QARN at Yearly Meeting Gathering, August 2014

qarn logo smWe were interested to meet with other Quakers who share our concern at Yearly Meeting Gathering –  August 2014

Dear Friends,

We have had a number of well attended sessions at Yearly Meeting, and have been very impressed and encouraged by the number of Friends active throughout the country.

After the sessions on destitution and detention we sent a minute to the YM summing up group.
Here is the minute below together with the encouraging response from one of the Friends charged with the difficult task of summing up.

We have heard of how the present asylum and immigration system forces many asylum seekers into destitution and holds thousands in detention for indefinite periods. We have been very encouraged to learn of the work of Friends throughout the country, and of the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network in supporting the destitute and vulnerable and campaigning for change.

We believe that an informed and principled critique of current asylum policy should be part of our corporate Quaker witness, in keeping with our testimony to equality. We invite Friends to work for justice and compassion in the asylum system and to challenge the prevailing culture of dIsbelief. This is particularly important in the run up to the election. The QARN website offers resources for information,reflection and action.

Signed. Bridget Walker, Oxford and Swindon AM
Colin Billett, Worcestershire and Shropshire. AM Continue reading “QARN at Yearly Meeting Gathering, August 2014”

Immigration Detention Inquiry

Boaz Trust: You may have seen recent news coverage of immigration detention centres. Several Boaz clients have spent time in detention centres and spoken about the trauma of being imprisoned indefinitely.

Earlier this month MP’s launched an inquiry into the use of immigration detention and are inviting individuals with experience of detention to submit accounts of their experiences before 1 October 2014. Charities and organisations can also contribute. Read more Continue reading “Immigration Detention Inquiry”

RAPAR: HMIP: Amnesty International website blocked for immigration detainees

The latest unannounced official HMIP report on Haslar immigration detention centre reveals that the centre staff had blocked the websites for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and Amnesty International:

Detainees had access to the internet, but some key websites were blocked. The officer on duty in the internet suite could unblock any site. When we visited, the officer agreed to unblock the Bail for Immigration Detainees’ website but not Amnesty International’s without more senior approval. Continue reading “RAPAR: HMIP: Amnesty International website blocked for immigration detainees”

Migrant Children’s Project Newsletter June 2014

Migrant Childrens ProjectPolicy & legal updates

Legal aid residence test
The Joint Committee on Human Rights today published a further report on the proposed residence test for civil legal aid, which the Government plans to implement on 4 August 2014. Citing evidence from CCLC and others, the JCHR concludes that the residence test will lead to breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and calls for the secondary legislation to be withdrawn. The policy is subject to legal challenge, with the judgment expected soon.

Modern Slavery Bill
The Government has introduced legislation on trafficking, which is due to be debated in Parliament on 8 July. The Refugee Children’s Consortium and others have been calling for greater protections for child victims, including through a system of guardianship. The Government is instead piloting a system of child trafficking advocates, delivered by Barnardo’s.

Children entering detention held solely under Immigration Act powers, May 2014
Released 26 June 2014
Five children entered immigration detention in May, three at Tinsley House and two at Cedars
. Continue reading “Migrant Children’s Project Newsletter June 2014”