2015 March 25 JRF DestitutionExecutive summary:

Background: There is a widespread perception that destitution is increasing sharply in the UK. Media attention devoted to the prevalence of extreme hardship, and to the increased use of food banks in particular, is indicative of increasing public concern. Prominent public figures have made connections between destitution and government policies on immigration and asylum, welfare reform, homelessness, and exploitation and forced labour. Yet quantitative evidence on the causes, scale, trends and distribution of destitution in the UK is difficult to come by, as is data on the characteristics of those affected and the impact that this experience has on them. Continue reading “JRF: DESTITUTION IN THE UK: AN INTERIM REPORT”

‘Position Statement’ Churches’ Refugee Network conference, meeting in London on 21st March 2015

CRNFor centuries Britain has been outstanding in offering protection to people fleeing persecution.  Many of them have done much to create this country’s reputation for fairness and justice and have contributed to the well-being of the nation.  That reputation still draws to the United Kingdom people experiencing political and religious discrimination, torture, rape and other trauma in their countries of origin.  Continue reading “‘Position Statement’ Churches’ Refugee Network conference, meeting in London on 21st March 2015”

Brussels plans migration centres outside EU to process asylum applications

 in Brussels

The European commission is planning to establish immigrant-processing centres outside the EU for the first time, in a radical policy departure aimed at stemming the movement of hundreds of thousands of people across the Mediterranean.

Struggling to draft coherent immigration strategies at a time when the issue has become one of the most toxic in the politics of many EU countries, the European commission announced it was fast-tracking a policy paper on migration.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/05/european-commission-third-country-immigrant-processing-centres

Please don’t let the Mediterranean be a graveyard for migrants

Avaaz MediterraneanPlease sign the petition:

To the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, We call on you urgently to reinstate a comprehensive search and rescue operation for migrants in the Mediterranean and to ensure that the treatment of all migrants is based on the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


Media coverage: immigration detention

Channel 4 : “Harmondsworth undercover: ‘I don’t want to die here'” – 04/03/15
“At one point he films the aftermath of a detainee having an epileptic fit. Voices in the video say it is the third seizure the man has had in less than three weeks. The incident raises questions over the government’s detention policies – people with serious illnesses and disabilities, as well as pregnant women and the elderly, are only supposed to be detained in “exceptional circumstances”.”  See the footage in full.
Channel 4 – Yarl’s Wood: undercover in the secretive immigration centre – 02/03/15
The Channel 4 News investigation reveals: Numerous incidents of self-harm, Questions over standards of healthcare, Guards showing contempt for detainees. … Cameras have never been allowed inside. Even the United Nations special rapporteur for violence against women was barred entry.… Staff at Yarl’s Wood are filmed referring to the detention centre’s inmates as “animals”, “beasties” and “b**ches”. “Headbutt the b**ch”, one guard says. “I’d beat her up”. …”  See the video clips on the Channel 4 website. Continue reading “Media coverage: immigration detention”

QARN response to the APPI into immigration detention

qarn logo smQuaker Asylum and Refugee Network – QARN: response to the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention Report released 3 March 2015

‘We detain a lot of people, some for a very long time, all with huge uncertainty, and we have very limited processes for individuals to challenge that detention’.

‘Crucially, this panel believes that little will change by tinkering with the pastoral care or improving the facilities. We believe the problems that beset our immigration detention estate occur quite simply because we detain far too many people unnecessarily and for far too long. The current system is expensive, ineffective and unjust.’ Continue reading “QARN response to the APPI into immigration detention”


make it countThere are significant issues facing vulnerable asylum seekers and we’d love to see them on the political agenda, and a priority for the voting public. In this period, we’d love to support you in understanding what the current issues are.

Join us for this session led by Regional Asylum Activism to:

– understand the pertinent issues

– get equipped to ask the right questions of those seeking your vote

– be prepared to engage with your new MP in their first 100 days in power Continue reading “MAKE IT COUNT”


be the changeWith immigration and asylum likely to be a hot topic this year, we’ve put together some useful statistics and 6 key facts on refugee issues to make sure you can tell the truth about asylum in the upcoming debate! On our website you’ll also find updated briefings on key advocacy goals like ending asylum destitution,defending access to healthcare and raising asylum support rates.

We’ve also put together a new briefing on Influencing Decision Makers to help you know how to effectively engage your representatives. This complements earlier briefings on Effective Campaigning and setting upLunchtime Campaign Groups.  Check out the Resources section for more info.


CAMPAIGN ACTION: Get your organisation to sign up to the Birmingham Declaration

Sanctuary SummitTo date nearly 300 organisations have signed up to the Birmingham Declaration; a set of principles and asks to ensure the UK treats those who come to seek safety with dignity and respect. The Declaration it will be sent to the leaders of all the main political parties.

We are now looking for as many organisations as possible to endorse the declaration. Please ask any organisation / civic group you know to endorse it. This includes charities, faith groups, schools, Trade Unions, theatres, businesses, etc.

Anyone with the authority can sign up to the declaration on behalf of an organisation by sending an email to sanctuarysummit2014 at gmail.com with the following information: Continue reading “CAMPAIGN ACTION: Get your organisation to sign up to the Birmingham Declaration”

UK immigration detention: the truth is out

open democracySuccessive governments have ignored and dismissed complaints of suffering in UK immigration lock-ups. This week, in Parliament and on national television, fresh evidence has been heard.

On Monday night Channel 4 News broadcast shocking undercover footage of guards talking about the women in their care at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire.

“Headbutt the bitch, I’d beat her up,” says one guard at the immigration prison, which is run for the Home Office by the private security company, Serco.

“Let them slash their wrists,” says another. Continue reading “UK immigration detention: the truth is out”