Working together American Friends Service Committee, Britain Yearly Meeting, Friends Committee for National Legislation, Quaker Council for European Affairs and Quaker United Nations Office have developed a statement on migration drawing on Quaker foundations and work with migrants and on migration. The core of the statement says:
Catherine Henderson argues that how we talk and write about migrants determines how we and others think about them and their place in our society. Welcoming migrants as ‘arrivers’ matters as much as recognising the reasons they had to leave other countries.
A few weeks ago a series of leaks from the Home Office conjured up a dystopian world where people seeking asylum in the UK might be kept on old ferries or oil rigs or sent to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. The boats in which they attempt to cross the Channel might be pushed back to France by wave machines or trapped in giant nets.
1.11.2020: The drowning of a family of five in the Channel and a fire on a ship off the coast of Senegal should prompt action – ‘thoughts and prayers’ are not enough
Responsible politicians would address the causes as well as symptoms. They would also keep a sense of proportion, and enjoin the public to do the same. The number of asylum applications in the UK (35,566 in 2019) is a small fraction of that in France and Germany; Turkey is home to around 4 million refugees. But again and again, the UK government chooses hostile posturing over rational policy based on international cooperation, respect for the law and human rights. Could the deaths of three children lead Ms Patel to give it a rest and listen to European politicians such as Ms Jalloul, or even Lord Dubs? Don’t hold your breath.
also the UK Court decided that it was unsafe to return a particular Kurd to Iran because of what would happen on his return as he has been out of the country, amongst other reasons: (thanks to John O for this information):
Refugee rights groups to hold welcome event outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone.
ASYLUM-SEEKERS held in a former army camp in Kent are being harassed and intimidated by far-right activists every time they leave the site, campaigners told the Morning Star today.
Refugee rights groups are holding a welcome event on Saturday outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone to show support for the asylum-seekers and “undercut” the hateful messages of a small number of racists.
Little Amal, a young refugee, embarks on a remarkable journey – an epic voyage that will take her across Turkey, across Europe. To find her mother. To get back to school. To start a new life. Will the world let her? Can she achieve what now seems more impossible than ever?
Topic: North London Area Meeting Quaker Week Event – The Threat to Migrants
Time: Oct 8, 2020. Doors open 07:00pm for a 7.30pm start. We will finish by 8.45pm.
Andrew Lane, Director, Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) in Brussels will talk about the work of Quakers to engage European governments and institutions on questions of migration justice. Luke Piper, Head of Policy, the3million.org Luke is a solicitor specialised in immigration law. They currently have a campaign for EU citizens in the UK after Brexit to be allowed documentary proof of their rights, instead of simply being provided with a number which has to be used electronically to establish what rights they may have.
2.10.2020: Extract: ‘Managers were expecting some resistance, because of their previous experience of detainees being reluctant to return to other European countries under the TCU arrangements. Several of those scheduled to be on the flight had been very distressed; the removal of most of those identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm was cancelled, but two who were at risk travelled, of whom one self harmed on the aircraft and the other was found during the journey to be secreting a fragment of sharp metal in his mouth. Two detainees had to be carried on to the aircraft and restraints were used on half the total number.
Handcuffs were fitted for short periods to the wrists of three detainees for the purpose of achieving compliance through inflicting pain. We did not directly observe the incidents and so cannot judge whether use of this technique was proportionate in the circumstances.’