Migration and Peace in Europe

Migration and Peace in Europe: Woodbrooke, Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network and Quaker Council for European Affairs working in partnership: This course runs 11 June – 2 July 2024 on Zoom

What are the links between migration and peace? This course, led by the Quaker Asylum Refugee Network and Saskia Basa, Migration and Peace Coordinator at the Quaker Council of European Affairs, will seek to answer this question.

The live Zoom sessions are every Tuesday at 18:30-20:00 (UK time)

The course is co-ordinated by Saskia Basa – QCEA, and Catherine Henderson – QARN

For more information and to book a place, please find more information here: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/courses/migration-and-peace-in-europe/

Migrant Help strategy 2024 – 2029

From Migrant Help – it is useful to know what they consider to be their strategy, so that we can do what we can to help them stick to their plan

Migrant Help: We are pleased to present Migrant Help’s new organisational strategy for 2024 to 2029.

The 60th anniversary of the charity, that we marked in 2023, has provided the right pivotal moment to reflect on the past, the present and to plan for our future.

To develop this strategy we brought together staff, trustees and clients in multiple workshops over 12 months to set the new objectives, determine outcomes and specify the actions needed to achieve our aims.

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QARN next meetings

QARN meetings: next planned meeting dates: on Zoom on Saturdays: July 6th 2024 to include the AGM which will be a blended meeting held face-to-face between 11am and 4pm at Bradford-on-Avon Meeting as well as on Zoom,   and thereafter on Zoom on October 12th, and January 11th 2025.

We usually meet quarterly using Zoom and all Quakers are welcome. We plan to start at 10.30am to manage the technical aspects of a Zoom meeting, falling quiet at around 10.45am, and beginning business at 11am; and we aim to end around 12.30pm. The meeting link will  be available to those who receive our emails, but for other people, please contact us via info@qarn.org.uk giving your name, and the Quaker Meeting to which you are attached. Thank you.

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QARN Leaflets: Download them here

8 February 2024: Please note that in our leaflet: ‘QARN – What do Quakers hope for, after the 2024 General Election‘, we mention a model letter for MPs. We have instead produced a crib sheet to highlight the concerns raised in the leaflet, in the hope that people can use this to write to/ speak with prospective MPs or wherever it is useful.

QARN What do Quakers hope for, after the 2024 General Election

This leaflet was updated March 2024:

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‘Safety of Rwanda’ Bill

23 April 2024: Guardian: Council of Europe human rights watchdog condemns UK’s Rwanda bill

Rights commissioner expresses grave concern after Rishi Sunak’s asylum policy passes parliamentary stages

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/apr/23/council-of-europe-human-rights-watchdog-condemns-uk-rwanda-scheme

Guardian: UK passes bill to send asylum seekers to Rwanda

Lawyers prepare for legal battles on behalf of individual asylum seekers challenging removal to east Africa

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/apr/22/rwanda-deportations-bill-passes-parliament-sunak

Hansard: Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Debate in the Houses of Commons and Lords as the Bill was going through Parliament on 22 April 2024

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Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees – April 2024

8 April 2024: Crisis Watch: Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees – April 2024

Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan / Pakistan / South China Sea / Venezuela / Haiti / Somalia / Bosnia And Herzegovina / Russia (Internal) / Israel/Palestine

Violence escalated in Haiti after the country’s two largest gang coalitions launched coordinated attacks across the capital Port-au-Prince to deter an international security mission from deploying. Gangs targeted critical sites, freed over 4,700 inmates and forced tens of thousands to flee.

Electoral authorities in Venezuela blocked the opposition coalition from registering their banned candidate María Corina Machado or her replacement, in an apparent bid to strengthen President Maduro’s hand in the lead-up to July elections. 

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Urgent notice: Home Office offers of ‘voluntary departure’ to Rwanda

14 March 2024:We have received reports that the Home Office is calling people to offer ‘voluntary departure’ to Rwanda. 

This scheme is separate to the initial Rwanda policy (which was defeated in the Supreme Court), the Rwanda Treaty which was recently signed by the Home Secretary, and the Safety of Rwanda Bill which is currently being rushed through Parliament. 

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Home Office immigration database errors hit more than 76,000 people

14 March 2024: Guardian: Exclusive: Names, photos and migration status being mixed up, preventing people applying for jobs and housing

Major flaws in a huge Home Office immigration database have resulted in more than 76,000 people being listed with incorrect names, photographs or immigration status.

Leaked internal documents reveal the scale of the database fiasco at the Home Office, which has recently been criticised for delays in immigration application processing, long queues at borders and the distribution of incorrect identity cards.

The Home Office has been relatively silent about the database failures, referring vaguely to them as “IT issues”. Ministers have denied there is a “systemic” problem with Atlas, the tool used by border officials and immigration officers which operates off the flawed database.

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Hotel Chain Voted UK’s Worst Makes Tens of Millions a Year from Housing Asylum Seekers in Harmful Conditions

15 March 2024: Byline Times: Hotel Chain Voted UK’s Worst Makes Tens of Millions a Year from Housing Asylum Seekers in Harmful Conditions

A hotel chain voted the UK’s worst has made tens of millions of pounds and brought itself back from financial uncertainty after it became one of the Home Office’s main sources of accommodation for asylum seekers, Byline Times can reveal.

Britannia Hotels has made over £150m over the last decade, which it has spent as one of the main suppliers of hotel accommodation for asylum seekers.

The firm has been voted the UK’s worst hotel chain for the last 11 years running.

Byline Times spoke to asylum seekers housed in Britannia Hotels for months on end who described refugees attempting suicide, living in fear of harassment in dirty rooms; conditions so bad that one charity said were actively “harming people’s health”.

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