QARN next meetings

QARN meetings: next planned meeting dates: on Zoom on Saturdays: July 6th 2024 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,   and thereafter on Zoom on 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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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.

QARN What do Quakers hope for, after the 2024 General Election

This leaflet was updated March 2024:

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Rethinking Security

7 July 2023: Rethinking Security: Public Call for Evidence: What is the ASR? This page explains in more detail what the Alternative Security Review is and how it will be undertaken

The Alternative Security Review is a civil society-led review of the UK’s security strategy. By asking people in the UK what matters to them for their security, and by discussing potential solutions to human and ecological security with experts, a cooperative Human Security Strategy will be produced that will offer an alternative to the existential failures of the current ‘national security’ approach.

Rethinking Security have undertaken this project in response to the UK government’s latest security review, the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, which set out government ‘security’ priorities for the next 10 years. This will see a big boost to military spending at the expense of development and diplomacy, and commits the UK to dangerous great power struggles in both Europe and on the other side of the world.

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The Illegal Migration Bill is “the Refugee Ban Bill” and why we must fight back

Scottish News: ‘Tayside Quaker’: In Our Name

Many people are rightly concerned about the proposals of the current UK government and the Home Secretary to introduce new immigration law. Just Right Scotland (https://www.justrightscotland.org.uk) and the Scottish Refugee Council have written a joint statement about this and Michael Hutchinson, Clerk, of General Meeting for Scotland has signed it on our behalf. Many of us will also be moved to undertake both joint and individual actions to make our views known.

‘The Illegal Migration Bill is “the Refugee Ban Bill” and why we must fight back

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Understanding the roots of the UK’s immigration system

This post also includes examples of racism that are underpinned by the ongoing hostile environment

Updated 6 April 2023: Ethical Journalism Network: Structural racism in UK newsrooms: Research and fieldwork conducted by the EJN Jan – Jul 2022

In February 2021, the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) was awarded funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, through their Power and Accountability programme, to fund a project to identify and begin to address structural racism in UK journalism. The resulting policy report, published in March 2023, provides an overview of the challenges that Black journalists are facing in the British news media. Browse the report by chapter and download the report below.

The report, written by Dr Aida Al-Kaisy and based on 27 in-depth interviews with Black journalists and stakeholders who have or are currently working in national mainstream media newsrooms across print, online and broadcast media, provides an overview of the challenges that Black journalists are facing in the British news media.

Although the proportion of Black African and Caribbean journalists has increased in recent years, and there has been a heightened sense of the possibility for change since 2020 with the increased momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, Black journalists interviewed confirmed that newsroom processes continued to be exclusionary and racism was commonplace.

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Article 39 seeks legal protection for highly vulnerable children housed in Home Office hotels 


Letter to the Joint Committee on Human Rights that QARN has signed

Rt Hon Joanna Cherry KC MP
Chair
Joint Committee on Human Rights
Houses of Parliament
London
SW1A 0AA
By email: jchr@parliament.uk and joanna.cherry.mp@parliament.uk
CC: All Members of the Joint Committee on Human Rights
3 March 2023


Dear Ms Cherry KC
URGENT Inquiry needed in relation to the use of hotel accommodation for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

We write in relation to a matter of pressing national concern — namely, the Home Office accommodating thousands of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in hotel and B&B type accommodation for a period of 19 months, during which time hundreds of children have gone missing.

Our view is that there is no legal basis for the Home Office to accommodate children in this way. The effect of this action has been to systematically exclude from the protection of the Children Act 1989 and associated secondary legislation and guidance a cohort of highly vulnerable children, on the basis of where they were born and how they entered a local authority area. They are now treated as being outside the usual established standards for providing suitable accommodation, care, and support to children in need.

We consider that these Home Office arrangements breach the human rights of children in multiple ways, both under domestic and international law. This includes their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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StatusNow4All Newsletter February 2023

Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.

The first article analyses the government ‘s responsibilities for the racist riot in Knowsley.

The second highlights how four reviews of the hostile environment recently published by the Home Office show that this policy is racist.

The fight for antiracist workplaces and our call for status now for all is the focus of our third article,

while the fourth article shows the strong support of the BFAWU (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union) to our campaign and reports an important motion approved by its executive committee. 

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Together with Refugees – show your support

QARN is a signatory to Together With Refugees: please get involved in the Orange Hearts campaign at their your local level.

Updated 14 February 2023: Call for a clear stand from political leaders after attack on Knowsley hotel

180 organisations have signed an open letter to leaders of all parties in response to the attack on Friday 10th February on a hotel in Knowsley where asylum seekers are housed. The letter calls on party leaders to ‘take a clear stand and condemn any further violence against those who come here to find safety’.  

Coordinated by Together With Refugees, you can read the letter and full list of signatories below:


Dear Party Leaders

The scenes of hatred and violence against people seeking asylum on Friday were horrifying.  We stand in solidarity with them and with all those who have come to the UK to find protection.  These awful acts do not represent the people of Knowsley. 

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New Plan for Immigration – Nationality & Borders legislation 2022 enacted

When the will is there, it can be done – that is our point:  there is hope yet … We will collate reports and legal challenges to the Nationality and Borders legislation here.

See also: https://qarn.org.uk/government-plans-for-borders-and-immigration-2023/

3 February 2023: Guardian: Alf Dubs: Braverman calling refugees ‘invaders’ was low point of my career

Labour peer who fled to UK to escape Nazis says home secretary’s words ‘deeply and personally upsetting.

Alf Dubs, the veteran Labour peer who arrived in the UK as a child fleeing the Nazis, has described Suella Braveman’s likening of refugees to invaders as “deeply and personally upsetting”, and a low point of his half century in politics.

Dubs, who fled what was then Czechoslovakia unaccompanied in 1939 and came to the UK aged six as part of the Kindertransport system, condemned the home secretary for using language that painted those also fleeing persecution as “hostile people”.

Dubs’ comments, made in a new podcast series presented by the Lord Speaker, John McFall, follow criticism of Braverman by another survivor of the Holocaust last month.

In comments made in October, shortly after she was reappointed by Rishi Sunak, Braverman said in the Commons that refugees and migrants crossing the Channel in small boats were “the invasion on our southern coast”.

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