The Rwanda Bill must not succeed

22 February 2024: Think-Film: Oscar-nominated film “Io Capitano”

Oscar-nominated film “Io Capitano” is a vital story that shows why the Rwanda Bill must not succeed! People who risk everything for a better life deserve safety and human rights protection. We urge Parliament to exercise compassion and vote against the Bill.

Watch this impactful and urgent film in UK cinemas on April 5th!

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/rioxz4qag6wqkawkvq33i/h?rlkey=mg3ahcb7pyc68o0w5y2stc390&dl=0

Think-Film: https://tfip.org/

It’s scandalous

Updated 20 February 2024: The Government is really angry with Dave Neal for speaking out: BBC: Immigration watchdog sacked after critical news stories

Mr Neal, whose tenure was due to end on 21 March, told the Times on Tuesday that he had not made the decision to speak to the media “lightly”. He added: “But I’ve been forced into this because my reports aren’t being published.”

“I’ve spent all my working life protecting this country, I’ve identified a security failing and I’ve brought it back to the Home Office,” he is quoted as saying.

“There’s a strong public interest here and that’s why I’ve done what I’ve done. The border is there to keep us safe, it’s critical that there are clear auditable risk decisions made to protect every one of us in the country.”

Continue reading “It’s scandalous”

Concerns about the use of barges, army barracks, hotels, offshoring etc etc. continued 2023

This post follows on from the initial post which became very long, but can be found here: https://qarn.org.uk/concerns-about-the-use-of-army-barracks-etc/. Here we update the post with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites. These are the consequences of the hostile system that leaves people languishing without a decision for long periods of time.

See also posts regarding ‘Detention Centres‘ such as such as Hassockfield/Derwentside and also the post regarding plans to export people seeking asylum to Rwanda 

Re: children: https://qarn.org.uk/article-39-seeks-legal-protection-for-highly-vulnerable-children-housed-in-home-office-hotels/


9 February 2024: BBC: Bibby Stockholm: Government to investigate migrants’ baptisms

The home secretary is investigating how the asylum system deals with migrants who have converted to Christianity.

It follows claims from a Weymouth church that Muslim men living on board the Bibby Stockholm barge, which is moored off Portland in Dorset, were preparing for Christian baptism.

Sussex MP Tim Loughton raised the issue in Parliament on Wednesday.

Weymouth Baptist Church insisted the requests for baptism were genuine.

People can apply for UK asylum based on religion if you have a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country because of your religious beliefs.

Continue reading “Concerns about the use of barges, army barracks, hotels, offshoring etc etc. continued 2023”

QARN Leaflets: Download them here

8 February 2024: Please note that in our leaflet: ‘QARN – What do Quakers hope for, after the 2024 General Election‘, we mention a model letter for MPs. We have instead produced a crib sheet to highlight the concerns raised in the leaflet, in the hope that people can use this to write to/ speak with prospective MPs or wherever it is useful.

Please feel free to download, print off and distribute this cribsheet, and use it in the coming months as appropriate.


August 2023: New leaflets available:

  • About QARN
  • QARN – What do Quakers hope for, after the 2024 General Election **
  • QARN – Britain’s Hostile Environment
  • QARN – Immigration Detention
Continue reading “QARN Leaflets: Download them here”

QARN next meetings

QARN meetings: next planned meeting dates: on Zoom on Saturdays: April 13th 2024, July 6th to include the AGM which will be a blended meeting held face-to-face between 11am and 4pm at Bradford-on-Avon Meeting as well as on Zoom,   October 12th, and January 11th 2025.

We usually meet quarterly using Zoom and all Quakers are welcome. We plan to start at 10.30am to manage the technical aspects of a Zoom meeting, falling quiet at around 10.45am, and beginning business at 11am; and we aim to end around 12.30pm. The meeting link will  be available to those who receive our emails, but for other people, please contact us via info@qarn.org.uk giving your name, and the Quaker Meeting to which you are attached. Thank you.

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Together with Refugees – show your support

QARN is a signatory to Together With Refugees: please get involved in their campaigns.

30 January 2024: Fair Begins Here Valentine’s Day action – campaign toolkit

With the government pushing its inhumane Rwanda scheme back through Parliament, our new campaign Fair Begins Here couldn’t be more urgent or important. Fair Begins Here puts the theme of fairness at its heart – because now is the moment for a fairer and more compassionate approach towards refugees in the UK. To learn more about the context and aims of the campaign, you can watch back our online briefing session here. 

This Valentine’s Day on February 14th we invite you to stand up for fairness for refugees by launching Fair Begins Here in your community and joining thousands of people sending messages of kindness to refugees across the country. The Valentine’s Day action will kickstart the biggest ever call for political leaders of all parties to introduce a fair new plan for refugees in the UK. 

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Court, Parliament and Rwanda

29 January 2024: Joint statement on Rwanda Bill for Lords 2nd reading 

Joint civil society statement on the Rwanda Bill for Second Reading in the House of Lords

The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill is a constitutionally extraordinary and deeply harmful piece of legislation.

It threatens the universality of human rights and is likely in breach of international law, striking a serious blow to the UK’s commitment to the rule of law.

It was not a Government manifesto commitment – on the contrary, it will hinder the UK’s ability to “continue to grant asylum and support to refugees fleeing persecution”.

As a coalition of more than 260 organisations working in and across the UK, we call on Peers to reject the Bill at Second Reading.

The Rwanda Bill undermines the principle that human rights are universal – that they apply to all of us, regardless of where we are from.

Continue reading “Court, Parliament and Rwanda”

Age assessments of children

23 January 2024: Written jointly by the Refugee Council, the Helen Bamber Foundation and Humans for Rights Network ‘Forced Adulthood -The Home Office’s incorrect determination of age and how this leaves child refugees at risk.

It was written jointly by the Refugee Council, the Helen Bamber Foundation and Humans for Rights Network. It found that at least 1,300 refugee children were placed in unsupervised adult accommodation and detention in an 18-month period (January 2022 to June 2023), after being wrongly age-assessed on arrival in the UK. We think that real numbers are likely to be much higher as data was not received from all local authorities. 

This data paints a bleak picture of separated children‘s experiences on arrival in the UK. Behind each case there is a child who has been failed by the system, experienced abuse, exploitation, distress, or harm. All of these traumas are entirely preventable, children are subjected to these harms as a direct result of being wrongly placed in adult accommodation due to the Home Office age assessment policy at the point of entry.

This is a safeguarding crisis on an unprecedented scale which we like to bring to your attention in the hope it will be possible for us to work together to address system failures and ensure that all children are protected from the moment they arrive in the UK.

Additional findings reveal that:

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Ending Immigration Detention

Updated 19 January 2024: Detention Forum: The changes we want to see

We want to end immigration detention because it is unjust and inhumane, and as the steps on that journey, here are the key changes that we want to see happen.

All of these issues are supported by our policy papers that have been endorsed by our membership – they reflect the changes that we want to see.

And this is the over-arching narrative of the changes that we want to see on immigration detention.

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X-rays for children

Updated 19 January 2024: Thank you Freemovement: Scientific Age Testing of Children Becomes Law

The Immigration (Age Assessments) Regulations 2024 providing for the use of scientific age testing of children have come into force on 10 January 2024. A reminder of the response from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to these proposals:

Evidence shows that using x-rays to determine age can be widely inaccurate and the practice is ultimately unethical. It is appalling to see that the Government is persisting with these plans, which hinge life-changing decisions for some of the most vulnerable young people in our society on unspecific scientific outcomes and includes exposing them to radiation.

We have covered these regulations extensively, from when the drafts were first published, to when the relevant section of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 was brought into force, when the House of Lords’ Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee raised concerns and when the regulations were voted on by Parliament.

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