Destitution among asylum seekers

Down and out in London
LONDON, 7 February 2011 (IRIN) – Oxfam has added its voice to a growing chorus of concern about Britain’s system for deciding on asylum claims, and the suffering it causes, in a report on destitute asylum seekers, who are forbidden to work but cannot claim state benefits.

These men and women, who told their stories anonymously in Coping with Destitution: Survival strategies of asylum seekers in the UK [download here], live in the shadows, penniless and dependent on the charity of others. Continue reading “Destitution among asylum seekers”

G4S whistleblowers confirm detainees’ allegation

By Dr Frank Arnold, Emma Ginn and Harriet Wistrich
17 February 2011, 7:00pm
The Guardian reported last week that whistleblowers within G4S, the private company contracted to carry out forced deportations, say that staff warned management of inappropriate use of force. Yet, after the death in October 2010 of a deportee who had been restrained and complained he couldn’t breathe, a top G4S manager claimed he was ‘not aware’ of any staff concerns. Read more:

Landmark human rights ruling allows asylum mother to remain in UK

Supreme court says deporting woman who lied on asylum application would infringe rights of her British children

Immigration authorities will have to listen to the views of children whose parents are facing deportation, the supreme court has said, in a landmark human rights ruling on the rights of children born to illegal immigrants.

In a case brought by a Tanzanian woman whose asylum claims had failed, the court ruled today that her two British children, aged 9 and 12, were entitled to remain in the UK and have relationships with both their parents. They upheld her appeal and allowed her to stay in the country. Continue reading “Landmark human rights ruling allows asylum mother to remain in UK”

A child prisoner, a Santa suit and a Border Agency out of ministerial control

Clare Sambrook, 3 February 2011
About the author
In this morning’s Independent Andrew Grice reveals that the UK Border Agency locked up an 11-year-old girl in an immigration removal centre on Christmas Day in defiance of deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s promise that no child would be so detained at Christmas.

As recently as 10 January a Home Office press officer falsely claimed that no child had been detained at Christmas. A Freedom of Information Request drew out the truth, talk of which reached Grice.

Besides making deputy prime minister Nick Clegg look a deceiver and a Grade A twit, this story betrays UK Border Agency incompetence and contempt for democratic process, proving yet again that it is not fit to be entrusted with children’s care. Continue reading “A child prisoner, a Santa suit and a Border Agency out of ministerial control”

New centres to detain child asylum seekers

By Jonathan Brown
The Coalition is accused of watering down its promise to end the detention of child asylum seekers by setting up new centres to detain families refusing to leave the UK.

The new “pre-departure accommodation facilities” will be run under a more lax system than the current imprisonment of failed asylum seekers and their offspring. But the families will still be kept in “secure” units behind high fences for up to a week, reigniting concern over the Coalition’s flagship policy of ending child detention, announced by Nick Clegg in a fanfare of publicity last year.Read more: Friday, 4 February 2011