention of Children

Question

2 June 2010 3.29 pm

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will end the detention of children for immigration purposes.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): My Lords, the Government are committed to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes. My honourable friend the Minister of State for Immigration is heading a review on the way forward, which aims to protect the welfare of children while ensuring the removal of those who have no right to be in the UK. He will set out the way forward as soon as possible: certainly in the coming weeks. Currently, I might add, there is one family with two children in immigration detention.

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that reply, and I welcome her to her new high ministerial office and wish her well for the future. When does she expect to be able to end child detention for immigration purposes? Does she not agree that it would be a signal success for the new Government if there could be an early announcement that ended the practice? Is there any chance of her being able to do that sensibly before the House rises for the Summer Recess? Continue reading “Immigration: Detention of Children”

‘If asked, “Why am I a Quaker, how am I a Quaker?”, this is what I can say.’

Why?

I applied for membership when I felt convinced that being a Quaker is my spiritual home, and I stay with Quakers because it feels like home, a place where I can recharge myself.

I may not share all your beliefs, or yours or yours, but that is not a problem, in fact one of the things that I enjoy about being a Quaker is our diversity in belief. One of the benefits for me is that the hour that we spend in Meeting on a Sunday is probably one of the few times when I’m quiet, and when I open my mind to whatever comes rather than applying myself to a task. Two weeks ago in Meeting for Worship it came to me that the difference between awful and awe-ful is the magic ‘e’ – the energy we find when we meet together that helps us move forward in the world.

How? Continue reading “‘If asked, “Why am I a Quaker, how am I a Quaker?”, this is what I can say.’”

Why RMJ are facing closure – The government must ensure asylum seekers receive good-quality legal representation before more families suffer

End this ‘inhumane and expensive’ asylum system

The government must ensure asylum seekers receive good-quality legal representation before more families suffer

My organisation, Refugee and Migrant Justice, is the largest specialist provider of legal representation to asylum seekers and the victims of trafficking. We are facing possible closure because of the last government’s mistakes.

The new government has an opportunity to make Britain’s asylum system fairer, faster and more humane. Labour policies to clear backlogs, tighten borders, and appear “tough” have resulted in an expensive, inefficient and inhumane system in which children are routinely locked up and many genuine cases turned down, only to be accepted at appeal – a costly process wasting money for the taxpayer. Continue reading “Why RMJ are facing closure – The government must ensure asylum seekers receive good-quality legal representation before more families suffer”

Urgent appeal for support from Refugee and Migrant Justice

Hello,
I’m writing to you from a charity called Refugee and Migrant Justice: we provide free legal advice and representation to asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants in the UK, including victims of trafficking and separated children. We currently have 10 000 clients. We were awarded the Liberty/Justice award in 2005 for our “fearless and consistent use of the law to protect human rights”. We have taken on major test cases which have helped to change policy in the uk.

We are now facing possible closure. A new system of payment of legal aid means that payments are only made when stages of cases are closed – which in our case is on average 6 months after work is started and can take up to two years, due to the delays in the asylum system. We are not asking for more money, just prompt payment of what we are due. Continue reading “Urgent appeal for support from Refugee and Migrant Justice”

Alternatives to detention

There has been debate about alternatives to detention.

Common elements of a solution include:

[information from other countries]:
there are community-based approaches that have a casework and welfare focus,
and community-based approaches that primarily use restrictive conditions to encourage compliance.

Given the limited capacity of the detention estate, the most obvious alternative to detention is simply to not detain.

Evidence:
a lack of evidence that families systematically disappear pending judicial review or other legal appeals;
questioning about why it is so often used,

and why children are subjected to spending relatively long periods of time in the detention estate. Continue reading “Alternatives to detention”