Thank you to those who contributions ideas for recommendations for the UK’s review under the UN Universal Periodic Review process. We put your suggestions out to diplomats here in Geneva, and we were pleased to see that refugees’ and migrants’ rights came up frequently during the review, which took place last week.
I encourage you to now use your channels to publicize the recommendations and to lobby the UK Government to accept these recommendations as soon as possible. In particular, you can write to your MP and ask that they call on the Government to accept the relevant recommendations outlined below.
More about the UK’s review:
Refugee and migrant issues were raised in a total of 29 recommendations by other States. The report containing all the recommendations is available here:https://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/united_kingdom/session_27_-_may_2017/a_hrc_wg.6_27_l.7.pdf
The recommendations most relevant to your concerns were (country making the recommendation to the UK is in brackets):
- 6.215. Take steps to revise the legislation on immigration by introducing time limits for the detention of migrants and asylum seekers, as well as considering revising the changes introduced to visas for foreign spouses based on income criteria (Brazil);
- 6.217. Introduce a general statutory time limit on immigration detention and ensure such detention is not used in the case of vulnerable individuals or groups (Germany);
- 6.218. Incorporate a prohibition to indefinite detention of migrants in the 2016 Declaration on Immigration and search for alternatives to detention (Mexico);
- 6.219. Like other European countries, set statutory time limit for immigration detention and ensure that children are not subjected to such detention (Bangladesh);
Family reunification and child rights
- 6.222. Reform its directive on family reunification to establish specifically family reunification for child asylum seekers relocated to the United Kingdom or who have been recognised as refugees (Honduras);
- 6.223. Take the necessary measures to guarantee the exercise of the right to family reunification of unaccompanied children recognized as refugees or resettled (Argentina);
- 6.221. Improve on the United Kingdom’s Immigration Act 2016 dealing with the refugees to be compatible with United Nations Human Rights Conventions particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Indonesia);
- 6.213. Review the 2016 Immigration Act in order to ensure its compatibility with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Honduras);
The UK can now decide to ‘accept’ or ‘note’ each recommendation, and will do so formally in September. For any that are accepted, further work by civil society to make the recommendations public and monitor their implementation is essential. More information is available here http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx and here https://www.upr-info.org/en for anyone interested in finding out more.
Please forward this message on to anyone who might be interested and let me know if you have any questions.
Programme Assistant, Human Rights and Refugees
Quaker United Nations Office