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.
We assessed how and whether the Home Office complied with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) when developing, implementing and monitoring the hostile environment policy agenda, particularly in considering its impact on Black members of the Windrush generation.
The assessment has found that negative consequences were repeatedly ignored, dismissed, or their severity disregarded at crucial points of policy development. There was limited engagement with representatives of the Windrush generation, even as the severe effects of hostile environment policies began to emerge.
Statement from Status Now: 20 October 2020: Risk assessing hotels and barracks housing displaced people in the UK: Statement from StatusNow4All
We note that the role of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is to help improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of the Home Office’s border and immigration functions through unfettered, impartial and evidence-based inspection.
We note, in contrast, that the Home Office is attempting to side step this transparent system by hiring a private risk management company, Human Applications (https://ergonomics.org.uk/humanapplications) to provide a ‘rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and former military barracks, and provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19.’ Hastily arranged with minimal, non-transparent and selective third sector involvement, the Home Office have stated that they do not intend to make this report public.
Living conditions have the potential to compromise the physical and psychological health of people. Those displaced people currently accommodated by the Home Office in hotels and barracks around the UK are not being offered thorough assessment, especially in relation to the safeguarding concerns that arise from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Home Office is failing to demonstrate either an appropriate duty of care, or any transparent process. Similarly, the meaningful exercise of duty of care cannot be realised until there is a comprehensive test- track- trace and quarantine system that enables EVERYONE to participate, with confidence, throughout the UK.
Alongside our call for StatusNow4All https://statusnow4all.org/about-status-now/ to enable everyone to share equal access to healthcare, housing and food, we call for the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to conduct an immediate and independent inspection that ‘provides assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19’.
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.
22.9.2020 World Council of Churches: Global religious leaders urge end to “broken state of European migration”
A dozen global and regional religious organizations released an advocacy statement on the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe that defines their calling as Christians to “welcome the stranger,” and urges the creation of a world in which “we become human together.”
“Solidarity should be the guiding principle governing migration and particularly refugee reception,” the statement says. “We expect the EU to reject the discourse and politics of fear and deterrence, and to adopt a principled stance and compassionate practice based on the fundamental values on which the EU is founded.”
The organisations have issued the statement in advance of the EU Commission’s presentation of its new Migration Pact on 23 September.