Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda

Updated 10 October 2023: Human Rights Watch: UK: Abandon Rwanda Asylum Transfer Plan

New Report Documents Rwanda’s Global Targeting of Rwandan Refugees, Critics

  • Rwandan authorities and their proxies are using violence, judicial mechanisms, and intimidation to try to silence criticism from Rwandans living around the world.
  • Rwanda’s targeting of Rwandans abroad, including in the UK, underlines Rwanda’s contempt for human rights norms enshrined in the international protection system.
  • The UK should abandon its asylum transfer deal with Rwanda and take action to enhance the protection of Rwandan residents and refugees in the UK.

(London) – Rwandan authorities and their proxies are using violence, judicial mechanisms, and intimidation to try to silence criticism from Rwandans living around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today. The abuses, which have fostered a climate of fear and self-censorship, are being brought to light as the United Kingdom government is at the Supreme Court appealing the judgment that its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful.

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In the run-up to the General Election 2024

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

QARN-What-do-Quakers-hope-for-after-the-2024-General-Election_Aug-2023 Download


2 October 2023: Guardian: In one vulgar swoop, Suella Braverman has humiliated every single migrant in the UK

The home secretary’s assertion that multiculturalism has ‘failed’ would have been considered beyond the pale even decades ago

Even by this government’s standards, last week was bleak and this one, as the Tory conference gets under way, promises to be no less dispiriting. It is clear that Conservative party policy proposals and rhetoric are now nothing but wild last-ditch attempts to renew chances at the next election, but Suella Braverman’s latest assertion that multiculturalism has “failed” proved that when it comes to immigration, we have moved away from dog whistles and back towards the sort of Powellite language that, even decades ago, was considered beyond the pale.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/02/suella-braverman-migrant-uk-multiculturalism

X-rays for children

22 September 2023: Guardian: Fear of X-ray age tests in UK ‘may force child asylum seekers to flee’

Human rights groups criticise introduction of X-rays or bone scans to determine ages of asylum seekers

The Home Office insists many adult asylum seekers are pretending to be children but recent freedom of information data from 70 local authorities obtained by charities suggests that two-thirds of children – 867 out of 1,386 – deemed to be adults by the Home Office were later confirmed to be children.

Children wrongly classified as adults could be placed alone in unsupervised accommodation alongside adults they do not know, or wrongly placed in adult immigration detention centres. Some children as young as 14 have been forced to share rooms with unrelated adults.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/sep/22/fear-of-x-ray-age-tests-may-force-uk-child-asylum-seekers-to-flee

Direct attack on UN Refugee Convention and ECHR

These are direct attacks by Home Secretary – Suella Braverman on the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights are not in our name:

26 September 2023: Guardian: UN rebukes Suella Braverman over her attack on refugee convention

UNHCR defends 1951 convention after UK home secretary’s speech on ‘uncontrolled and illegal migration’

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/sep/26/un-suella-braverman-refugee-convention-unhcr-migration


Guardian: Braverman to ask world leaders to make refugee rules ‘fit for the modern age’

Home secretary’s address in Washington will urge reform of UN convention and has already prompted concern from charities

Suella Braverman will appeal on Tuesday to world leaders and political thinkers to consider rewriting key refugee rules so they are “fit for the modern age”.

In a move to alter an agreement that undermined UK plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, the home secretary will argue that the United Nations 1951 refugee convention must be reformed to tackle a worldwide migration crisis.

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Detention Centres

In comparison to the Brook House situation reported below, see:

UNHCR-Alternatives To Detention report [Aug 2023]

In conclusion, it is the voices of those involved who make the most powerful case for change in the UK. Their experiences should be considered by governments when seeking to create policy on detention and case resolution. In the UK, as the government considers next steps, it is the voices of those in the pilot that should be at the centre. By understanding their experiences we can build a more humane system for all:

Read more: https://www.unhcr.org/uk/sites/uk/files/2023-08/UNHCR%20-%20Alternatives%20to%20Detention%20-%2023%20August%202023%20-%20for%20publication.pdf

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LEGAL AID CRISIS

18 September 2023: Public Law Project: LORD CHANCELLOR FACES LEGAL CHALLENGE OVER LEGAL AID CRISIS

Public Law Project has taken the first step in bringing legal proceedings against the Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk KC, arguing that he is in breach of his constitutional duty to make legal aid available for immigration and asylum issues.  

Explore our report written with Haringey Migrant Support Centre: ‘An Ocean of Unmet Need’

In a pre-action letter for judicial review, PLP claims that access to legal aid for immigration and asylum is now so poor that many people are being denied access to justice, which it is the Lord Chancellor’s duty to uphold.

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e-scooter batteries exploding

People are tragically dying and being seriously injured because their e-scooter battery has exploded, or they are trapped by this fire and are trying to get away.

People in asylum accommodation may not come across the warnings that are being sent out to help us all understand the risks. The batteries can explode when they are being charged – here are some safety points from the fire service.

Can we get this to as many people as possible, including those in hotels: https://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/your-safety/fire-safety/house-maisonette-or-bungalow/electrical/e-bikes-and-e-scooters/

Thank you


Key messages:

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Government plans for borders and immigration 2023

[Just a reminder that it is within international law to seek asylum]

12 September 2023: From :Home Office and The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP: New Illegal Migration Act measures and age dispute assessment tests

Next steps set out for delivery of new laws to stop the boats.

A series of measures to strengthen the immigration system and prevent abuse are being introduced to Parliament this week, marking the next step in the delivery of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 and our plan to stop the boats.

Legislation signed on 11 September includes changes to strengthen the asylum decision making process to clamp down on abuse of the system. This will see updated criteria for caseworkers assessing credibility of claims by explicitly setting out that factors such as the destruction of, or failure to produce an identity document, as well as refusal to disclose information required to access an electronic device like a phone passcode when asked, should be considered when assessing claims.

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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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