Children reaching UK in small boats sent to jail for adult sex offenders

27 August 2023: Thanks to Maddie Harris and Humans for Rights Network – StatusNow signatories – for exposing this terrible situation:

Guardian: Children reaching UK in small boats sent to jail for adult sex offenders

Human rights group finds growing number of cases of minors held among prisoners

Vulnerable children who arrive in Britain by small boat are being placed in an adult prison that holds significant numbers of sex offenders.

A growing number of cases have been identified where unaccompanied children, many of whom appear to be trafficked, have been sent to HMP Elmley, Kent, and placed among foreign adult prisoners.

According to the most recent inspection of Elmley, the block where foreign nationals are held also houses sex offenders.

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IPPR: The asylum in-tray in 2025

22 August 2023: Institute for Public Policy Research – IPPR report: The asylum in-tray in 2025

With a general election expected in the next 12-18 months, the UK’s asylum system is in crisis.

The backlog is at over 130,000 cases, the system is costing around £3.6 billion a year in asylum support costs, and the Home Office is gripped by institutional challenges. At the same time, the number of people arriving in small boats has escalated rapidly from the hundreds to the tens of thousands in the past five years.

The prime minister has pledged to ‘stop the boats’ as one of his five priorities for government. Central to the government’s plan is its flagship Illegal Migration Act – which will place a duty on the home secretary to remove irregular arrivals and not consider their asylum claims – as well as the agreement to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda.

This briefing sets out the in-tray for the UK government in 2025 – after the next general election – across the main parts of the asylum system.

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Quakers call on government to stop demonising asylum seekers

17 August 2023: The government must recognise that of God in everyone, Quakers said this week as the ‘hostile environment’ towards those who seek our help continued to bear its dreadful fruit.

At least six people drowned in the Channel on Saturday night when the small boat they were travelling in capsized and sank.

And 39 people were removed from asylum barge Bibby Stockholm on Monday when legionella was found in its water supply.

The asylum seekers had been boarded a week earlier even though contractor Landry & Kling allegedly knew the deadly bacteria was present.

“The combined effect of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and the Illegal Migration Act of 2023 has been to dehumanise and demonise the vast majority of asylum seekers,” said the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN).

“The use of barges to ‘warehouse’ new arrivals is the latest expression of this de-humanisation,” they added.

Six years ago, Quakers in Britain’s Sanctuary Everywhere Manifesto warned that government policies to criminalise entry into a country “causes harm and deliberately increases human insecurity”.

Since then, the hostile environment has ratcheted up to the point where asylum seekers drown, face forced removal to Rwanda or are placed on barges unfit for human habitation.

As the Home Office recruits personnel to work at its immigration removal centres (IRCs), Quakers are involved in campaigns to prevent the planned (re)opening of two IRCs in England, Haslar and Campsfield.

QARN urged the government to reconsider its asylum policy.

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Raising Our Asylum Rights

15 August 2023: ROAR (Raising Our Asylum Rights)

ROAR is developing out of the actions taken by hotel residents whose bravery has brought some of the human rights violations in asylum hotels to national media attention. Beginning with our first public meeting on 7th September, ROAR wants to make information-sharing and organising spaces where people seeking asylum, supported by allies from trades unions and civil society, safely expose human rights violations, participate in constructing alternative solutions, and openly campaign for those solutions (event flyer). 

ROAR PUBLIC MEETING: 7th Sept. at 6.30pm



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