I am writing to make you aware that on the 26 February 2010 the Department of Health launched a consultation exercise on a review of access to the NHS by foreign nationals.  Details of the consultation are available at:

The deadline for the Department of Health consultation is 30 June 2010.  This extended deadline takes account of the fact that a general election must be held by 3 June and that active engagement in consultations should not take place during a campaign period.

We are keen to obtain the views of all parties with an interest in access to the NHS by foreign nationals, and also access by UK nationals who spend time outside the UK, and believe your organisation would be able to contribute to the consultation. Continue reading “DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND UK BORDER AGENCY PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS: ACCESS TO THE NHS BY FOREIGN NATIONALS”

Asylum is a human right

In this year’s General Election, we want candidates to remember the importance of providing safety to people fleeing war, torture and persecution in debates about asylum and immigration.

Please join the Refugee Council, Liberty and Scottish Refugee Council in asking candidates to sign our Asylum Election pledge. The pledge calls on candidates from all parties to ensure a fair and balanced debate on asylum and immigration, and avoid racism and xenophobia.

We’ve written to candidates to tell them about the pledge but pressure from voters is vital. Please make sure that your candidates know that local people reject xenophobia and racism, and believe that the right to seek asylum must be protected.

Act now: contact your candidates about the pledge

Remember to let us know how your MP or parliamentary candidate responds to your pledge request by emailing us at

Thank you for your support.

Refugee Council Campaigns Team

Apology for abuse of children – leaflet

Apology for abuse of children THEN,

while NOW…

THEN In February Gordon Brown apologised for the UK’s past role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies where many suffered abuse.

He said: “To all those former child migrants and their families… we are truly sorry. They were let down.”

NOW In February Children’s Commissioner Sir Al Aynesley Green called for families with children not to be detained: Continue reading “Apology for abuse of children – leaflet”

Building a coalition – endorse OutCry!

Do you represent an organisation which supports our aim to end the immigration detention of children? We need your help! As individuals your help is crucial, but we also need to build a strong and broad coalition of organisations to put pressure on the Government. Why is this so important? Because the Government may try to dismiss a few organisations as “just the usual suspects” making a noise about something other people don’t care about. We know this isn’t true, and by joining together we can show them that a consensus exists. The Government also tends to listen to experts – that’s why the medical report and Royal Colleges’ statement before Christmas made such an impact. So we’re asking organisations like refugee groups, children’s charities, faith groups, unions and academic institutions to stand with us, along with doctors, teachers, social workers and lawyers. To endorse us, just send us an email at with the name of the organisation you represent, and the contact details of someone we can keep in touch with.

Thank you again for your support.


Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 811


That this House notes the £100,000 settlement paid by the Home Office to Carmen Quiroga and her children for their false imprisonment in Oakington Detention Centre for 42 days; is concerned about the increasing length of time families are detained for, with some being detained for over 120 days; is further concerned over the psychological damage that may occur in children following any period of detention; notes that Oakington was initially meant to be used as a short-term measure and closed in 2006, yet has been in operation for 10 years; recognises Chief Prison Inspector Anne Owers’ report on detention centres condemning the use of child imprisonment; and urges the Government to extend the provisions of the relevant children’s legislation to include children in detention.

Abbott, Diane
Spink, Bob
Dismore, Andrew
Durkan, Mark
Bottomley, Peter
Caton, Martin
Hopkins, Kelvin
Jones, Lynne
Meale, Alan
Cryer, Ann
Drew, David
Galloway, George
Hancock, Mike
Vis, Rudi
Davies, Dai

Asylum: Mothers’ & Children’s Right to Family Reunion, online petition

To: UK Government

• Many people seeking asylum in the UK are mothers fleeing war, persecution, rape and other torture.

• To protect themselves and their children, mothers are often forced to leave their children behind –usually they don’t know where they are going or how they will survive.

• Mothers may lose contact with children back home or hear of them unprotected and suffering, and can do little to prevent it.

• It can take many years for an asylum claim to be settled; meanwhile: children suffer the torture of being deprived of their mother’s love and care, left destitute, at risk of sexual and other violence; mothers are treated as single people and the pain of separation and of trying to be a carer long distance is invisible and unrecognised.

• When mothers win the right to stay, most are not automatically granted the right of family reunion. If children turn 18 while their mother’s application is being considered they lose the right to join their mother.

* We are a mothers’ campaign, so we speak particularly of mothers, the primary carers in every society, but we know that the problems and heartbreak we describe are often true of fathers, grandparents & other carers. Continue reading “Asylum: Mothers’ & Children’s Right to Family Reunion, online petition”

Message your newspaper


Over the coming months we will be working with other organisations and individuals who share our view that the detention of children must end. We will be pressing the government to change its policy so that children are no longer locked up in detention centres.

Join the campaign…

If, like us, you think detaining children is unacceptable please add your voice to the campaign.

We will keep you updated with campaign news and ideas of how you can take action to give some of the most vulnerable children in the UK their childhood back.

OutCry! campaign update – help us to end the immigration detention of children

We hope that 2010 is treating you well so far. There’s lots to tell you about the OutCry! campaign and the momentum that is now building to end the immigration detention of children. And so much of this momentum is down to all of you who have helped take action on this issue, whether by sending a Christmas card to the Immigration Minister, spreading the word about OutCry!, signing petitions, contacting your MPs, gaining media coverage of the issue in your local area – the list goes on! So a huge thank you and well done to every individual, organisation or campaigning group who has raised the issue. Read on to find out what you can do next to help the campaign, especially using our easy online tool to email your local newspaper editor. Continue reading “OutCry! campaign update – help us to end the immigration detention of children”

Migration and Sanctuary – questions for prospective MPs


The right to asylum is a sign of our common humanity. Both practically and theologically we are responsible for one another. Our mutual responsibility cannot stop at national boundaries. Claims for asylum form a small part of the total annual migration to the UK. Both planned immigration (via work permits, study visits etc) and migration in response to persecution have contributed hugely to the richness of culture and diversity in the UK. Immigration is, however, a sensitive political issue. There is a current debate about an appropriate and sustainable level of population growth. Some people fear that changes to culture and society will mean that their traditional way of life is threatened. These fears have been exploited by extremist political parties.

There were 25,000 asylum applications in 2008, down from 84,000 in 2002. Continue reading “Migration and Sanctuary – questions for prospective MPs”