‘No More Excuses’ for Deaths at Sea:

Reform Policies, Save Lives!

 Ahead of the EU’s extraordinary summit of 23 April 2015, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) is calling on the 28 Heads of States and Governments to urgently reconsider the proposed package of measures to tackle the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. The EMHRN exhorts EU leaders to shift their focus away from surveillance, intelligence gathering and border controls towards a genuine human rights perspective – with the protection of migrants and refugees at the heart of their concerns. Continue reading “OPEN LETTER TO THE EU HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENTS”

Hustings Question

questionmark“Is it fair that every person whose claim for Asylum has already been scrutinised by the Home Office and agreed, should now, from 6th April, be obliged to pay out the massive sum of over £1200 per head, including children; in order to renew permission to stay here: or face removal back tothe country from which they have fled? 

Humiliation for Thousands of “DLR”temporary residents

quaker orangeIn the week following Easter Monday I discovered to my horror that a new draconian fee regime had been devised to deprive a large number of my clients of their right to renewal. At least a quarter of a million asylum seekers have been granted “discretionary leave to remain”, most of them under the so-called “Legacy” backlog exercise. A large number of them were refused asylum, but granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. They are not affected. But an executive decision was made to abolish this in May 2011 and thereafter an equally large number of   people have been granted only 3 or 2½ years stay. Those who renewed their stay before 6 April this year did so free of charge, but they will be hit by the draconian charges in 2-3 years time (unless the fee demand has been overthrown before then). However, this still leaves a huge number of renewers who will be hit over the next weeks and months. Continue reading “Humiliation for Thousands of “DLR”temporary residents”

Draconian changes to renewal of Discretionary Leave to Remain

quaker_home_theme1Draconian changes to renewal of Discretionary Leave to Remain for Asylum-Seekers. This is a long post as there is a lot of information, but please read it and take action accordingly. Thanks.

Please read the information below and contact your parliamentary candidates (including Conservatives – probably most of them don’t know about this) to ask for their response and what their party (if not Conservative) would do to change this policy. Discretionary Leave to Remain is granted to asylum-seekers who are not granted full refugee status but who are allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds or if they cannot be returned to their home country. It is usually for up to three years and can then be renewed.

You can find your candidates at Continue reading “Draconian changes to renewal of Discretionary Leave to Remain”

Amnesty International investigates gap in EU search and rescue since the end of Mare Nostrum.

Amnesty report mediterranean

In a new report Europe’s Sinking Shame. The Failure to Save Refugees and Migrants at Sea’,Amnesty International analyses the gap in search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean following the end of Italy’s search and rescue operation Mare Nostrum.

Amnesty’s investigation on three accidents occurred between January and March 2015, including testimonies of shipwreck survivors, reveals that in two cases, more lives could have been saved if vessels had been patrolling the sea further south, closer to Libya and meaning people could have been assisted earlier. In addition, according to the organisation, in the third accident, professional rescuers could have prevented one of the boats from capsizing. Continue reading “Amnesty International investigates gap in EU search and rescue since the end of Mare Nostrum.”

2015 April 23 – death in the Mediterranean

Open Security: Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

NILS MUIŽNIEKS 22 April 2015

As leaders of European Union member states prepare to meet to discuss the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights sets the bar for an adequate response.

The Mediterranean Sea has for centuries been the cradle of modern European civilisation. It has today become a huge graveyard, as thousands of migrants continue to drown under Europe’s distracted look. When in October 2013 a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa took the lives of 300 migrants, European leaders were unanimous in declaring ‘no more deaths’. Yet, 18 months and some 5,000 deaths later, we see these tragedies again and again. Continue reading “2015 April 23 – death in the Mediterranean”

Letter to David Cameron

quaker_home_theme1Quakers in Britain have written a letter to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, follows:

“Quakers in Britain have been shocked and angered by the needless deaths of thousands of desperate people in the Mediterranean in recent months. Every human life is a precious gift to be treasured – each person a child of God – and the loss of just one diminishes all of us.  It is immoral to use the threat of loss of life as a deterrent to migration.

“We urge you as our Prime Minister, in your work with other European leaders, to ensure that Britain, one of the richest countries in the world, plays its part in preventing these unnecessary drownings and addressing the economic inequality and violence which leads to these desperate attempts to reach a new home.” 

The letter is signed by Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain. Continue reading “Letter to David Cameron”

Sinister changes to Discretionary Leave rules

2015 April 19Dear Parliamentary candidate,

I would be interested in your response to the information below. If you succeed in being elected and/or your Party leads the next government would you support the continuation of the policy just adopted by this Government?

On 6 April (Easter Monday) a sinister revolution took place in the renewal of Discretionary Leave to Remain. Until 5th April all applicants for renewal  had to fill a form with about 15 pages in it, most of them redundant  if the person had committed no offences over the 2½ or 3 years since they had been granted DLR. there was no fee – only the postage cost.
Overnight applicants have to fill in a 32-page form and also have to pay £649 per individual, including dependant infants, plus a further £600 per person for a brand new “Immigration Health Surcharge”. there will also be a charge of £40 per person of for their “Biometric Residence Permit”, unless they have one already. But most people don’t have one because it was introduced more recently than 3 years ago, so a family of 3, for example will be paying £4,000!
The biometric Residence Permit identifies the person as a “migrant”, and those who seek employment must have their BRP carefully scrutinised by the prospective employer, who is expected to make an examination according to 16 bullet points.
Here is the link to the form where you can also see the full range of charges:

Yours ….


Search and Rescue: no evidence of deterrent effect

House of Commons Libraryln the light of the debate around a replacement for Mare Nostrum and the government’s claim that search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean have created a ‘pull factor’, I would be very grateful if you could make me aware of any figures or research which suggests that an increase in the number of migrants attempting to make the journey across the Mediterranean is linked to the success of search and rescue operations.

We are not aware of any hard evidence to prove (or indeed to disprove) the claim made by Lady Anelay, the FCO Minister. lt would be difficult for any researcher to obtain hard evidence either way. One could of course interview a sample of migrants and ask them whether the efficacy of search and rescue operations was a factor in their decision to make the journey, but to our knowledge no such studies have been conducted.

For further information click here: Search and Rescue HoC March 2015

You could ask your MP and MEP what they will do to support Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean