Protest on 1 December 2023: Profiting from Misery

November 2023: Rethinking Security: Alternative Security Review: Roundtables on Human Security

During the research phase of the Alternative Security Review, we held a series of roundtable discussions with representatives of UK civil society groups to learn more about what human security might mean in a UK context, what insecurities exist, what organisations are doing to address these insecurities, and what they would recommend for a Human Security Strategy for the UK.  

The discussions acted as consultations, comparable to those that the government carries out for security and other reviews. However, our aim was to invite representatives of groups who experience insecurity or do not have automatic access to policy-making spaces in order to develop an understanding of the insecurities faced by people in the UK that often go unheard in elite circles.

The collective message from these roundtable discussions is that, across all sectors, human and environmental security is not prioritised by government. Instead, traditional ideas about national security prevail, as does a commitment to neoliberalism and the built-in insecurity that creates for many.

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Parliament: There are no Safe Routes for Refugees and Asylum Seekers to the UK

23 November 2023: Guardian: Man and woman reportedly drown trying to cross Channel to UK

Fifty-eight others rescued, with many suffering from hypothermia after dinghy capsizes less than a kilometre from French shore

A man and a woman are reported to have drowned on Wednesday trying to cross the Channel to the UK in a small boat.

Fifty-eight others were rescued, with many of the survivors understood to have been suffering from hypothermia.

The latest tragedy comes just two days before the second anniversary of the deadliest drowning in the Channel in 40 years on 24 November 2021, when at least 27 people drowned.

NGOs in northern France say there have been four other deaths at the border in recent days, with two people killed on the highway between Calais and Dunkirk and two dying in a fight.

There were about 100 people in the dunes on a beach close to Boulogne earlier on Wednesday waiting to cross the Channel, according to eye witnesses. Police with riot shields fired teargas and one group, which included the man and woman who died, tried to get on to a dinghy as fast as possible to avoid being caught by the police.

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Thanks to John O: Parliament: There are no Safe Routes for Refugees and Asylum Seekers to the UK

Lord Dubs: To ask His Majesty’s Government what safe routes to the United Kingdom are available to child refugees and asylum seekers.

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Your stories of Sanctuary

We want to collate stories to explain how the hostile environment impacts on people seeking asylum

Are you involved with people who have been granted a positive decision, but then find themselves homeless because of the short notice they are given to leave their asylum accommodation?

We seek to bring together some of the observations that our Meetings of Sanctuary have made regarding the recent ramping up/harshening of the hostile environment. We would like to include both the good things that Meetings of Sanctuary and others are doing and the bad things they might have witnessed locally.

We ask that information does not put anyone at increased risk, and we do not need to know the names of people in a vulnerable situation.  

Please send stories to Sheila Mosley – . Stories received will appear below:

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UNHCR warns against “exporting” asylum

19 November 2023: UNHCR warns against “exporting” asylum, calls for responsibility sharing for refugees, not burden shifting

Amid considerations by some governments to send asylum seekers abroad for processing, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is urging states not to externalize their asylum and protection obligations. UNHCR warns that such practices jeopardize the safety of those in need of international protection.

“UNHCR remains firmly opposed to externalization initiatives that forcibly transfer asylum seekers to other countries. Externalization simply shifts asylum responsibilities elsewhere and evades international obligations. Such practices undermine the rights of those seeking safety and protection, demonize and punish them and may put their lives at risk,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

“It is ironic that, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, attempts are being made to weaken its principles and spirit. Instead, the priority must be to find more effective ways to guarantee the universal right to seek asylum and other rights provided by international refugee law.”

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The courts won’t save us from the Home Office’s cruelty.

14 November 2023: Open Democracy: Supreme Court Rwanda ruling is a victory – but not the slam dunk you think

The courts won’t save us from the Home Office’s cruelty. Those who defend refugees must get bolder – fast

he UK Supreme Court has ruled that the government’s flagship Rwanda deportation plan for refugees is unlawful – a decision that will bring relief to thousands of men, women and children seeking asylum in this country who are trapped in the government’s backlog in crummy hotels or on the prison barge.

The Supreme Court found unanimously that there were clear grounds to believe refugees would not be safe in Rwanda, where 100% of people from Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan have had their asylum claims rejected, and where the government itself is accused of torture, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances. The real and serious danger in which our government was aiming to put people who came to us seeking protection is unthinkable and must never be forgotten.

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