Snippets December 2019

Church Times: A hostile environment for converts 

Asylum-seekers’ freedom of religion should be respected, says David Forbes

THE General Election that took place yesterday has occupied most of the headlines this week. But, for those of us who specialise in asylum, Tuesday was a more significant day: Human Rights Day.

Mercifully, whatever the final outcome of the election and of Brexit, the UK is not planning to leave the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, to give it its full title; nor is it planning to leave the Court of Human Rights (although that had been the aim of our last Prime Minister, Theresa May, who, as Home Secretary, instituted “a really hostile environment for immigration”).

But we need to ask whether we are doing enough to protect the human rights of people such as my client Yasmine, a Bangladeshi asylum-seeker, who has chosen to convert from Islam to Christianity. (Read more)

QCEA: Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA)

Human rights should protect everyone – but many of the people seeking protection in Europe had to experience how their rights were violated by exactly the people who should protect and respect their rights.

Qcea’s new publication calls for a more human police.

Guardian: Home Office gives man asylum after accepting people can be gay and single

Yew Fook Sam faced deportation after accusation he was pretending to be gay …

also …

Lord Dubs calls response ‘miserable’ amid claims 1,400 offers from councils spurned.

The Home Office has been accused of ignoring more than 1,400 offers from local councils to house child refugees, prompting criticism that Boris Johnson’s government is defying its obligations to offer sanctuary to vulnerable minors. Councils across the UK have volunteered to take hundreds of unaccompanied children from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. However, numbers of arrivals are said to be “pitifully low to nonexistent”….

Amnesty International:  High Court rules Home Office £1,000 fee for children to register as British citizens unlawful

Court finds “mass of evidence” against Home Office child citizenship fee 

Lawyers and campaigners urge Government to act quickly to end its practice of “shameless profiteering” from children’s citizenship rights

‘This is a landmark ruling. But the fight for justice for children born and growing up in the UK goes on’ – Carol Bohmer

The High Court in London has today ruled the £1,012 fee the Home Office charges children to register as a British citizen unlawful.

In a landmark case, brought forward by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC), the court found a “mass of evidence” showing that the fee prevents many children from registering British citizenship, leaving them feeling “alienated, excluded, ‘second-best’, insecure and not fully assimilated into the culture and social fabric of the UK.” (Read more)

Birmingham News: Erdington church first in Birmingham to be named sanctuary for migrants

This Erdington church has been named the first in Birmingham and the second in the country as a sanctuary for migrants and asylum seekers (read more)