Home Office’s institutional problems require urgent reform

Ekklesia: Home Office’s institutional problems require urgent reform

DEEP-ROOTED institutional and cultural problems undermine the UK Home Office’s performance and approach to crime, immigration, and asylum seekers – and are neglected by ministers at their peril, warns a new Institute for Government (IFG) report.

The report, Home truths: Cultural and institutional problems at the Home Office says that Suella Braverman is wrong to have watered down the Home Office’s commitment to reforms set out in Wendy Williams’ Windrush scandal lessons learned review.

The new IfG report calls on:

  • The home secretary to publicly re-commit to the Windrush reforms in full – five years on from the Windrush scandal – with a new departmental improvement plan, to mark June’s 75th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival in the UK.
  • Rishi Sunak to commission a long-term review of the government’s home affairs systems and services which identifies the best structure and governance through which to manage migration, integration, border, crime and security policy.

The new IfG paper assesses the Home Office’s size, budget and morale – with the Home Office’s staff engagement the second lowest of any core Whitehall department – and examines policy problems, from small boats to Windrush schemes. It also explores the cultural and institutional problems which repeatedly undermine the department’s performance.

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It’s called scapegoating and it’s as old as divide and rule

Transforming Society: It’s called scapegoating and it’s as old as divide and rule

The UK government is actively compounding the human suffering that intrinsically racist immigration laws inflict on people seeking asylum.

In fact, our participatory action research over the last 15 months about what is happening to the displaced people who have been placed in ‘contingency hotels’ simply reinforces our certainty that, from the government’s perspective, the more demonising and suffering inflicted on people seeking refuge here, the more the public hears about that suffering, and the more that government’s contractual cronies, such as Migrant Help, get away with not only doing nothing to stop it but actually heaping injury on top, the better.

It is essential, in fact, that the demonising – and coverage of it – continues.

Read more: https://www.transformingsociety.co.uk/2023/05/19/its-called-scapegoating-and-its-as-old-as-divide-and-rule/

Where does the buck stop? UK Home Office and other statutory body responses to allegations of human rights violations in two Serco-run hotels housing people seeking asylum by Rhetta Ann Moran and Gráinne McMahon for the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice is available on the Bristol University Press website here.

Illegal Migration Bill: EDM (Early Day Motion) 1147

9 May 2023: Parliament: Illegal Migration Bill: EDM (Early Day Motion) 1147

Motion text: That this House believes the proposals in the Illegal Migration Bill contravene international law, including the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on Action Against Trafficking and the Convention on the Rights of the Child; considers that the Bill will effectively close the UK’s asylum system and undermine the ability of trafficking victims to access protection; regrets the rushed timetable for the Bill’s passage through the House, including the lack of a bill committee, and the short committee stage; regrets the failure of the Government to allow proper scrutiny of its policies, including by failing to publish its impact assessment; notes that there was no mention of any proposals resembling those found in the Bill in the general election manifesto of any party represented in the House; and in light of the grave consequences of the Bill and the failure of scrutiny by this House, calls on Members of the House of Lords to vote against the Bill.


Quakers stand in solidarity against migration bill

10 May 2023: Quakers in Britain and the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network have signed a joint solidarity statement with 174 other organisations on the ‘Illegal Migration Bill’.

The statement calls on the government to withdraw the bill immediately on the basis that it is effectively a ban on asylum, extinguishing the right to seek refugee protection in the UK. Liberty sent the statement to all members of the House of Lords ahead of a key debate on the bill on 10 May.

The signatories span sectors including human rights, migrant rights, violence against women and girls, LGBTQI+, disability rights, health, racial justice, criminal justice, arts, international development, environment, and democracy. In the statement they said:

“We all deserve to live safe from harm and to be treated with compassion, dignity, and respect. But this shockingly cruel and inhumane Bill turns our country’s back on people fleeing war and persecution, blocking them from protection, support, or justice at a time they need it most.”

“In stripping the most basic rights from people seeking safety and a better life, the Bill dismantles human rights protections for all of us,” the statement continues.

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