Human Rights

Human Rights are the most basic and agreed way of understanding our human responsibilities in the modern world and form an integral part of Catholic Social Teaching.
There is a growing awareness of the sublime dignity of human persons, who stand above all things and whose rights and duties are universal and inviolable. They ought, therefore, to have ready access to all that is necessary for living a genuinely human life: for example, food, clothing, housing, the right freely to choose their state of life and set up a family, the right to education, work, to their good name, to respect, to proper knowledge, the right to act according to the dictates of conscience and to safeguard their privacy, and rightful freedom, including freedom of religion. 
            
Vatican II: Gaudium et Spes, n26

2019

Image: The Home Office shames us all by its callous attitude to child refugees
20/05/2019
The Home Office shames us all by its callous attitude to child refugees

Anyone horrified in 2017 by the government’s shamefully inadequate response to helping lone child refugees trapped in makeshift camps in France should know that the situation has become even worse, with reports that the Dubs scheme (to get unaccompanied minors safely to the UK) is to be stopped.

Image: The Common Good and our Common Seas Conference
07/05/2019
The Common Good and our Common Seas Conference

An international conference on the seas took place in Copenhagen, Denmark 3 - 5 May 2019.  Justice and Peace Scotland was represented by Bishop Nolan, President and Grace Buckley, European representative.  

Image: Faith Leaders Commit to Tackle Slavery
30/04/2019
Faith Leaders Commit to Tackle Slavery

Bishop Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland attended the 'Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland' (SOHTIS) event in Edinburgh on Monday 29th April where leaders of many faith demoninations signed a joint statement committing to working together to eraicate human trafficking in Scotland.

Image: Fishing: Church plays vital role in curbing labour abuses
17/04/2019
Fishing: Church plays vital role in curbing labour abuses

A coordinated approach between Church and relevant public and private agencies is needed to close the loopholes that allow forced labour to occur in the maritime and fisheries sectors.  The following statement has been issued by Apostleship of the Sea following the recent vatican conference on Human Trafficking.

Image: In Whose Interest?  The UK’s role in privatising education around the world
17/04/2019
In Whose Interest? The UK’s role in privatising education around the world

Global Justice Now have produced this report looking at what the privatisation of education means for children and young people around the world.  The findings conclude that the privatisation of education at home and abroad will not support the realisation  of SDG4.

Image: Hope, Heartache and Hot Sweet Tea, Tales of a Human Rights Monitor in the Holy Land
16/04/2019
Hope, Heartache and Hot Sweet Tea, Tales of a Human Rights Monitor in the Holy Land

Phillippa Bonella has just returned from three months in a small village in the occupied West Bank. You are invited to hear stories of the people she met against a backdrop of ancient sites of the Holy Land.

Image: More Children Killed by Unsafe Water, Than Bullets
27/03/2019
More Children Killed by Unsafe Water, Than Bullets

A lack of safe water, is far deadlier for children than war in more than a dozen conflict-affected countries, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said, in a report launched to coincide with World Water Day, marked on 22 March.

Image: Nearly 7,000 potential victims of slavery and trafficking reported in 2018
20/03/2019
Nearly 7,000 potential victims of slavery and trafficking reported in 2018

The number of potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery reported to the authorities has risen by more than 80 per cent in two years, according to figures released by the National Crime Agency today.

Image: The Good Food Nation Bill
19/03/2019
The Good Food Nation Bill

The Scottish Government are proposing a new law on food – a Good Food Nation Bill. This law will need to be more ambitious to make a real difference. We all have until the 29th of March to tell the Government what we think of their proposals and try and raise the ambition of this new law.

Image: From Pillar to Post
13/03/2019
From Pillar to Post

The Destitute Asylum Seekers Service have produced this report on destitution among people refused asylum in Scotland.

Image: Charity urges Home Office to agree to reforms in Glasgow that would allow asylum seekers to work
07/03/2019
Charity urges Home Office to agree to reforms in Glasgow that would allow asylum seekers to work

The Scottish Refugee Council believe the government should seriously consider proposals which would make a "huge difference" to the lives of those seeking asylum. Glasgow Live.

Image: Pope appeals for children of Yemen ahead of trip to UAE
04/02/2019
Pope appeals for children of Yemen ahead of trip to UAE

Pope Francis highlighted "the humanitarian crisis in Yemen", where "the population is exhausted by the long conflict and many children suffer from hunger, but it is not possible to access food stores."  Independent Catholic News.

2018

Image: Refugee Photographic Exhibition to visit all eight Scottish Dioceses
12/12/2018
Refugee Photographic Exhibition to visit all eight Scottish Dioceses
Coming to Paisley on 5th December

Justice and Peace Scotland and Sciaf have worked together to bring this exhibtion of refugee photographs and stories to every diocese in Scotland.   Archbishop Tartaglia launched the exhibition in St Andrews Cathedral, Clyde Street in Glasgow on World Refugee Day, 20th June 2018.

Image: Bishop Nolan Addresses Protesters at Dungavel
06/12/2018
Bishop Nolan Addresses Protesters at Dungavel

Bishop Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland gave a powerful speech to the Dungavel Solidarity Gatering on Sunday 25th November 2018.  Watch his speech here.

Image: It would be immoral to force the Rohingya to go home
30/11/2018
It would be immoral to force the Rohingya to go home

Alistair Dutton, Director of Sciaf writes in The Herald, about the new threat facing the Rohingya people living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Image: Bishop Nolan joins protest at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre
26/11/2018
Bishop Nolan joins protest at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre

Independent Catholic News have picked up the story on Bishop Nolan's address to the protesters at Dungavel on Sunday 25th November 2018.

Image: World Fisheries Day 2018
21/11/2018
World Fisheries Day 2018
21st November 2018

Cardinal Turkson, Prefect for the Dicastery of Integral Human Development at the Vatican has spoken out on World Fisheries Day 2018 against the abuses perpetrated on those working at sea.

Image: Study shows work of religious congregations combatting modern slavery
21/11/2018
Study shows work of religious congregations combatting modern slavery

For the first time ever, a large scale research project has been conducted to find out the extent of involvement in anti-trafficking work by Catholic religious congregations in England & Wales. ICN report.

Image: Connect & Encourage  Autumn / Winter 2018
19/11/2018
Connect & Encourage Autumn / Winter 2018

The latest Connect & Encourage is now available to download.

Image: Statement on Visit to UK, by Professor Philip Alston on extreme poverty and human rights
19/11/2018
Statement on Visit to UK, by Professor Philip Alston on extreme poverty and human rights

Professor Philip Alston has released his preliminary findings from his investigation into poverty in the UK warning that the government "have a lot of work to do".

Image: World Day of the Poor 2018
15/11/2018
World Day of the Poor 2018

November 18, 2018 marks the second annual World Day of the Poor. Last year, Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church set aside one day each year when communities can “reflect on how poverty is at the very heart of the Gospel.”

Image: Asia Bibi: Scots church leaders urge asylum offer
15/11/2018
Asia Bibi: Scots church leaders urge asylum offer

Seven church leaders in Scotland have called for the home secretary to grant a Pakistani woman asylum, after she was acquitted of blasphemy.

Image: Bangladesh army arrives in Rohingya refugee camps as repatriations loom
14/11/2018
Bangladesh army arrives in Rohingya refugee camps as repatriations loom

Presence of army, police and paramilitary is latest sign that repatriations to Myanmar may not be voluntary.  The Guardian.

Image: A Brief Timeline Of The Human Rights Situation In Calais
07/11/2018
A Brief Timeline Of The Human Rights Situation In Calais

On the occasion of the two-year milestone since the demolition of the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp, Help Refugees have co-published a report with Refugee Rights Europe in order to highlight the human rights situation which has been unfolding in Northern France.

Image: UK admits only 20 unaccompanied child refugees in two years
05/11/2018
UK admits only 20 unaccompanied child refugees in two years

New figures reveal paltry number of minors granted entry under scheme that was meant to resettle 3,000.  A Guardian Report.

Image: U.N. Warns Half Yemen's People Could Soon Be on Brink of Famine
30/10/2018
U.N. Warns Half Yemen's People Could Soon Be on Brink of Famine

The United Nations aid chief sounded the alarm at the Security Council - half the population of war-torn Yemen - some 14 million people - could soon be on the brink of famine and completely relying on humanitarian aid for survival.  Report in The New York Times

Image: US Catholic Church: 'Seeking asylum is not a crime'
30/10/2018
US Catholic Church: 'Seeking asylum is not a crime'

As the migrant caravan from Central America moves through Mexico, and President Trump orders thousands of armed security forces to the US border, Catholic church leaders have called all people of goodwill to speak and act with compassion towards those migrating north and seeking refuge from violence and poverty.  ICN report.

Image: Welcome to #Unlocked18!
24/10/2018
Welcome to #Unlocked18!

“As someone with direct experience of detention, I know the trauma of being deprived of your liberty, which is augmented by the lack of access to justice to come out of that situation. The indefinite nature of detention makes this much worse.”

Image: Open Wound - J&P Scotland Human Trafficking Video
19/10/2018
Open Wound - J&P Scotland Human Trafficking Video

Released on UK Anti Slavery Day, 18th October, Justice and Peace Scotland have produced this short video to support our current campaign on human trafficking and modern slavery in Scotland.

 

Image: More than 440 homeless people found dead in past year
12/10/2018
More than 440 homeless people found dead in past year


More than 440 people experiencing homelessness have died on streets or in temporary accommodation in the UK in the past year, an investigation has found. ICN report.

Image: sick, tortured immigrants locked up for months in Britain
12/10/2018
sick, tortured immigrants locked up for months in Britain

An unprecedented snapshot of migrants held in British detention centres found more than half of the sample were either suicidal, seriously ill or victims of torture, a Guardian investigation has established.
 

Image: Supporting Syrian families in Dundee
05/10/2018
Supporting Syrian families in Dundee

Scottish Refugee Council have announced that from October 1 2018 they will work with families from the Syrian community in Dundee. Working in partnership with the local authority and services in the area and will support people who have recently arrived from Syria to settle in and to go on to achieve their hopes and ambitions for life in Scotland.

Image: Winter Supplies Urgently Needed
05/10/2018
Winter Supplies Urgently Needed


Winter will soon be upon us, and winter in Northern France is tough. If the many refugees sleeping rough are to survive we need your help; please start collecting now.

Image: Global faith leaders urge action over 'ignored millions' displaced by conflict
20/09/2018
Global faith leaders urge action over 'ignored millions' displaced by conflict

A letter to the Guardian from 57 religious leaders calls on states at the UN general assembly to support protection plan for people forced from home

Image: Home Office attempts to deport families ‘harmful’ to children and ‘often ineffective’, watchdog warn
05/09/2018
Home Office attempts to deport families ‘harmful’ to children and ‘often ineffective’, watchdog warn

The Independent newspaper is reporting on the campaign calling for change to immigration detention policy and highlights how policy to detain families with no likely chance of removing them feeds into the hostile environment and amounts to 'brutal and unnecessary' tactic to drive down immigration.

Image: The lonely death of Alan Kurdi
31/08/2018
The lonely death of Alan Kurdi

On 2nd September, 2015, Alan Kurdi, a three year old Syrian boy, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. He and his family were refugees trying to reach Europe. Photographs of his body were diseminated widely and prompted a large international response. This week's blog is a reflection on the third anniversary of Alan's death, written by our Social Justice Coordinator, Danny Sweeney.  

Image: I am a Rohingya refugee: we will become like animals if we stay in these camps
29/08/2018
I am a Rohingya refugee: we will become like animals if we stay in these camps

A powerful account in the Guardian hears of the desperate situation faced by Rohingya refugees - Despite everything, we want to go back to Myanmar, but only with citizenship and our rights.

Image: Our Turn - 80 Years On
22/08/2018
Our Turn - 80 Years On

80 years ago, on the eve of the Second World War British communities demanded that the government helped 10,000 children escape from Nazi Germany.  Today, Safe Passage are asking us to do the same again and put pressure on our government to ensure a safe route to Britain for child refugees in Europe.

Image: Call for help from housing associations as Glasgow Night Shelter seeks temporary accommodation
09/08/2018
Call for help from housing associations as Glasgow Night Shelter seeks temporary accommodation

A night shelter in Glasgow which provides safety and warmth overnight for approximately 25 destitute men seeking asylum and non-EU migrants who have no recourse to public funds has issued a call for help as it will no longer have a premises to operate from after the end of August.  Scottish Housing News reports.  

Image: £110,000 grant to aid response effort for eviction-threatened asylum seekers
09/08/2018
£110,000 grant to aid response effort for eviction-threatened asylum seekers


Scottish Housing News are reporting that the Scottish Government have responded to the threat of asylum seekers in Glasgow facing homelessness and ‎destitution with emergency funding which will allow charities to provide support until their legal options have been exhausted.

Image: How the hostile environment crept into UK schools, hospitals and homes
01/08/2018
How the hostile environment crept into UK schools, hospitals and homes

Few people who do not see the daily workings of the government’s immigration policy have any idea how doctors, teachers and even landlords have effectively been made to patrol a border within.  Report in the Guardian.

Image: Catholic Church Leaders Speak Out On Planned Evictions of asylum seekers in Glasgow
01/08/2018
Catholic Church Leaders Speak Out On Planned Evictions of asylum seekers in Glasgow

Archbishop Tartaglia, Bishop Nolan and the Glasgow Justice and Peace Commission speak out against the planned imminent eviction 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow.

Image: Destitution, Discrimination and Distrust
31/07/2018
Destitution, Discrimination and Distrust

The 'Web of the Hostile Environment' is a new report published by the Joint Public Issues Team in conjunction with the Baptist Church, The Church of Scotland, The Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church.

Image: Pope calls for a firm stand against 'shameful crime' of human trafficking
30/07/2018
Pope calls for a firm stand against 'shameful crime' of human trafficking

Pope Francis looked ahead to the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, marked each year on 30 July, and said it is everyone’s responsibility to take a stand against the shameful crime.

Image: Hundreds of Scots asylum seekers to become homeless as 'brutal and inhumane' contractors change lock
30/07/2018
Hundreds of Scots asylum seekers to become homeless as 'brutal and inhumane' contractors change lock

Hundreds of asylum seekers are set to be made homeless when a public services contractor begin changing the locks on their homes.  Documents passed to the Sunday Mail reveal Serco – who supply accommodation to refugees – are to trigger a programme codenamed Move-on.
 

Image: Sajid Javid to consider ending indefinite immigration detention
25/07/2018
Sajid Javid to consider ending indefinite immigration detention


The home secretary has announced that he will consider ending indefinite immigration detention in response to a highly critical report. Report in the Guardian.

Image: What is the true human cost of your £5 hand car wash?
19/07/2018
What is the true human cost of your £5 hand car wash?

The Guardian reports on the rise in hand car washes and their link with human trafficking and modern slavery.

Image: Beyond the Headlines - Refugees and Migrants
19/07/2018
Beyond the Headlines - Refugees and Migrants

Justice and Peace Scotland have produced this useful resource in conjunction with our campaign on Refugees and Migrants - Sharing Our Common Home.

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland Statement on President Trump Visit
13/07/2018
Justice and Peace Scotland Statement on President Trump Visit

Justice and Peace Scotland have released the following statement on the visit of President Trump to Scotland. 

Image: Open Letter to President Trump
12/07/2018
Open Letter to President Trump

Scottish Christians have written an open letter to President Trump ahead of his visit to Scotland this weekend.

Image: Bishop Nolan to welcome Refugee Photographic Exhibition to Ayr Cathedral - Wed 18th July
12/07/2018
Bishop Nolan to welcome Refugee Photographic Exhibition to Ayr Cathedral - Wed 18th July

Bishop Nolan, Bishop President of Justice and Peace Scotland,  will welcome the refugee photographic exhibition to St Margaret's Cathedral, John Street in Ayr on Wednesday 18th July 2018 at 10am.  Mass will be offered to pray for the 65 million refugees and migrants worldwide, all welcome.  

Image: Becoming Human Together
09/07/2018
Becoming Human Together

Christian Aid Scotland and Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees have published a new theological reflection on migration.  Becoming Human Together is the name of a new resource exploring Christian theology from the Reformed tradition as it relates to faith and forced migration.

Image: It’s time for an end to indefinite detention
04/07/2018
It’s time for an end to indefinite detention

The Jesuit Refugee Service have welcomed the report on the wrongful detention of Windrush-era citizens, published by the Joint Committee on Human Rights which highlights a “systemic failure” to safeguard against wrongful detention.

Image: UK immigration authorities separating children from parents
03/07/2018
UK immigration authorities separating children from parents

Report in the Guardian.  Scores of children – and possibly hundreds – are separated from a parent or carer in the UK every year.
 

Image: Iraqi Sister who fled Islamic State is denied entry to Britain for the second time
25/06/2018
Iraqi Sister who fled Islamic State is denied entry to Britain for the second time

A report in the Catholic Herald tells of how a Dominican Sister, Ban Madleen, has been trying to visit her sister who is sick in the UK.  Ban Madleen was forced to flee Islamic State in 2014 and has been denied entry to Britain for a second time.

Image: Sharing Our Common Home - Campaign Video
22/06/2018
Sharing Our Common Home - Campaign Video

Justice and Peace Scotland have produced this campaign video entitled "Sharing Our Common Home" to highlight the Scottish response to the call of Pope Francis to Welcome, Protect, Promote and Integrate our global brothers and sisters seeking sanctuary from persecution, war, climate change and famine.

Image: Young Scots in live link-up with Syrian students
21/06/2018
Young Scots in live link-up with Syrian students

More than 700 young people in Scotland had a live link-up with students in the Syrian city of Aleppo at the climax of a youth rally organised by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Image: Archbishop Tartaglia launches Refugee Exhibition in Glasgow
21/06/2018
Archbishop Tartaglia launches Refugee Exhibition in Glasgow

Archbishop Tartaglia launched the Refugee Photographic Exhibition at St Andrews Cathedral in Glasgow on 'World Refugee Day', Wednesday 20th June 2018 and spoke of his own roots, as the son of immigrants who fled to this country during World War 1.

Image: Refugee Law Book
19/06/2018
Refugee Law Book

'Refugee law in the UK' is an accessible and practical guide to the meaning of the refugee definition. It is full of hints and tips, links to sources and further information, case law quotations, useful material on how the refugee definition operates in practice in the UK, common arguments, scenarios and examples. The last part of the ebook examines the cessation, exclusion and refoulement clauses of the convention.

Image: French police cut soles off migrant children's shoes, claims Oxfam
16/06/2018
French police cut soles off migrant children's shoes, claims Oxfam

The Guardian features an Oxfam report which claims that French border police have been accused of detaining migrant children as young as 12 in cells without food or water, cutting the soles off their shoes and stealing sim cards from their mobile phones, before illegally sending them back to Italy.

Oxam Report : Nowhere but out

Image: Three Rohingya refugees killed as monsoon rains hit Cox's Bazar
13/06/2018
Three Rohingya refugees killed as monsoon rains hit Cox's Bazar

At least three Rohingya refugees have died and more have been made homeless after lethal mudslides in camps in Bangladesh.  A very concerning report in the Guardian.

Image: Ask Your MP to support Lord Dubs' amendment
06/06/2018
Ask Your MP to support Lord Dubs' amendment

Safe Passage UK are asking everyone to take immediate action to contact their MP to support Lord Dubs’ amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which will keep open safe and legal options for vulnerable young people alone in Europe to be reunited with their families in the UK.

Image: Becoming Human Together
01/06/2018
Becoming Human Together

Becoming Human Together is a theological reflection on migration produced by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees and Christian Aid.

 

Image: Three English Councils Vote To End indefinite Detention
10/05/2018
Three English Councils Vote To End indefinite Detention

Brighton & Hove and Cambridge City Councils have just joined Manchester in passing These Walls Must Fall motions to condemn indefinite immigration detention and commit to action to end the practice.

Image: Sharing Our Common Home - J&P Scotland Campaign
01/05/2018
Sharing Our Common Home - J&P Scotland Campaign

The Justice and Peace Scotland campaign from January - June 2018 is on Migrants and Refugees - entitled Sharing Our Common Home. We hope to share the strategic goals set out by Pope Francis and show the Scottish response to these challenges.  Our local input to this global call!

Image: Diary of a week spent with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
26/04/2018
Diary of a week spent with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Bishop John Arnold of Salford diocese recently returned from a trip to Bangladesh with CAFOD where he witnessed to the suffering of the Rohingya people there and saw the humanitarian work being done in the area to help these destitute refugees.  Read his daily diary of the trip here.

Image: Home Office keeping torture victims in detention, inspectors report
05/04/2018
Home Office keeping torture victims in detention, inspectors report

Disturbing new article in the Guardian detailing the HMI report on Harmondsworth IRC.  Chief prisons inspector says men are being held in immigration removal centre despite accepted evidence of torture.

 

Image: Compensation for Unlawful Immigration Detention reaches 21 Million Pounds
21/03/2018
Compensation for Unlawful Immigration Detention reaches 21 Million Pounds

Rt Hon David Lammy MP has asked the following parliamentary question: How many claims of compensation for wrongful detention were (a) received by the Home Office and (b) successful in each of the last five years; and what the cost to the public purse was of the compensation paid in that same period.

Image: Bishop Paul McAleenan: UK detention centres "shameful"
15/03/2018
Bishop Paul McAleenan: UK detention centres "shameful"

Following the HM Inspectorate of Prisons reporting that torture victims were being kept in detention, Bishop Paul McAleenan said the UK government's effective imprisonment of the most vulnerable in society is "shameful" and that it should end indefinite detention as reported in Independent Catholic News.

Image: Refugees Family Reunion Bill
22/02/2018
Refugees Family Reunion Bill

Refugee families are torn apart by war. Take action to help bring them together.

Image: Growing number of asylum seekers and refugees falling into poverty in Britain.
09/02/2018
Growing number of asylum seekers and refugees falling into poverty in Britain.

Thousands of vulnerable people are left destitute after being granted refugee protection, reports The Independent.

Image: Bishops Release Joint Statement on Calais Talks
22/01/2018
Bishops Release Joint Statement on Calais Talks

Following their visit to Calais last year, Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Lead Bishop for Asylum and Migration for England and Wales and Bishop William Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland, issued a joint statement calling for a commitment by the UK Government to help migrants in Calais. In light of recent developments, they have issue a further joint statement.

Image: New Scots
20/01/2018
New Scots

On 10 January the Scottish Government published the New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy 2018-2022 [PDF 1.7MB].  This is a framework which sets out a vision for how Scotland can welcome and support people to rebuild their lives from the day they arrive.  It is supported by the Scottish Refugee Council, COSLA and has been commended by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and welcomed by the Church of Scotland.

Image: Open letter to Teresa May and Emmanuel Macron
18/01/2018
Open letter to Teresa May and Emmanuel Macron

As Teresa May and Emmanuel Macron meet, eight NGOs working in Calais have sent  an open letter urging that they consider the human rights of refugees. #CalaisBorder

Image: An hour from Westminster, children are sleeping rough in the freezing woods
16/01/2018
An hour from Westminster, children are sleeping rough in the freezing woods

In an article for the New Statesman, Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth, describes conditions for refugees in Calais.

2017

Image: World Day of Peace
31/12/2017
World Day of Peace
1st January, 2018

Pope Francis's message for the 51st World Day of Peace

Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace

Image: Reflections on Calais
29/12/2017
Reflections on Calais

Bishop Nolan reflects with Marian Pallister, vice chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, on his recent visit to Calais to meet with refugees and those who help them.

Radio Alba, week commencing 31st December. Magazine 8:20 pm.

Image: Refugee Bus Pass Appeal
29/12/2017
Refugee Bus Pass Appeal

The Refugee Survival Trust's bus pass scheme is a lifeline for destitute refugees and asylum seekers who cannot afford to buy their own tickets. Something as simple as access to public transport can be the reason that an individual is able to attend important meetings, go to the food bank, or even meet friends. Being mobile is crucial to the asylum application process and to integration into life in Scotland.

Image: Scotland meets Syrian Refugee target
22/12/2017
Scotland meets Syrian Refugee target

Scotland has met its target to provide homes for 2,000 Syrian refugees three years ahead of schedule.

BBC

UNHCR

 

 

 

Image: A welcoming Europe: exploring local solidarity with refugees
21/12/2017
A welcoming Europe: exploring local solidarity with refugees

Justice and Peace Netherlands have produced a booklet A welcoming Europe: exploring local solidarity with refugees on local initiatives to welcome refugees. It features a number of countries, including Scotland.

They have also made animations  which highlight the different country chapters in the publication: 

ScotlandSwitzerlandSpain

Image: 51st WORLD DAY OF PEACE
11/12/2017
51st WORLD DAY OF PEACE
Pope Francis Message - 1 JANUARY 2018

Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace

Image: Volunteer in Calais
11/12/2017
Volunteer in Calais

Would you or someone you know be interested in volunteering in Calais?  Many volunteers are needed to guarantee the distribution of warm food, clothing and sleeping bags.  No matter what skills you have or how long you can stay there is something you can do!  Here is how to get in touch.

Image: British Government policy in Calais is not working, says Catholic bishop
05/12/2017
British Government policy in Calais is not working, says Catholic bishop

The Tablet has reported on our recent delegation to Calais. 

Bishop Bill Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland, argues for legal means to be made available so that migrants do not have to use illegal means to seek entry to Britain.  

Image: Bishops call on UK Government to help Calais migrants.
30/11/2017
Bishops call on UK Government to help Calais migrants.

Following a visit to the Calais migrant camp in France, by Bishop William Nolan, President of the Justice & Peace Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Asylum & Migration, of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, both Bishops have issued a joint statement addressed to the UK Government, calling on them to do more to assist and support the migrants, particularly, unaccompanied minors.
 

The photo shows food distribution at the Calais camp

Image: Bishop Nolan in Calais
28/11/2017
Bishop Nolan in Calais

Linda Fabiani MSP has raised the following Parliamentary Motion in the Scottish Parliament today, Tuesday 28th November 2017, to mark the visit to Calais of Bishop William Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland, accompanied by Danny, our Socical Justice Coordinator.  

Image: Scottish Faith Action for Refugees
16/11/2017
Scottish Faith Action for Refugees

Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees is looking for 3 enthusiastic and dedicated individuals from different faith, religion and belief backgrounds who would like to contribute to and shape an integration project for refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants in Edinburgh.

 

Image: Refugee Situation Greece - call to action
01/11/2017
Refugee Situation Greece - call to action

The situation in Greece is critical. Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees is ecouraging people to write to their MPs and have produced a briefing on the situation.

 

Image: French police ‘use beatings, tear gas and confiscation’ against Calais refugees
30/10/2017
French police ‘use beatings, tear gas and confiscation’ against Calais refugees


Report from the Refugee Rights Data Project finds child refugees harassed and intimidated by police as well as local citizens.

Read More

Image: Cardinal Vincent Nichols & Archbishop Philip Tartaglia sign joint statement on abortion.
26/10/2017
Cardinal Vincent Nichols & Archbishop Philip Tartaglia sign joint statement on abortion.

The Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Scotland and England & Wales have thanked pro-life politicians for their commitment to protecting human life from the moment of conception and urged them to continue to seek reform of current abortion legislation.

More information

Image: Volunteer Directory
26/10/2017
Volunteer Directory

Pope Francis has designated a World Day of the Poor on the 19th November.

The Holy Father is encouraging Catholics to do something practical to help those marginalised in our society.

Image: Bishop urges UK government to help lone child refugees - a year after demolition of Calais Jungle
26/10/2017
Bishop urges UK government to help lone child refugees - a year after demolition of Calais Jungle

One year since the 'jungle' camp in Calais was demolished, the lead Catholic Bishop for migration and asylum has called on the UK government to do more to resettle unaccompanied child refugees.

Read more in the Independent Catholic News

Image: Helping migrants in Calais
25/10/2017
Helping migrants in Calais


Seeking Sanctuary reports that numbers of desperate migrants are building up in the Calais area. Some are unaccompanied children. In addition, the weather is getting colder. Secours Catholique and two Calais warehouses have launched appeals for supplies.
Details on the Seeking Sanctuary website 
 

Image: Children needing asylum in UK not being helped by Dubs scheme
24/10/2017
Children needing asylum in UK not being helped by Dubs scheme

A Guardian Article reports that Councils have 280 unfilled places for lone minors even though there are at least 8,000 eligible children in Greece and Italy.

An Environmental Health Assessment of the New Migrant Camp in Calais

As winter looms, migrant children sleep rough in northern France

 

Image: Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees
20/10/2017
Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees

The SFAR October Newsletter is now out.

Click to read and subscribe

Image: Campaigners demand closure of Dungavel migrant detention centre
28/09/2017
Campaigners demand closure of Dungavel migrant detention centre


Campaigners are calling for the closure of a migrant detention centre, after a man died there last Tuesday.

Read full article

Watch Justice and Peace Scotland's short film on Dungavel

Image: Pope launches campaign to help migrants and refugees
28/09/2017
Pope launches campaign to help migrants and refugees

Pope Francis has launched a campaign to encourage Catholics to build bridges with migrants and refugees.

Titled ‘Share the Journey,’ the idea is to eliminate the stigma surrounding migrants and refugees alike, in order to make them feel accepted in both society and in the Catholic community.

Read more in The Scottish Catholic Observer

Share the Journey

Image: Death in Detention Emergency Demonstration
22/09/2017
Death in Detention Emergency Demonstration
Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees

 

On Tuesday morning a Chinese man was found dead at Dungavel Detention Centre. This is the second suicide at a detention centre in the last fortnight. It also comes hard on the heels of the Panorama expose of conditions within Harmomdsworth Detention Centre. 
An emergency demonstration has been organised for Saturday 24th September.

Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centre
Strathaven ML10 6RF
12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Further details on Facebook
 

 

Image: Scotland's commitment shown through Syrian resettlement statistics
20/09/2017
Scotland's commitment shown through Syrian resettlement statistics

It is two year's since the photograph of 3 year old Alan Kurdi prompted moral outrage and political reaction.  The Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, announced that the UK would offer direct resettlement to up to 20,000 vulnerable Syrians living in refugee camps over a five year period reports SFAR.  

Image: Vatican urges refugee response
20/09/2017
Vatican urges refugee response

Scottish Faith Action for Refugees are reporting in their current newsletter how His Holiness Pope Francis has issued a message in preparation for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on 14 January 2018, Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees.

Image: Lord Dubs appeals for action on child refugees before new Immigration Bill
16/09/2017
Lord Dubs appeals for action on child refugees before new Immigration Bill

The Independent Catholic News reports that the future for lone child refugees in Europe “surrounded by sex traffickers and people smugglers” looks grim unless the British government acts quickly. 

Read the full report and please take action.

Safe Passage

Image: Destitution is routine': refugees face homelessness even after gaining asylum
08/09/2017
Destitution is routine': refugees face homelessness even after gaining asylum

People granted asylum in the UK are routinely driven immediately into homelessness and destitution according to research conducted for the Guardian.

Read the full article.

 

Image: Justice and Peace Scotland : two new videos
07/09/2017
Justice and Peace Scotland : two new videos

There are two new J&P videos available on our YouTube channel.

Give me Five Campaign. This is the campaign to petition the Scottish government to add £5 per week per child to Child Benefit. This short video covers the main points of the campaign,
 

Responding to Refugees and Migrants.  As you know, Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants. This short video puts these points into an easily accessible format.


 

Image: Calais: Nobody should live like this
05/09/2017
Calais: Nobody should live like this
Report from Westminster J&P visit

 

On a wet, cold, end-of-August day, four members of Westminster Justice and Peace left London for the Catholic Worker house in Calais.

Read their experiences

Image: Safe Passage UK
29/08/2017
Safe Passage UK

Last week Safe Passage UK showed Lord Alf Dubs around Calais,  the first time he has visited since the Jungle was demolished 10-months ago.

He was shocked to still find 100s of unaccompanied minors still sleeping rough with the constant threat of police violence. 

Watch the interview with him

 

Image: One Big Picnic
27/08/2017
One Big Picnic

Community groups brought together by the Interfaith Food Justice Network in Glasgow invite you all to come along to George Square on Sunday 3rd September to share some free food and a blether at One Big Picnic!

This is a free event open to the general public to celebrate the diversity of Glasgow’s residents and bring people from all different backgrounds together.

The event is being organised by a group of local people from diverse backgrounds including Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Humanist, Buddhist and non-religious who are working together to deliver One Big Picnic in order to promote dignity, community and food justice.

Image: Pope Francis: prioritise migrants' dignity over national security
23/08/2017
Pope Francis: prioritise migrants' dignity over national security

The Guardian reports that Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants to try to galvanise their response to an issue seen by the Vatican as one of the biggest global challenges of the 21st century.

Click on linbk for the text of the Action Plan

 

 

Image: World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018: Pope's Message
22/08/2017
World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018: Pope's Message

Pope Francis' message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees was released on Monday 21st August.


In the message the Holy Father says that providing aid to migrants and refugees is a "great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities."

Text of Message

Image: Government fails unaccompanied children in Europe
07/08/2017
Government fails unaccompanied children in Europe

By closing the Dubs scheme, the Government has left unaccompanied children at the mercy of traffickers.

Image: Refugee-led Community Organisations Contact List
03/08/2017
Refugee-led Community Organisations Contact List

Scottish Refugee Council have produced this very helpful list of Refugee-led community organisations across Scotland with details on how you can be in touch with them.  Please share with community groups where you live.  

List of Refugee-led Community Organisations

 

 

 
 
Image: The 'four forgotten famines' that the world never hears of
02/08/2017
The 'four forgotten famines' that the world never hears of

IT should be making more headlines but it isn’t. There are many good reasons why it should be all over our news pages, and very few to justify why it’s not. The most obvious reason as to why this story should have greater news prominence is that more than 20 million lives hang in the balance, among them 1.4 million children of whom 600,000 could die in the next three to four months. It’s not as if there has been any shortage of warnings either.  In March this year Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, spelt out the magnitude of the crisis.

Image: Pope appeals for end to 'aberrant plague' of human trafficking
31/07/2017
Pope appeals for end to 'aberrant plague' of human trafficking

Pope Francis called for increased efforts to end human trafficking on Sunday 30th July 2017. The Holy Father’s appeal came in remarks following the Angelus prayer with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square and the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, sponsored by the United Nations.

Image: Like living in  Hell
28/07/2017
Like living in Hell
Police abuses against child and adult migrants in Calais.

 

Nine months after French authorities closed the large migrant camp on the edge of Calais, between 400 and 500 asylum seekers and other migrants are living on the streets and in wooded areas in and around the city.

A report by Human Rights Watch documents their conditions. It is based on interviews with more than 60 asylum seekers and migrants in and around Calais and Dunkerque, and with two dozen aid workers working in the area. It reports police abuse of asylum seekers and migrants, their disruption of humanitarian assistance, and their harassment of aid workers.

Download report

Image: Nobody deserves to live this way!
27/07/2017
Nobody deserves to live this way!

Report from the Human Trafficking Foundation into the situation of child refugees. It makes for grim reading and concludes that instead of protecting children who have fled to Europe for safety, the Government is failing them. Police violence has taught these children to fear the authorities who should be protecting them, leaving the way open for smugglers and those who want to exploit them, including traffickers.

Download the report here.

Image: Calais: Update on refugee crisis from Seeking Sanctuary
27/07/2017
Calais: Update on refugee crisis from Seeking Sanctuary

A report by Seeking Sanctuary in the Independent Catholic News outlines the current situation in France and encourages supporters to keep the pressure on government to address the situation with more compassion.

For more information and what you can do to help, please see the Seeking Sanctuary website

Image: Indefinite detention is dehumanising for refugees. This practice must end
19/07/2017
Indefinite detention is dehumanising for refugees. This practice must end

In our interconnected world, it is such a truism that everyone has a story to tell that we rarely ask to hear them. We should. Both sides would benefit.

Image: UK accepts fewer than half the child refugees it promised to take under Dubs Amendment
04/07/2017
UK accepts fewer than half the child refugees it promised to take under Dubs Amendment

A new article in The Independent highlights that several children granted rights to live in the UK are "leading a hand to mouth existence wandering around France"

Image: Homeless, penniless, stateless and destitute
21/06/2017
Homeless, penniless, stateless and destitute

An independent advocacy service could be a first step in a new preventative approach to tackling the destitution facing asylum seekers in Scotland.

Image: Solidarity on World Refugee Day 2017
14/06/2017
Solidarity on World Refugee Day 2017

What is World Refugee Day?
Every year on June 20, people around the world get together to mark World Refugee Day. It is a powerful way to come together with others to show that we care about refugees and that we want people seeking refugee protection to be treated fairly and with dignity.

Image: Destitute Immigrants in the UK are threatened with having children removed
13/06/2017
Destitute Immigrants in the UK are threatened with having children removed

Homeless immigrants are being told they can secure housing for their children but not themselves, effectively forcing them to break up their family or sleep rough with their children.

Image: Letter from Calais - Appeal for Volunteers
06/06/2017
Letter from Calais - Appeal for Volunteers

Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary visited Calais on 30 May, taking clothing, cash and bedding donated by various groups and individuals. He found a situation that was superficially calm, yet worrying: worries that have since been confirmed as correct.

Image: MSPs call for new anti-destitution strategy
30/05/2017
MSPs call for new anti-destitution strategy


“Destitution is built into the UK asylum process”. This is the stark message of a report issued today by MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee.  The Committee is calling for a Scottish anti-destitution strategy to alleviate the situation of hundreds of people with insecure immigration status in Scotland. Destitution that often results in exploitation, ill health and misery.

Image: Anniversary for Catholic Charity Dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima
10/05/2017
Anniversary for Catholic Charity Dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima

As the Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions – Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic charity dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Image: Care4Calais Report
04/05/2017
Care4Calais Report

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

In Its latest report, it comments there are no signs of improvement to the refugee crisis.

 

Image: Scottish Imam talks refugees and religion with Pope Francis
27/04/2017
Scottish Imam talks refugees and religion with Pope Francis

An Edinburgh Imam who met Pope Francis last Month has said the Holy Father is building a friendship between Christianity and Islam.

Image: UK to take 130 more lone refugee children
27/04/2017
UK to take 130 more lone refugee children

Peer criticises ‘shocking mistake’ as ministers say ‘administrative error’ meant they underestimated available places.

Image: Pope Francis - The media need to tell the whole story on migration
20/04/2017
Pope Francis - The media need to tell the whole story on migration

When it comes to solving the immigration crisis, the media need to stop perpetuating negative stereotypes and start explaining the big picture, shedding light on the causes behind migration.

Image: Right to Remain Toolkit
12/04/2017
Right to Remain Toolkit

The Right to Remain Toolkit is a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system. It gives an overview of the legal system and procedures, with detailed information on rights and options at key stages, and actions you can take in support of your claim, or to help someone else.

Image: Pope urges more action on human trafficking
04/04/2017
Pope urges more action on human trafficking

In a message to the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference in Vienna, Pope Francis called Human Trafficking "a form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, and an atrocious scourge"

Text of Message

Image: Death penalty: an offence against human dignity	   	   
31/03/2017
Death penalty: an offence against human dignity    
Justice and Peace Europe appeals for amending the Catechism of the Church

Press release from Justice and Peace Europe

 

 

Image: Europe's Treatment of Child Refugees Risks Radicalisation
23/03/2017
Europe's Treatment of Child Refugees Risks Radicalisation

Highly critical report from Council of Europe says current system is unable to cope with sheer number of children fleeing conflict

Image: Calais - Things Have Never Been So Tough
22/03/2017
Calais - Things Have Never Been So Tough

News from those working in Calais is that things have never been so tough. The French 'welcome centres' distributed across the country may have provided a solution for some people, but for those where it didn't, conditions are worse than the Jungle ever was.

Image: Dungavel Solidarity Gathering
20/03/2017
Dungavel Solidarity Gathering

The next solidarity gathering at Dungavel will take place on Sunday 26th March, Mothering Sunday.  We are gathering at the bottom of the driveway leading to Dungavel at 12.45. 

Image: Beyond The Headlines
15/03/2017
Beyond The Headlines

Trying to understand what happened in the news?

We go beyond the headlines to try and make sense of the issues.
This time – what was happening in Hungary last week”

Image: Women For Refugee Women - new report
14/03/2017
Women For Refugee Women - new report

Women for Refugee Women challenges the injustices experienced by women who seek asylum in the UK. Latest report.

Image: Flame
09/03/2017
Flame
Biggest Catholic Youth Event Set to Light Up Wembley Arena

This Saturday, 11 March, up to 10,000 Catholics will attend Flame 2017 and share stories of faith and hope from across the world.  Our Social Justice Co-ordinator, Danny Sweeney, will be there.  Look out for picutres and updates from Danny.

Image: Housing: Crackdown On ‘Illegal’ Immigrants Leading to Discrimination Against Ethnic Minority Britons
15/02/2017
Housing: Crackdown On ‘Illegal’ Immigrants Leading to Discrimination Against Ethnic Minority Britons

Foreigners and British citizens without passports, particularly those from ethnic minorities, are being discriminated against in the private rental housing market as a result of the Right to Rent scheme designed to crack down on irregular immigration, according to a new report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI).

Image: One Day Without Us National Day of Action.
15/02/2017
One Day Without Us National Day of Action.

1 Day Without Us is a National Day of Action on 20th Feb 2017 to celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK, to coincide with UN World Day of Social Justice.

For 24 hours, migrants from inside and outside the European Union, and everyone who supports them, are invited to celebrate the contribution that migrants make.

Details of Scottish events here

Image:  UK failing to protect refugee children
12/02/2017
UK failing to protect refugee children

The UK is failing in its responsibility to protect some of the world's most vulnerable people, says the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Independent Catholic News

Cardinal Vincent Nichols Statement

 

10/02/2017
Statement from Church of Scotland and Justice and Peace Scotland on Child Refugees

We were shocked and disappointed to learn that the UK Government intends to terminate the implementation of Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – the “Dubs amendment” to resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. To have stopped this programme at fewer than 12% of the original commitment of 3,000 children is reprehensible.

Image: Refugee Scheme Closes After Accepting Just 350 Children
09/02/2017
Refugee Scheme Closes After Accepting Just 350 Children

The Government has decided to terminate the implementation of Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – the “Dubs amendment” to resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. 

Image: English Bishops denounce Trump Travel Ban
07/02/2017
English Bishops denounce Trump Travel Ban


On Sunday, 5 February, Cardinal Vincent, spoke on the BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour about the executive order issued by President Trump which suspends the refugee acceptance programme for 120 days, prioritises refugee claims of religious-based persecution and imposes a travel ban on nations from a countries of 'particular concern' (seven, predominantly Muslim, countries have been named).

Full details on Independent Catholic News website

And the the lead bishop for migrants, Bishop Paul McAleenan, an auxiliary of Westminster Diocese, called on Catholics to oppose Trump’s ban.

Full details in The Tablet

Image: Dungavel to remain open
05/02/2017
Dungavel to remain open

The Home Office has abandoned plans to replace the immigration removal centre at Dungavel House

Details on BBC website

Image: Disability Rights
03/02/2017
Disability Rights

A new report alleges that disabled people are having their human rights violated by the UK government.The findings are contained in a report by Inclusion Scotland, working with colleagues in England and Wales, on how disabled people’s rights are being met. It concludes that there is evidence that the UK government is breaching its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

Read the Scottish Report

 

Image: President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration
31/01/2017
President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration

Statement by Justice and Peace Scotland on the Executive Order 'Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States'

30/01/2017
Trump's ban on immigrants is devastating, chaotic and cruel
US Catholic Bishops respond


President Donald Trump's executive memorandum intended to restrict the entry of terrorists coming to the United States brought an outcry from Catholic leaders across the US.

Read more in The Tablet

 

Image: After the Jungle burnt…
27/01/2017
After the Jungle burnt…
Danny Sweeney, the Social Justice Coordinator for J&P Scotland reflects on his experiences in the Calais refugee camp
Image: Holyrood Committee to investigate state’s role in helping destitute asylum seekers
26/01/2017
Holyrood Committee to investigate state’s role in helping destitute asylum seekers

Ways in which Scottish public services can help asylum seekers facing destitution are to be investigated by MSPs on Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee. The committee is asking people to submit their views on what more can be done to tackle the issue. 

Further information.

Call for Evidence

Image: Holocaust Memorial Day
23/01/2017
Holocaust Memorial Day
27th January, 2017

Further information

Holocaust Memorial Day

Events in Scotland

How can life go on? (film)

Image: I was a stranger and you welcomed me
20/01/2017
I was a stranger and you welcomed me
In our blog, Alison Clark, Bute resident and former teacher, offers a personal view on the settlement of refugees

 

As I write, it’s exactly a year since our new Syrian residents arrived here on the Isle of Bute. The families celebrated the anniversary by cooking a fabulous lunch for everyone who has been involved in helping them settle, both statutory agencies and volunteers.  

Image: Alarming number of trafficked children going missing from care
17/01/2017
Alarming number of trafficked children going missing from care

Trafficked and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are going missing from UK care at an “alarmingly high” rate, leading charities ECPAT UK and Missing People have said in a new report. The report, entitled Heading back to harm: A study on trafficked and unaccompanied children going missing from care in the UK, has found that more than a quarter of all trafficked children and over 500 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children went missing at least once in the year to September 2015, while 207 have not been found.

 

Read the Report

Image: World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 15th January, 2017
12/01/2017
World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 15th January, 2017

On January 15, 2017, the Catholic Church observes the 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees. This year, Pope Francis focuses on refugee children, who are often unaccompanied, vulnerable, and voiceless.  

 

Message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Refugees and Migrants: are they part of our common good? Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo, Secretary General of International Catholic Migration Commission.

Image: Refuweegee
10/01/2017
Refuweegee
Welcome Pack Appeal

Refuweegee is a community led project set up to ensure that all refugees arriving in Glasgow are welcomed to the city in true Glaswegian style.  The project should also provide everyone who wishes to make a difference, the opportunity to do so.

The aim is to provide every Refuweegee who arrives in the city with a community built welcome pack.  Each pack will contain three categories of items; essentials, Glasgow welcome and ‘letters from the locals’ and as a result of the final category, each pack will be completely indivdual.

Further details on website.

Image: Dungavel -  what next?
06/01/2017
Dungavel - what next?
In our first blog of 2017, Margaret Donnelly, J&P Commissioner for the Diocese of Galloway, gives a personal reflection on a long standing campaign

 

The photo shows Justice and Peace activists at Dungavel

2016

Image: Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees – A Silver Lining in the Black Clouds of Anti-Refugee Rhetoric?
30/12/2016
Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees – A Silver Lining in the Black Clouds of Anti-Refugee Rhetoric?
A personal reflection by Grace Buckley

 

Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees – SFAR for short – a bit of a mouthful perhaps but a straightforward title for a network of faith communities seeking to act in support of refugees in Scotland.  It tries to do what it says on the tin.

Image: Buy a bus pass for a refugee
23/12/2016
Buy a bus pass for a refugee

The Refugee Survival Trust has launched a special festive appeal for their bus pass programme.

As you'll be aware, something as simple as access to public transport can be the reason that a refugee or asylum seeker is able to attend important meetings, go to the food bank, or even to meet friends. Being mobile is crucial to the asylum application process and to integration into life in Scotland. These bus passes are especially important in winter, when Scotland's notorious weather is at its worst!


Please consider donating a £6 bus pass. 

Image: Challenge the rhetoric
13/12/2016
Challenge the rhetoric
Pensioner presents every MP with collection of refugee stories

 

The Guardian newspaper features Michaela Fryson who has given 650 copies of the anthology A Country of Refuge to UK politicians in a bid to soften the hostile tone of public debate

Image: Lost in a sea of strangers
09/12/2016
Lost in a sea of strangers
In our blog, Patricia Ferguson, Outreach Manager for SCIAF, looks at the refugee situation in Lebanon
Image: Peace Stories
09/12/2016
Peace Stories
New initiative from Pax Christi

 

Pax Christi International recently convened a team of 10 young people from all over the world, to train to become peace journalists and report about the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. The training and discussions took place exclusively online. Following their training, each team member interviewed a person in their hometown or area who had to flee their home country.

Details on the Pax Christi website.

Image: Asylum Seekers Living Conditions In Scotland Continue To Deteriorate
09/12/2016
Asylum Seekers Living Conditions In Scotland Continue To Deteriorate

New report from W-ASH, Asylum Seeker Housing Project.

The research confirms that living conditions for asylum seekers from 2015 to 2016 have not improved but worsened.

Image: Statement from Bishop Toal on Dungavel replacement
27/11/2016
Statement from Bishop Toal on Dungavel replacement


On hearing of the proposed replacement  centre for Dungavel it struck me that the description of it as a "short term holding facillity" indicated an intention to get asylum seekers out of Scotland quickly. If this is the intention it is indeed very worrying and perhaps detrimental to them being given a proper chance to have the necessary legal representation and protection. I add my voice therefore to those who question this proposed new holding centre and it's probable detrimental effects on asylum seekers who have sought refuge in Scotland.

With all good wishes 
+ Joseph Toal

Photo shows Justice and Peace activists at their regular Dungavel solidarity gathering. 
Photo courtesy Carol Clark
Image: UK Immigration Centres Record 218 Hunger Strikers in Three Months
25/11/2016
UK Immigration Centres Record 218 Hunger Strikers in Three Months
An article in the Guardian states that figures obtained through FoI reveals the scale of desperation among asylum seekers in UK.
Image: Restrictions on Processing Asylum Claims from Unaccompanied Minors
21/11/2016
Restrictions on Processing Asylum Claims from Unaccompanied Minors

Seeking Sanctuary has published a briefing on the Home Office Guidance on young people.  The government has retrospectively changed to criteria for processing their claims. More than half of them will not even see a start to consideration of their situations. For more information and how to take action, see the Seeking Sanctuary website.

Image: St Andrew's Day Anti Racism March and Rally
16/11/2016
St Andrew's Day Anti Racism March and Rally
No to Racism: protecting rights, defending communities
Join us for the march and rally. Details on STUC website.
Image:  Greeetings Cards Campaigns
16/11/2016
Greeetings Cards Campaigns

ACAT - Action by Christians Against Torture. The 2016 list of prisoners to whom you might want to send a greetings card has now been issued.  See their website for further details.

CSW - Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The list is available for downloading from the website.
Image: Creating a safe haven for all: Refugees and human dignity
28/10/2016
Creating a safe haven for all: Refugees and human dignity
A statement from the European Justice and Peace Commissions
Europe is at a crossroads: Will it show leadership based on its commitment to the values of human rights and solidarity, or will it choose to exclude refugees from access to dignified and safe life, giving way to nationalist and populist agendas? The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions (“Justice and Peace Europe”) is calling upon the European institutions, EU Member States and other European countries to take responsibility in granting refugees access to asylum and a decent standard of living.
Image: Mediterranean death toll soars, 2016 is deadliest year yet
27/10/2016
Mediterranean death toll soars, 2016 is deadliest year yet
With two months still to go, deaths of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean so far this year have hit a record high, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR detailed today. Expressing alarm at the situation, UNHCR reported that 3,740 lives had been lost so far in 2016, just short of the 3,771 reported for the whole of 2015. (UNHRC 25/10/16)
Image: Half of the World's Disabled Children Are Out of School
18/10/2016
Half of the World's Disabled Children Are Out of School
'hildren with disabilities are constantly left at the very back of the queue, and the impact on both individuals and economies can be disastrous'. At least half of the world's 65 million school-age children with disabilities are kept out of the classroom because little to no money is budgeted for their needs, disability rights groups said in a report on Monday 17/10/2016. (Zoe Tabary, Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Image: Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy Consultation
13/10/2016
Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy Consultation
The Scottish Government have opened a Consultation on a Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy for Scotland. Human trafficking and exploitation are abhorrent crimes, as well as abuses of human rights and dignity. They involve trading adults and children as commodities and exploiting them for profit or personal benefit and they happen in Scotland today.
Image: Early Day Motion 523: Protecting Humanitarian Workers
13/10/2016
Early Day Motion 523: Protecting Humanitarian Workers
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House expresses its outrage at the bombing of a UN aid convoy on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo, killing an estimated 20 civilians and destroying 18 UN trucks and their cargo of vital supplies destined for communities in areas controlled by opponents of the Assad regime; further expresses particular concern at evidence that this was a revenge attack by Russian or Syrian government forces for an air strike the previous weekend by the US-led coalition against Daesh
Image: Justice & Peace Europe: Statement on Europe
10/10/2016
Justice & Peace Europe: Statement on Europe
Build bridges of justice rather than walls of fear
The Final Declaration from the European Justice and Peace Commission, International Workshop and General Assembly, Luxembourg, 30 Sept-3 Oct 2016
Image: Britain ‘Ignored Plea by France’ to Aid Stranded Calais Child Refugees
10/10/2016
Britain ‘Ignored Plea by France’ to Aid Stranded Calais Child Refugees
The Home Office has refused to respond to official requests from the French authorities to accept unaccompanied child refugees stranded in Calais who are eligible to come to Britain, the British Red Cross has said. With the planned demolition of Calais’s refugee camp only weeks away, the Red Cross says the Home Office is turning down “take charge” requests by the French on often pedantic grounds. (Mark Townsend, Guardian)
Image: Concrete Walls and Bureaucratic Barriers Deny Access to Justice for Migrants
07/10/2016
Concrete Walls and Bureaucratic Barriers Deny Access to Justice for Migrants
Work recently began on a wall in Calais, funded by the UK government, to prevent migrants and asylum seekers from crossing the Channel to Britain. Nearly simultaneously, the government announced that it would increase immigration tribunal fees by over 500%, erecting a different type of barrier—to access to justice. It was claimed that doing so would bring in an estimated £34 million in income annually and preserve the functioning of the tribunals. (Justine Stefanelli, UK Human Rights Blog)
Image: Asylum Seekers in UK 'Face Longest Wait For Work Permit In Europe’
04/10/2016
Asylum Seekers in UK 'Face Longest Wait For Work Permit In Europe’
Britain is one of the worst countries in Europe at integrating asylum seekers into the labour market, unnecessarily increasing their dependency on the welfare system, a report has found. (Patrick Kingsley, Guardian,) 
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – September 2016
04/10/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – September 2016
Ten situations deteriorated in August 16 according to the latest CrisisWatch report. Deteriorated Situations:  CAR, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, Mali, Korean Peninsula, Kashmir, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Syria, Libya
Image: Asylum seekers in Scotland at risk of being moved to England
30/09/2016
Asylum seekers in Scotland at risk of being moved to England
Closure of Dungavel centre and lack of planning mean people will be taken away from support networks, campaigners say. Vulnerable asylum seekers are at risk of being “funnelled” out of Scotland and away from family, friends and legal representation under detention plans that are being challenged by politicians and campaigners. (Libby Brooks, The Guardian, 29 Sept)
Image: ‘It’s Time to Think Again About Immigration Detention’
27/09/2016
‘It’s Time to Think Again About Immigration Detention’
In early September, the new Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill announced the closure of Dungavel, the only detention centre in Scotland.  The centre will be replaced in late 2017 by a short-term holding facility at Glasgow Airport, where migrants will be held for a few days just before removal. (Jerome Phelps, Justice Gap,)
Image: New Asylum Seeker Housing Plans Announced by Home Office
21/09/2016
New Asylum Seeker Housing Plans Announced by Home Office
It has been announced that the Home Office is re-evaluating the national ‘dispersal’ scheme after calls from local councils that it is not operating fairly enough. If successful, it should result in refugees being dispersed more evenly across different areas of Britain.
Image: Closure of Dungavel
14/09/2016
Closure of Dungavel
Statement by Justice and Peace on the closure of Dungavel Removal Centre
Image: Red Cross called in amid allegations over housing for asylum seekers in Glasgow
14/09/2016
Red Cross called in amid allegations over housing for asylum seekers in Glasgow
The Red Cross has been drafted in to act as a middleman between the Home Office and vulnerable asylum seekers being housed in 'horrific' conditions in Glasgow.  Many are too scared to speak out about their accommodation, described as the worst in the UK. So the British Red Cross has now had to step in as a go-between, MPs have been told. (Kate Devlin, Herald, Scotland)
Image: Greece: Migrant Children Held in Deplorable Conditions
13/09/2016
Greece: Migrant Children Held in Deplorable Conditions
Greek police routinely lock up unaccompanied children in small, overcrowded, and unhygienic cells for weeks and months, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.  The 27-page report, 'Why Are You Keeping Me Here?’: Unaccompanied Children Detained in Greece,' documents arbitrary and prolonged detention of children in violation of international and Greek law.
Image: Dungavel closure 'worsens plight' of asylum seekers
12/09/2016
Dungavel closure 'worsens plight' of asylum seekers
ASYLUM seekers face rapid removal from Scotland and restrictions on their right to appeal deportation under plans to replace the notorious Dungavel holding centre with a "short-term" unit near Glasgow Airport, campaigners warn. (Kate Devlin, Herald Scotland) 
Image: Scottish Refugee council statement on Dungavel closure announcement
12/09/2016
Scottish Refugee council statement on Dungavel closure announcement
The Home Office has announced that it is to close Scotland's Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre in 2017 and that it will build a new short-term holding facility near Glasgow Airport. Gary Christie, Scottish Refugee Council's Head of Communications, said: "Indefinite detention for immigration purposes is a UK scandal. While we are pleased to hear that this will no longer take place in Scotland, an end to long-term immigration detention must happen across the whole of the UK.
Image: Dungavel to close!!!
08/09/2016
Dungavel to close!!!
The years of campaigning to get Dungavel closed have finally paid off. Great news!  We'll need to keep a close eye on its replacement holding centre near Glasgow Airport, though.  Anything designed to make deportations quicker and easier has to be legally and morally dubious.  Reading between the lines, it looks like a cost-saving exercise by the Home Office rather than anything designed to make their treatment of asylum seekers any less oppressive.
Image: UK Minister Confirms Work to Start On £1.9m Calais Wall
07/09/2016
UK Minister Confirms Work to Start On £1.9m Calais Wall
Work is about to begin on 'a big, new wall' in Calais as the latest attempt to prevent refugees and migrants jumping aboard lorries heading for the Channel port, the UK’s immigration minister has confirmed. Robert Goodwill told MPs on Tuesday that the four-metre high wall was part of a £17m package of joint Anglo-French security measures to tighten precautions at the port. (Alan Travis and Angelique Chrisafis, Guaridan)
Image: Scottish Churches Racial Justice Sunday Celebration
06/09/2016
Scottish Churches Racial Justice Sunday Celebration
11th September - Paisley
Scottish Churches Racial Justice Sunday Celebration 2016. Wallneuk North Church, Abercorn Street PAISLEY PA3 4AB .  Sunday 11th September 2016 4pm -6:30pm. Speaker: Rev Iliya Shterev Roma Society Scotland.  Join in the  conversation in workshops. and continue the conversation over an international meal.
Image: Early Day Motion 401: Children Displaced by War
06/09/2016
Early Day Motion 401: Children Displaced by War
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House is aware of UN estimates that approximately 17,000 children in our world are forced to flee their homes everyday due to wars, in the process experiencing haphazard and dangerous refuge, often having to miss out on their schooling, social welfare and health needs;
Image:  Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – August 2016
06/09/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – August 2016
Nine Situations Deteriorated in August 16: Central African Republic, Gabon, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, Syria, Yemen. Improved Situations: Philippines, Colombia

Image: New Guidance Issued to Housing Staff Working With Refugees
02/09/2016
New Guidance Issued to Housing Staff Working With Refugees
A new guide to ensure refugees’ right to quality accommodation is upheld has been issued to housing professionals. Published by the Scottish Refugee Council with the support of the Scottish government and the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, the updated guide aims to ensure that all refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland are treated with dignity and fairness.
Image: Migrants and refugees at the heart of Pope's new 'Motu Proprio'
02/09/2016
Migrants and refugees at the heart of Pope's new 'Motu Proprio'
Pope Francis has created a new Dicastery to better minister to the needs of the men and women the Church is called to serve. The new “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development” was instituted in a Motu Proprio published on Wednesday in the Osservatore Romano. The dicastery will come into effect as from 1 January 2017 and will be especially “competent in issues regarding migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture”. (Vatican Radio)
Image: Asylum Statistics Q2 April-May-June 2016
26/08/2016
Asylum Statistics Q2 April-May-June 2016
Asylum applications in the UK from main applicants increased by 41% to 36,465 in the year ending June 2016, the highest number of applications since the year ending June 2004 (39,746). Numbers of asylum applications in the first two quarters of 2016 (8,228 in January to March and 7,810 in April to June) have been considerably lower than in the last two quarters of 2015 (10,231 in July to September and 10,196 in October to December), although still higher than the same quarters a year earlier.
Image: Will you stand #WithRefugees?
23/08/2016
Will you stand #WithRefugees?
Please sign the UNHCR petition
Each day war forces thousands of families to flee their homes. People like you, people like me.
To escape the violence, they leave everything behind – everything except their hopes and dreams for a safer future. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency believes that all refugees deserve to live in safety. Add your name to the #WithRefugees petition to send a clear message to governments that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility.
Image: Amazon fires threaten to wipe out uncontacted tribespeople
22/08/2016
Amazon fires threaten to wipe out uncontacted tribespeople
Forest fires are raging in an indigenous territory on the edge of the Brazilian Amazon, threatening to wipe out uncontacted members of the Awá tribe. Forest fires started by loggers destroyed over 50 per cent of the forest cover in the territory in late 2015. The Environment Ministry has stated that the situation is “even worse this year.” (Ekklesia)
Image: Destitute refugee families told their children must go into care to get help
17/08/2016
Destitute refugee families told their children must go into care to get help
Destitute asylum-seeking and migrant families are increasingly being told that their young children and babies can only be accommodated if they are taken into care, according to charities working to support them. (Karin Goodwin, The National)
Image: Bishops’ Committee for Interreligious Dialogue and some difficult questions
16/08/2016
Bishops’ Committee for Interreligious Dialogue and some difficult questions
A reflection by Marian Pallister
From the beginning of his Papacy, Pope Francis has urged the world to respect the Muslim faith and to honour the dignity of its adherents (a stance which echoes the 1964 document Lumen Gentium, and indeed, Pope Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio).
Image: Pope prays for all exploited women and girls days after visiting group of ex-prostitutes
16/08/2016
Pope prays for all exploited women and girls days after visiting group of ex-prostitutes
Pope Francis prays for all exploited women and girls just three days after visiting a group of young women rescued from the sex trade. Pope Francis celebrated the feast of the Assumption by praying for all exploited women and girls. (The Tablet)
Image: Child refugees in limbo in Calais 'because of Home Office delays'
16/08/2016
Child refugees in limbo in Calais 'because of Home Office delays'
Labour MP Yvette Cooper has written to the home secretary about the plight of child refugees at risk in French camps. Around 20 of the estimated 88,000 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe have so far arrived in the UK, a tiny figure that has prompted harsh criticism. (Jessica Elgot the Guardian)   
Image: Out of sight, out of mind? Europe's migrant crisis still simmers
11/08/2016
Out of sight, out of mind? Europe's migrant crisis still simmers
A year after hundreds of thousands of refugees snaked their way across South Eastern Europe and onto global television screens, the roads through the Balkans are now clear, depriving an arguably worsening tragedy of poignant visibility. Europe's migrant crisis is at the very least numerically worse than it was last year. More people are arriving and more are dying. But the twist is that, compared with last year, a lot of it is out of sight. (Reuters)
Image: SNP and Labour MPs call on May to visit 'horrific' asylum seekers’ accommodation
11/08/2016
SNP and Labour MPs call on May to visit 'horrific' asylum seekers’ accommodation
SNP and Labour MPs have called on Theresa May to visit asylum seekers’ accommodation in Glasgow, following allegations vulnerable people are being housed in "horrific" conditions. In her six years as Home Secretary the Prime Minister did not inspect any of the properties used across the UK. Now members of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee have urged her to make the journey before a multi-million pound contract is extended. (Kate Devlin, The Herald)
Image: UN Human Rights Chief Deplores Mass Executions in Iran
09/08/2016
UN Human Rights Chief Deplores Mass Executions in Iran
5 August 2016 – The United Nations human rights chief has deplored the execution of 20 people in Iran this week for purported terrorism-related offences. “The application of overly broad and vague criminal charges, coupled with a disdain for the rights of the accused to due process and a fair trial have in these cases led to a grave injustice,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a news release.
Image: MPs call for lone child refugees to be reunited with parents
02/08/2016
MPs call for lone child refugees to be reunited with parents
A new report published by the Home Affairs Select Committee, on 27 July 2016, an influential group of MPs have backed the Refugee Council’s call for child refugees who have reached Britain by themselves to be allowed to reunite with their parents.
Image: The Degrading Restriction on an Asylum Seeker’s Right to Work
02/08/2016
The Degrading Restriction on an Asylum Seeker’s Right to Work
Most asylum seekers arrive in the UK to escape their country of origin for fears of persecution, where the idea of state protection is unrealistic and or internal relocation is a possibility. Many have no intent or motive to come to the UK and only consider where they will be safe away from their perpetrators. They hope for a better future but instead, some spend their years in the UK stuck in an inefficient administrative process, in receipt of minimal support and suffering from emotional stress as a result of their traumas coupled with their inability to ever return to a life of normality. (Sangeetha Vairavamoorthy)
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – July 2016
02/08/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – July 2016
Eight situations deteriorated in July 2106: South Sudan, Mali, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Armenia, Turkey, Syria.  July saw protracted conflicts intensify, attempts to resolve them derail and political crises erupt or deepen.
Image: Refugee housing firm rakes in £192,000 profit
01/08/2016
Refugee housing firm rakes in £192,000 profit
A housing firm accused of providing asylum seekers with “horrific” accommodation has raked in nearly £200,000 profits. Orchard and Shipman, which has a £60million contract from Serco to provide accommodation on behalf of the Home Office, yesterday published accounts that revealed it made £192,911 in the 18 months from April 2014 to the end of September 2015. (Karin Goodwin, The National)
Image: Migrant Children Are Being Failed by UK
26/07/2016
Migrant Children Are Being Failed by UK
The UK is shirking its responsibility to care for thousands of unaccompanied migrant children, dismissing them as “somebody else’s problem”, a report has concluded. Unaccompanied migrant children have been systematically failed by the EU and its member states, including the UK, and as a result, thousands are living in “squalid” conditions, treated with suspicion by authorities and preyed upon by traffickers and people smugglers, according to the House of Lords EU home affairs subcommittee report. (Amelia Gentleman, Guardian)
Image: Broken Pledge: Children to be Sent Back to Immigration Detention
23/07/2016
Broken Pledge: Children to be Sent Back to Immigration Detention
One of the Coalition government’s first - and best - policies was to end the detention of children in immigration removal centres. But now it looks like May’s government is about to reverse that process. A written ministerial statement yesterday announced the closure of Cedars, a removal centre for families run by the charity Barnardo’s. Instead, the people who would have been sent there will be moved to a “discrete unit” at Tinsley House removal centre, near Gatwick. Discrete or not, the children of those families will be back in an immigration detention centre.
Image: UK Destitution on the Rise Among Refugees and Asylum Seekers
11/07/2016
UK Destitution on the Rise Among Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Almost 5,600 refugees and asylum seekers have been destitute in the UK in the first half of this year, according to British Red Cross figures released on 8 July. The number of people supported by the charity’s destitution services, which include the provision of food parcels, clothing and small amounts of emergency cash, has risen by 16% since the same period in 2015, during which 4,679 people were helped.
Image: The forgotten children
09/07/2016
The forgotten children
Last month, the High Court made an important ruling which could transform the futures of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK. Refugee Council Policy Manager Judith Dennis explains what happened and why the ruling is so important.
Image: Exodus, the shocking documentary that puts you on the sinking ship
08/07/2016
Exodus, the shocking documentary that puts you on the sinking ship
Shot by refugees fleeing to Europe to be broadcast on BBC 2, 11-13 July at 9pm.
A ground breaking new documentary gives cameras to refugees fleeing to Europe. The resulting three-part film takes you with them every step – from suburban flat to leaky dinghy to suffocating container. (The Guardian)
Image: Minister to investigate reports of mistreatment of Glasgow asylum seekers
06/07/2016
Minister to investigate reports of mistreatment of Glasgow asylum seekers
A Conservative minister has pledged to investigate reports of the ill-treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said that he would probe claims that some cannot lock the doors of their accommodation. The vow came as SNP MP Chris Stephens raised concerns about what have been described as 'horrific' conditions. (Kate Devlin, The Herald Scotland)
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – June 2016
05/07/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – June 2016
Five situations deteriorated in June 16: Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Turkey. Improved Situations: Colombia 
Image: UN Calls for ‘Humane Solution’ for Refugees and Migrants
28/06/2016
UN Calls for ‘Humane Solution’ for Refugees and Migrants
In Paris on 25 June 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the countries of Europe as well as the international community at large to work towards a compassionate and humane solution to the problem of refugees and migrants, emphasizing that he counts on the European Union and Britain to continue as strong partners of the UN on development and humanitarian issues. (Human Wrongs Watch)
Image: What Brexit means for... the refugee crisis
25/06/2016
What Brexit means for... the refugee crisis
Much has been made of the impact the Brexit vote is likely to have on EU migrants and their free movement in and out of Britain. But the impact on refugees, often the most vulnerable migrants of all, should not be ignored. (Lucy Gregg Politics.co.uk)
Image: The child refugees being unlawfully detained by the Home Office
23/06/2016
The child refugees being unlawfully detained by the Home Office
Anyone who's ever worked in a pub knows it can be pretty impossible to always guess someone's age correctly just by looking at them. But that's exactly what the Home Office has been trying to do to unaccompanied child refugees and the consequences have been calamitous. (Judith Dennis Politics.co.uk)
Image: Global forced displacement hits record high
20/06/2016
Global forced displacement hits record high
UNHCR Global Trends report finds 65.3 million people, or one person in 113, were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015.
Wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at any time since UNHCR records began, according to a new report released today by the UN Refugee Agency. The report, entitled Global Trends, noted that on average 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, four times more than a decade earlier, when six people fled every 60 seconds.
Image: International Refugee Day - 20 June 2016
17/06/2016
International Refugee Day - 20 June 2016
A joint statement from Scotland’s faith communities
On International Refugee Day 2016 we offer our solidarity to those seeking sanctuary, and we encourage and commend faith communities who work with refugees to provide hospitality and to seek to build mutual understanding.
Image: Human Rights and Migration Justice and Peace Europe
13/06/2016
Human Rights and Migration Justice and Peace Europe

Grace Buckley J&P Scotland's European Representative, recently took part in a Working Party on Human Rights and Migration, in Athens. This was two days of work and discussion and a day of visits to Caritas Greece/Athens refugee projects. Here Grace tells of one aspect of the visit

Image: Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - May 2016
08/06/2016
Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - May 2016
Deteriorated Situations: Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Turkey, Venezuela.  Improved Situations: None
Image: Early day motion 136: UK'S RELATIONSHIP WITH SAUDI ARABIA
07/06/2016
Early day motion 136: UK'S RELATIONSHIP WITH SAUDI ARABIA
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House notes with considerable concern the Government's continued support for the government of Saudi Arabia; is dismayed by continuing serious and systematic human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, such as the severe restriction of freedom of expression, association and assembly, the use of the death penalty and flogging, and the lack of basic rights for women and immigrant workers;
Image:  Addressing the needs of  unaccompanied asylum seeking children  and child refugees in Scotland
07/06/2016
Addressing the needs of unaccompanied asylum seeking children and child refugees in Scotland
The Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre has published a timely new Briefing that sets out concrete recommendations for addressing the needs of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Child Refugees arriving in Scotland.  

 
Image: MPs raise concerns on treatment of refugees and asylum seekers
06/06/2016
MPs raise concerns on treatment of refugees and asylum seekers
A group of MPs has made a series of recommendations calling on the Government to improve the support and protection it gives to asylum seekers and refugees. In its latest commentary on the quarterly immigration statistics, the Home Affairs Select Committee make a number of criticisms of the way the Government is currently treating asylum seekers and refugees. Among these criticisms is a call for the Home Office to rethink the way they treat unaccompanied asylum seeking children when they reach 18, with the Committee saying children should not be sent back to dangerous countries. (Ekklesia)
Image: Immigration Statistics Q1 January/February/March 2016
27/05/2016
Immigration Statistics Q1 January/February/March 2016
Published Thursday 26th March 2016
Asylum applications from main applicants increased by 38% to 34,687 in the year ending March 2016, the highest number of applications since the year ending September 2004 (36,305). The largest number of applications for asylum came from nationals of Iran (4,305), followed by Eritrea (3,321), Iraq (2,805), Sudan (2,769), Pakistan (2,669) and Syria (2,539). Including dependants, the number of asylum applications increased by 30% to 41,563 in the year ending March 2016. There was around 1 dependant for every 5 main applicants.
Image: Immigration Bill becomes an Act
16/05/2016
Immigration Bill becomes an Act
On 12 May 2016, the Immigration Bill 2015-16 received Royal Assent, which means it now becomes the 2016 Immigration Act. In those words, a great deal is bound up. What’s been won, and what’s been lost. Read the 'Right to Remain' blog on the Immigration Act.
Image: Government Should Not Proceed With Plans To Increase Immigration Court Fees
13/05/2016
Government Should Not Proceed With Plans To Increase Immigration Court Fees
Please sign the petition to the UK Govt.
The Government has proposed a massive increase in the fees that immigrants and asylum seekers pay to have their immigration/asylum cases heard in court. This huge rise in fee (eg. from £140 to £800 for a hearing in court) will prevent individuals from being able to take their cases to court.
If the Home Office makes an incorrect decision on someone's case, this can usually be appealed in court.
Image: Groups line up to damn way asylum system lets kids down
13/05/2016
Groups line up to damn way asylum system lets kids down
THE “scandal” of refugee children made destitute after winning the right to stay in Scotland has been laid bare in new figures.  The Refugee Survival Trust (RST) awards lifeline grants to asylum seekers and refugees cut off from support. (Kirsteen Paterson, The National)
Image: Hope has no expiry date – Cardinal Bo
12/05/2016
Hope has no expiry date – Cardinal Bo
Much is expected of Aung San Suu Kyi, who in April of this year became the leader of Myanmar’s first democratically elected government since 1962. In a country where Buddhist, Muslim and Christian have a troubled shared history, it is surely asking the miraculous (as the New York Times’ editorial board did on May 9) to present to the world a policy that can immediately pour oil on troubled waters.
Image: Qatar: 0, Forced Labour: 1
10/05/2016
Qatar: 0, Forced Labour: 1
Call on Qatar to take action on forced labour - Walk Free email action
Narayan Nepali knows the horror of forced labour in Qatar first-hand. He travelled from Nepal on the promise of a well-paid job. When he arrived his passport was confiscated by an employer and his nightmare began. Unfortunately, as construction for the football World Cup 2022 intensifies, more migrant workers will be vulnerable to forced labour than ever before.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees April 2016
09/05/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees April 2016
Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Gambia, Iraq, Macedonia, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Republic of Congo, Syria. April saw fighting escalate again in Syria and Afghanistan, and erupt in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenian-backed separatists and Azerbaijani forces.
Image: David Cameron announces concessions on Syrian child refugees
04/05/2016
David Cameron announces concessions on Syrian child refugees
Campaigning does work - thanks to all who emailed their MP and signed the petition
PM climbs down, saying he will not stand in way of amendment for UK to take in unaccompanied children already in Europe. David Cameron has given in to calls for the UK to accept unaccompanied refugee children from Greece, Italy and France in a bid to avoid defeat in the House of Commons. (The Guardian)
Image: Death-Trap Clothing Factories Persist Three Years on From Rana Plaza
22/04/2016
Death-Trap Clothing Factories Persist Three Years on From Rana Plaza
Three years ago on 24 March the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, came crashing down in what remains the worst industrial accident in the global garment industry. Over 1,134 people were killed and thousands more left seriously injured. Heartbreaking images of limbs, dust, rubble and tangled reams of brightly coloured fabrics made headlines worldwide, the ruined remains of the lives of thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers. (The Huffington Post) #FashionRevolutionDay
Image:  Child refugees: new proposal  returns to House of Commons
19/04/2016
Child refugees: new proposal returns to House of Commons
Please email your MP
After a narrow defeat in the House of Commons by 18 votes on Monday 25 April, an amendment to the immigration bill will return to the House of Commons most probably the week beginning 9 May. Please email your MP immediately asking them to support this amendment, which will ask the Government to resettle “a specified number” of children in consultation with local councils.
Image: Britain must not turn its back on child refugees in Europe
19/04/2016
Britain must not turn its back on child refugees in Europe
Please sign this petition as a matter of urgency. The Government should accept the call to give sanctuary to child refugees who are alone and at risk in Europe.
Image: A Safe Haven?
19/04/2016
A Safe Haven?
Thirteen aid and development agencies have come together to say that 'while the UK government has been a leader in providing assistance to countries hosting large numbers of refugees, it has fallen short of its moral responsibility to provide safe routes to protection for people seeking refuge in the UK, and has failed to advocate for an approach that protects the rights of all people on the move'.
Image: Council of Europe Condemns EU's Refugee Deal With Turkey
18/04/2016
Council of Europe Condemns EU's Refugee Deal With Turkey
Europe’s leading human rights body has issued a stinging indictment of the EU’s refugee deal with Turkey, which it said at worst exceeds the limits of what is permissible under international law. A report from the Council of Europe’s assembly listed numerous concerns on human rights, from keeping migrants in overcrowded and insanitary detention centres on the Greek islands to inadequate legal protection for people seeking to appeal against rejection of an asylum claim. (Jennifer Rankin, Guardian, 20/04/2016)
Image: Refugees don’t need our tears. They need us to stop making them refugees
18/04/2016
Refugees don’t need our tears. They need us to stop making them refugees

In the desert, the smugglers lace their water with petrol so the smuggled won’t gulp it down and cost more. Sometimes the trucks they’re packed into stall crossing the Sahara; they have to jump out to push, and some are left behind when the trucks drive off again.  (Anders Lustgarten The Guardian)

Image: Immigration Bill detention amendments
12/04/2016
Immigration Bill detention amendments
Contact your MP to ask them to support two key Lords Amendments on detention
The Immigration Bill continues to make its way through Parliament and on 25 April returns to the House of Commons where MPs will consider amendments made during its passage through the House of Lords. There are two key amendments regarding detention: Lords Amendment 84 and 85. (Scottish Detainee Visitors)
Image: Fourfold Rise as 95,000 Unaccompanied Children Claim Asylum in Europe in 2015
12/04/2016
Fourfold Rise as 95,000 Unaccompanied Children Claim Asylum in Europe in 2015
At least 95,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in Europe last year, four times the numbers for 2014, Bureau research can reveal. The huge increase was discovered by the Bureau during an investigation into the level of migration among unaccompanied under-18 year olds in Europe and the stark inconsistencies in the way they are treated. (Source: Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
Image: Home Office deports three times more teenagers to war-torn countries than previously admitted
11/04/2016
Home Office deports three times more teenagers to war-torn countries than previously admitted
The Government has deported three times as many teenagers to countries ravaged by war and poverty than ministers have previously admitted, figures seen by The Independent reveal. Charities and politicians have warned the 'life or death' decisions of whether to deport young people are being mishandled by a 'callous' Home Office without a grip on the facts. (Jon Stone The Independent) 
Image: Human Rights in Europe: Do Not Leave the Battlefield
11/04/2016
Human Rights in Europe: Do Not Leave the Battlefield
'2015 was a year of fear and insecurity in Europe. The conflict in eastern Ukraine and on going economic malaise were overshadowed by a sense of vulnerability to terrorist threats and panic at the apparent inability to cope with the influx of asylum seekers'. Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, 18/04/2016.
Image: Help End the Detention of Pregnant Women! - contact your MP
08/04/2016
Help End the Detention of Pregnant Women! - contact your MP
The Home Office has proposed a new policy to protect vulnerable people including pregnant women (‘Adults at Risk’ policy), but there are concernsthat it is very similar to the previous policy, which failed to protect pregnant women. We believe the only way to make sure pregnant women are not detained is to implement Stephen Shaw’s recommendation and to introduce an absolute ban on them being detained.
Image: New report shows M&S living wage commitment to be misleading
06/04/2016
New report shows M&S living wage commitment to be misleading
Labour Behind the Label's recent report on M&S and H&M looks into the stories behind two leading high-street brands who have made claims to be ensuring a fair living wage is possible for their workers. The results? Low wages, slum housing and little evidence of change.
Image: Saudi executions on course to double 2015 total
05/04/2016
Saudi executions on course to double 2015 total
This year (2016) has seen Saudi Arabia execute 82 people so far, according to new research by the international human rights organisation Reprieve – which suggests the Kingdom is on course to behead twice as many prisoners as last year. (Ekklesia)
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – March 2016
04/04/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – March 2016
Eight Deteriorated Situations in March 2016:  Belgium, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Western Sahara
Image: Scottish Refugee Council launches Scottish Parliament elections manifesto
02/04/2016
Scottish Refugee Council launches Scottish Parliament elections manifesto
The Scottish Refugee Council is calling on politicians to build a better future for refugees in Scotland. Their recently published manifesto, sets out five recommendations for the new Scottish Government to be elected in May 2016.
Image: The UK Government will not #LetThemFly
01/04/2016
The UK Government will not #LetThemFly
At the recent  special summit on Syrian refugees, the UK Government shamefully failed to respond to the UN’s call to offer more Syrian families safe passage. But it’s not over yet.
Image: Rainforest Foundation and Ethical Consumer Palm Oil Campaign
01/04/2016
Rainforest Foundation and Ethical Consumer Palm Oil Campaign
Ethical Consumer has joined forces with the Rainforest Foundation in a ground-breaking collaboration to respond to the threat now facing the Congo rainforest. Their research is now powering the campaign to encourage consumers to buy the best rated products, forcing companies to use more sustainably sourced palm oil.
Image: Council of Europe Commissioner condemns anti-migration rhetoric
26/03/2016
Council of Europe Commissioner condemns anti-migration rhetoric
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has published a Memorandum addressed to the UK Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, in which he condemns the use of anti migrant language and rhetoric by Ministers including David Cameron and Theresa May, criticises discriminatory and disproportionate measures against migrants and expresses disappointment with the UK’s lack of solidarity with other EU Member States
Image: Anxious Dictators, Wavering Democracies, Freedom of the World 2016
11/03/2016
Anxious Dictators, Wavering Democracies, Freedom of the World 2016
The world was battered in 2015 by overlapping crises that fuelled xenophobic sentiment in democratic countries, undermined the economies of states dependent on the sale of natural resources, and led authoritarian regimes to crack down harder on dissent. These unsettling developments contributed to the 10th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.
Image: Let them fly: ask the Government to offer safe passage to Syrians
08/03/2016
Let them fly: ask the Government to offer safe passage to Syrians
Email your MP now
Imagine you and your family were fleeing war and terror but you had no legal way to escape your country and find safety. No other country would give you a visa for travel and that would mean you couldn’t simply get on a plane and escape. This is the reality many refugees searching for safety are faced with. They have virtually no options for safe, legal international travel.
Image:  Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – February 2016
07/03/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – February 2016
Eight Deteriorated Situations in February 2016: Afghanistan, Chad, Korean Peninsula, Mozambique, Somalia, Turkey, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
Image: Stand Up To Racism March and Rally - Glasgow March 19
01/03/2016
Stand Up To Racism March and Rally - Glasgow March 19
Join Justice and Peace at the Stand Up To Racism March and Rally on March 19th. Assemble at 11am at George Square, Glasgow. There will be a number of speakers on the day.
Image: Asylum seekers allegedly locked out of homes
01/03/2016
Asylum seekers allegedly locked out of homes
Asylum seekers in Scotland have allegedly been locked out of their homes in breach of agreed eviction guidelines. An ex-employee of housing provider Orchard & Shipman (O&S) said this "brutal" practice can leave them destitute and homeless. BBC Scotland has also seen company emails instructing staff to "remove individuals" from specific addresses. The housing company has strongly denied breaching guidelines. (BBC Scotland)
Image: Early day motion 1156: Independent Investigation into Compass Asylum Contracts
01/03/2016
Early day motion 1156: Independent Investigation into Compass Asylum Contracts
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House expresses its serious concern about the allegations in The Times Scotland on Thursday 18 February of dehumanising treatment, neglect and poor standards of accommodation for those seeking asylum in the UK who have been dispersed to Glasgow; notes that these allegations pertain to Orchard and Shipman in particular, who have been sub-contracted by Serco, itself under contract from the Home Office
Image: Immigration Statistics Q4 October/November/December 2015
26/02/2016
Immigration Statistics Q4 October/November/December 2015
Detention/Adults: The number of people entering detention in 2015 increased by 7% to 32,446 from 30,364 in the previous year. Over the same period there was a 12% increase in those leaving detention (from 29,674 to 33,189). As at the end of December 2015, 2,607 people were in detention, 25% lower than the number recorded at the end of December 2014 (3,462). The fall may be partially attributed to the closure of Dover IRC in October 2015 and changes to the detained fast track asylum process.
Image: Restrictive measures adding to refugee hardship says UN
26/02/2016
Restrictive measures adding to refugee hardship says UN
The United Nations refugee agency has expressed concern at recent restrictive practices adopted in a number of European countries that are placing additional undue hardships on refugees and asylum-seekers across Europe, creating chaos at several border points, and putting particular pressure on Greece as it struggles to deal with larger numbers of people in need of accommodation and services. (Ekklesia) 
Image: Early day motion 880: Human Rights Violations and Natural Resource Extraction
23/02/2016
Early day motion 880: Human Rights Violations and Natural Resource Extraction
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House condemns serious and systematic human rights violations resulting from natural resource extraction operations around the world, as highlighted recently in a conference organised by the Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme; recognises that mining, oil and gas extraction projects are often a source of considerable conflict, threatening indigenous and other communities living on the land; believes that women from affected communities are at particular risk from irresponsible mining practices, as they can face dispossession, displacement and sexual and gender-based violence
Image: Inquiry Call Over Treatment of Glasgow Asylum Seekers
19/02/2016
Inquiry Call Over Treatment of Glasgow Asylum Seekers
The Scottish Refugee Council has called for an investigation into allegations about the way asylum seekers are treated and housed in Glasgow. It follows claims in The Times newspaper that refugees have been kept in dirty and dangerous homes and have felt threatened and humiliated. The allegations include the case of a mother and baby housed in a cockroach-infested property in Glasgow.
Image: Conflicts and Violence Take 'Huge Toll' On Children in 2015
19/02/2016
Conflicts and Violence Take 'Huge Toll' On Children in 2015
Increasingly complex and widening conflicts have taken a huge toll on children in much of the Middle East in 2015, with parts of Africa and Asia facing protracted and relapsing wars that show no signs of abating, a senior United Nations child rights official said Monday 15th February 2016. Describing in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council how extreme violence affected countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, stressed that groups perpetrating extreme violence particularly targeted children.
Image: Easter Greetings to Prisoners of Conscience
15/02/2016
Easter Greetings to Prisoners of Conscience
Action by Chritians Against Torture campaign
This is an invitation to send a message of support and greeting to endangered or persecuted Christians at Easter time. They focus especially on those who have been tortured and/or are still threatened with abuse. ACAT hope that you can give these names wide coverage and also send them Easter Greetings.
Image: Labour Behind the Label: new report on living wage for garment workers
15/02/2016
Labour Behind the Label: new report on living wage for garment workers
Labour Behind the Label's new report, shows that despite M&S's commitment to ensure suppliers would be able to pay a living wage to workers by 2015, workers in all of their main production countries continue to live in poverty. (Sarah Butler, theguardian.com)
Image: Safe Routes Save Lives: Student Action for Refugees Epetition
14/02/2016
Safe Routes Save Lives: Student Action for Refugees Epetition
Ask David Cameron to save lives by giving refugees safe routes to protection
3,772 people drowned last year while trying to find safety in Europe and 410 have died already in 2016. Refugees in Europe are stuck at borders in the freezing cold waiting for protection, families are separated and 10,000 children have gone missing. The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War and the number of refugees worldwide is continuing to rise.
Image: Thousands of child asylum seekers deported back to war zones, Home Office admits
10/02/2016
Thousands of child asylum seekers deported back to war zones, Home Office admits
Thousands of young people who sought refuge in Britain as unaccompanied child asylum-seekers have been deported to repressive regimes and countries partly controlled by Isis and the Taliban, the Home Office has admitted. Over the past nine years 2,748 young people – many of whom had spent formative years in the UK, forging friendships and going to school – have been returned to countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria. (Maeve McClenaghan, The Independent)
Image: Help protect domestic workers in the UK
08/02/2016
Help protect domestic workers in the UK
Walk Free Email Action
Excited for a new opportunity and the chance to help her family financially, Sara was brought to the UK by a family to work as a domestic worker in their home. But far from the life she imagined, she found herself locked in the house, working round the clock, with no-one to turn to for help. With support from a neighbour, Sara was able to escape, and now she is doing everything she can to help domestic workers still trapped in slavery
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – January 2016
05/02/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – January 2016
Deteriorated Situations: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Korean Peninsula, Yemen
Image: World Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking - 8 February
05/02/2016
World Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking - 8 February
A Light Against Human Trafficking
This is the 2nd World Day of Prayer 2016. We are asked to renew our encounter and  join together the values, choices and everyday actions that favour the end of all forms of exploitation and trafficking in persons. We devote a bit of our time to pray and reflect, to think and dream about the dignity and freedom of every person.
Image: 'Forward to Freedom' Exhibition in Scotland
01/02/2016
'Forward to Freedom' Exhibition in Scotland
'Forward to Freedom' Exhibition in Scotland. This exhibition on the history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement will be touring Scotland over the next few months, starting 1st to 5th February - in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
Image: Human Rights Watch World Report 2016: ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights
29/01/2016
Human Rights Watch World Report 2016: ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights
In the 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of refugees spawned by repression and conflict led many governments to curtail rights in misguided efforts to protect their security. At the same time, authoritarian governments throughout the world, fearful of peaceful dissent that is often magnified by social media, embarked on the most intense crackdown on independent groups in recent times.
Image: Pope Francis’ message for The World Day of Migrants and Refugees - 17 January 2016
18/01/2016
Pope Francis’ message for The World Day of Migrants and Refugees - 17 January 2016
In our time, migration is growing worldwide. Refugees and people fleeing from their homes challenge individuals and communities, and their traditional ways of life; at times they upset the cultural and social horizons which they encounter. Increasingly, the victims of violence and poverty, leaving their homelands, are exploited by human traffickers during their journey towards the dream of a better future. If they survive the abuses and hardships of the journey, they then have to face latent suspicions and fear.
Image: Immigration Detention: Vulnerable Persons (Government Response to Shaw Report)
15/01/2016
Immigration Detention: Vulnerable Persons (Government Response to Shaw Report)
First, the Government accept Mr Shaw’s recommendations to adopt a wider definition of those at risk, including victims of sexual violence, individuals with mental health issues, pregnant women, those with learning difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder and elderly people, and to recognise the dynamic nature of vulnerabilities. It will introduce a new “adult at risk” concept into decision-making on immigration detention with a clear presumption that people who are at risk should not be detained, building on the existing legal framework.
Image: UK Must Drastically Reduce Use of Detention, Says Shaw Immigration Report
15/01/2016
UK Must Drastically Reduce Use of Detention, Says Shaw Immigration Report
An independent review into the welfare of immigration detainees commissioned by the home secretary has called for ministers to reduce “boldly and without delay” the 30,000 people detained each year. The report by Stephen Shaw, the former prisons and probation ombudsman, calls for a complete ban on the detention of pregnant women in immigration centres such as Yarl’s Wood. He says there should also be a “presumption against detention” of victims of rape and sexual violence, people with learning difficulties, and those with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Image: Record Number of Asylum Seekers in UK Destitute
13/01/2016
Record Number of Asylum Seekers in UK Destitute
A record number of asylum seekers in Britain are being left destitute, and planned legislation could plunge thousands more into poverty,  according to the British Red Cross.The charity said it had supported more than 9,000 refugees and asylum seekers who were destitute last year, compared with 7,700 in 2014. The youngest was less than one year old and the oldest was 81
Image: It's time to end modern slavery - Ratify the Protocol
12/01/2016
It's time to end modern slavery - Ratify the Protocol
email Action
Modern day slavery is everywhere: from the cotton farms of Uzbekistan, to domestic workers in Mauritania and cattle ranches in Paraguay; from the fisheries in the Philippines, to the World Cup construction sites in Qatar. The production chain of the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the World Cup that you'll watch on TV is hiding a harsh reality for millions of workers. Call on the government to ratify the protocol to end forced labour.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - December 2015
06/01/2016
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - December 2015
5 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in December 2015, according to CrisisWatch 149. Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Niger

2015

Image: International Migrants Day Friday 18th December
17/12/2015
International Migrants Day Friday 18th December
 The United Nations' (UN) International Migrants Day a global observance is annually held on December 18 to recognize the efforts, contributions and rights of migrants worldwide. The number of international migrants has increased from 75 million to about 200 million in the past 30 years and migrants can be found in every part of the world. This year, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of the UN's International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (commonly referred to as the Migrant Worker’s Convention or Migrant Rights Convention). It was approved by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 18, 1990.
Image: 10th December is Human Rights Day
10/12/2015
10th December is Human Rights Day
"On Human Rights Day, let us recommit to guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and protecting the human rights of all." United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Image: Immigration Bill Bad News for Families
09/12/2015
Immigration Bill Bad News for Families
The 2015 Immigration Bill, which is currently making its way through parliament, could have grave implications for asylum-seeking families if passed without amendment. One of the central proposals is to remove all means of welfare support from families refused asylum. (Katie Bales, Open Democracy)
Image: UN – end contract with G4S - Email action
07/12/2015
UN – end contract with G4S - Email action
G4S profits from Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine. So why is the UN giving them $22 million? Waging violence is bad enough. Profiting from it? That’s even worse. But that’s what G4S, a British 'defence' conglomerate, does everyday. They run for-profit prisons and detention centres in occupied Palestine -- and with over 1800 Palestinian men, women, and children arrested in the last 2 months, business is booming.
04/12/2015
Saudi Arabia preparing to carry out mass execution

The government of Saudi Arabia is preparing to execute some 52 prisoners at once, including several juveniles arrested at protests, according to reports.  Several Arabic media outlets have this week reported official sources as saying that 52 prisoners are set to be executed in the near future. The reports appear to suggest that among those executed will be six youths arrested at protests in the country’s Eastern Province – including juveniles Ali al Nimr, Dawoud al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher. All three were tortured into bogus ‘confessions’ that would be used to convict them. (Ekklesia)

Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - November 2015
02/12/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - November 2015

Eight actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and two improved in November 2015, according to CrisisWatch 148. Deteriorated Situations: Bangladesh, France, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nepal, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela

Image: Immigration/ Migration/ Asylum/ Deportation Statistics Q3 July/August/September 2015
26/11/2015
Immigration/ Migration/ Asylum/ Deportation Statistics Q3 July/August/September 2015

Children in Detention: The number of children entering detention in the year ending September 2015 increased slightly to 154 from 151 in the previous year. This was an 86% fall compared with the beginning of the data series in 2009 (1,119). In the third quarter of 2015, 31 children entered detention, compared with 32 in the third quarter of 2014 and 72 in the third quarter of 2013. Of the 31 children, 14 were initially detained at Tinsley House (Family Unit) immigration removal centre (IRC), 7 at Cedars pre-departure accommodation (PDA) and 10 at other IRCs and short-term holding facilities (STHFs).

Image: Home Office Criticised Over Delays in Immigration Cases
11/11/2015
Home Office Criticised Over Delays in Immigration Cases
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman investigated 158 complaints against the Home Office and agencies last year, and upheld 69% of them.  That is more than double the average for the public sector. In one case, a teenage refugee had to wait nearly 10 years before he was allowed to stay.
Image: Ask your MP to vote to reunite refugee families - email action
09/11/2015
Ask your MP to vote to reunite refugee families - email action
On the 1st of December MPs will be voting on making changes to the rules which would which would allow more refugee families to live together. Ask your MP to support the reunion of refugee families.  Please email your MP before 1st December
Image: Christmas Greeting Card Campaign 2015
06/11/2015
Christmas Greeting Card Campaign 2015

If you would like to send greeting cards to prisoners of conscience this Christmas, Action by Christians Against Torture have lists of prisoners who are, victims of torture, persecuted Christians, or members of human rights groups. Please make sure you follow the guidelines when sending your cards

Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - October 2015
04/11/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - October 2015
Deteriorated Situations: Central African Republic, Israel/Palestine, Macedonia, Republic of Congo, South China Sea, Turkey. As armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere continued to inflict much suffering and instability around the world, the heads of the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross issued an unprecedented joint warning about the impact of today’s conflicts on civilians and called on states to redouble their efforts to find sustainable solutions to conflicts
Image: Stand up for Justice - Traidcraft campaign
03/11/2015
Stand up for Justice - Traidcraft campaign
Choked by gas pollution from a factory; Forced to leave your home to make way for a plantation; Threatened with violence if you question what is going on. This is what is happening to some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people because of the activities of some UK-linked companies. We wouldn’t find this acceptable – so why should they?
Image: Public Services under attack through TTIP and CETA
02/11/2015
Public Services under attack through TTIP and CETA
Several organisations, have published the report “Public services under attack. TTIP, CETA, and the secretive collusion between business lobbyists and trade negotiators.”
Image: STUC St Andrew’s Day Anti Racist Rally 2015
01/11/2015
STUC St Andrew’s Day Anti Racist Rally 2015
Saturday 28 November - Glasgow
Gather Glasgow Green 10:30, March off 11.00 Rally GFT 12noon
Image: Early Day Motion 561: Family Reunification For Refugees
23/10/2015
Early Day Motion 561: Family Reunification For Refugees
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House notes that refugees have a legal right under UK and international law to be reunited with their families; further notes that refugees seeking reunion are often faced with extreme levels of stress and anxiety, which are only worsened by separation and isolation from their loved ones who remain frequently in desperate and dangerous circumstances overseas;
Image: Top 10 questions refugees ask us when they arrive in Europe:
20/10/2015
Top 10 questions refugees ask us when they arrive in Europe:
Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war-ravaged Syria and other countries in crisis are making desperate choices to seek safety in Europe. More than half of them are landing by boat on the Greek island of Lesbos. (International Rescue Committee)
Image: What changes are proposed in the Immigration Bill 2015-16
13/10/2015
What changes are proposed in the Immigration Bill 2015-16
The Commons Library has produced a briefing paper reviewing the provisions of the Immigration Bill which is due to have its second reading in the Commons on 13 October 2015.  The Bill sets out proposed changes relating to access to services, facilities, licences and work.
Image: Theresa May Announces Drive to Limit Right to Claim Asylum
07/10/2015
Theresa May Announces Drive to Limit Right to Claim Asylum
A major drive to limit the right to claim asylum in Britain has been announced by the home secretary, Theresa May, prompting criticism from some business leaders and refugee groups. Outlining her “tough new plan for asylum”, May made clear that asylum claims for people affected by war and oppression should be processed in neighbouring countries, rather than the UK offering asylum to those wealthy and fit enough to make it to the country. (Alan Travis, Guardian, 06/10/2015)
Image: Scotland Welcomes Refuges
06/10/2015
Scotland Welcomes Refuges
The Refugee Council and the Scottish Government launch new online hub for people who want to help with refugee crisis
Image: Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - September 2015
05/10/2015
Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - September 2015
10 Actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and 3 improved in September 2015, according to CrisesWatch 146. Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Yemen. Conflict Risk Alerts: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic
Image: Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum: Stop the Separation Barrier
29/09/2015
Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum: Stop the Separation Barrier
Please sign the Petition
The National Coalition of Christian Organisations in Palestine and the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches invite you to sign the petition. Stop the illegal Separation Barrier!
Image: EU: Leaders Duck Responsibilities on Refugees
25/09/2015
EU: Leaders Duck Responsibilities on Refugees
European Union leaders meeting on September 23, 2015, focused on how to stem the flow of asylum seekers instead of strategies for a responsible, humane response to the crisis at its borders. The meeting produced a statement that makes a nod to full implementation of the common European asylum system – a set of binding laws to ensure harmonized procedures, recognition rates, and reception conditions. But the reality is that asylum seekers face a protection lottery in the EU due to wide disparities in standards and conditions.  Human Rights Watch, 24/09/2015
Image: Early day motion 480: Glasgow Welcomes Refugees
18/09/2015
Early day motion 480: Glasgow Welcomes Refugees
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House is pleased to note the vigil in George Square, Glasgow, which took place on 12 September 2015 to show solidarity with refugees fleeing Syria; considers that those attending the vigil also called for the Government to increase vastly the number of refugees it proposes to settle in the UK who have fled conflict and an increasingly desperate humanitarian crisis;
Image: Refugees Are Welcome Here public meeting - Glasgow
16/09/2015
Refugees Are Welcome Here public meeting - Glasgow
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 from 19:00 to 21:00 (Doors will open at 18.00 for refreshments before the event. Sir Charles Wilson Building, 1 University Avenue, G12 8NN Glasgow.
Image: Catholic Bishops offer support to refugees
11/09/2015
Catholic Bishops offer support to refugees

In a letter to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the President of Scotland’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference has offered to assist the Scottish Government in accepting refugees. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has written in support of the First Minister’s response and "inspired by Pope Francis" to "offer the assistance of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland in any plans that may emerge in the months to come to support and assist the new arrivals to our country"

Image: Early day motion 374 - Tackling the Refugee Crisis
08/09/2015
Early day motion 374 - Tackling the Refugee Crisis
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House notes with extreme concern the ongoing refugee crisis being witnessed in Europe and across the Mediterranean Sea; understands that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 350,000 migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea between January and August 2015; considers it a tragedy that over 2,600 refugees and migrants have died or gone missing whilst undertaking this perilous journey and that at least a further 1,000 have lost their lives along various other migration routes, including the Sahara Desert and South Asia's Bay of Bengal;
Image: Reflections on the Refugee Crisis
08/09/2015
Reflections on the Refugee Crisis

It is natural to be moved by the sight of thousands of displaced people clamouring to get away from war and oppression. It is natural but it is not enough. It takes more than a disorganised sense of compassion to arrange to care for and to help these people. The undoubted good will and energy needs to be mobilised and channeled for optimum effect. The immediate needs of charity, however, also need to be balanced by looking at the root causes of these events in the structures of injustice which have given rise to this displacement.

Image: EU: Five Steps to Tackle Refugee Crisis
04/09/2015
EU: Five Steps to Tackle Refugee Crisis
The European Union and its 28 member states should act immediately to address the human rights crisis resulting from years of mismanaging migration and asylum, Human Rights Watch said today. With a humanitarian crisis on the Greek islands, a dysfunctional asylum system in Hungary, thousands of new arrivals in need of protection, and many deaths at EU borders, bold steps are needed at an EU summit on September 14, 2105.
Image: Action and Prayer for Refugees
04/09/2015
Action and Prayer for Refugees
The images we have seen in recent days of the plight of refugees trying to seek asylum in Europe have been heart breaking. Justice and Peace Scotland suggests that we continue to ask the Westminster Government to respond in a humane way to the situation, and to continue to pray for all those whose lives are endangered, whose homes are lost, and whose quest to find safety for their families is thwarted by bureaucracy and a less than compassionate reaction from some governments.
Image: Where are you from
04/09/2015
Where are you from
In light of recent events, we share the editorial of our current magazine.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - August 2015
02/09/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - August 2015
9 Actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and 3 improved in August 2015, according to CrisisWatch 145. Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia/Venezuela, Guatemala, Kashmir, Lebanon, Nepal, Yemen
Image: Europe Can Do More To Protect Refugees
01/09/2015
Europe Can Do More To Protect Refugees
For many years European countries have been warned about the inadequacy of their immigration and asylum systems. Now, with increased refugee arrivals and more frequent tragedies, this system is showing all its weaknesses. But refugee arrivals are not the real cause of this collapse. The real reason is political. Nils Muižnieks, EU Commissioner for Human Rights  02/09/2015
Image: The Detention Forum: Consultation on support for failed asylum seekers
25/08/2015
The Detention Forum: Consultation on support for failed asylum seekers
The Home Office has put out a consultation reforming support for failed asylum seekers and 'illegal migrants'. Contrary to the media reporting which has so far focused on families with children, it appears that migrants in detention are one of the key targets of these cuts.  The proposal is to abolish support under Section 4(1) of the 1999 Act, which is the provision that allows people in detention to access bail addresses.
Image: Refugees in Legal Limbo as UK Cuts Scots Immigration Courts
21/08/2015
Refugees in Legal Limbo as UK Cuts Scots Immigration Courts

Refugees in Scotland face waiting up to a year for their asylum applications to be heard after the UK government slashed the number of cases which can be heard at Scotland's only immigration court.  Immigration lawyers say the number of courts sitting has been reduced from five or six a day to only two following moves by the Ministry of Justice.  (Herald 16/08/2015)

Image: Tainted Peace - Torture in Sri Lanka Since May 2009
17/08/2015
Tainted Peace - Torture in Sri Lanka Since May 2009
Torture has long been used in Sri Lanka to persecute minorities, crush dissent and stifle civil society. It is deeply entrenched in the fabric of the state and has persisted across the decades regardless of changes in political leadership. (Freedom from Torture )
Image: Yarl's Wood IRC - Not Meeting the Needs of Vulnerable Women - HMIP Report
12/08/2015
Yarl's Wood IRC - Not Meeting the Needs of Vulnerable Women - HMIP Report
"Yarl's Wood has deteriorated since its last inspection and the needs of the women held have grown. In my view, decisive action is needed to ensure that women are only detained as a last resort. Other well-respected bodies have recently called for time limits on administrative detention, and the concerns we have identified provide strong support for these calls." said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons as today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in Bedfordshire.
Image: 'Cruel' cuts to asylum-seekers' support payments will push children into poverty, claim charities
11/08/2015
'Cruel' cuts to asylum-seekers' support payments will push children into poverty, claim charities

The charities have joined forces to claim the cuts would make it almost impossible for refugees to afford to feed and clothe their families. Tens of thousands of asylum-seekers with children will be pushed deeper into poverty by “cruel” cuts to their support payments which come into force on 10 August, leading charities including the British Red Cross are warning. (The Independent 10 August 2015)

Image: Don't Believe the Press - Britain is Far From a Refugee Magnet
10/08/2015
Don't Believe the Press - Britain is Far From a Refugee Magnet
There is little sympathy for the refugees languishing in inhumane conditions in Calais, either from the mainstream press or much of British public opinion. "Migrant Runs 30 Miles Through Channel," booms the Express, referring to a Sudanese refugee who almost made it through the entire Channel tunnel. "We kept out Hitler," offers the ever level-headed Daily Mail. "Why can't our feeble leaders stop a few thousand exhausted migrants?" (Owen Jones, Guardian, 07/08/2015)
Image: Books not Bombs
07/08/2015
Books not Bombs
Please sign the E Petition
There’s now hope of a brighter future for the millions of out-of-school children trapped in conflict and emergency situations around the world. After receiving 8 million signatures, world leaders recently made a firm commitment to establish a fund for education in emergencies with Norway being the first to pledge funds. If these promises are fulfilled, children in these situations will be less vulnerable to being trafficked, exploited or abused.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - July 2015
06/08/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - July 2015
Deteriorated Situations: Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Kashmir, Turkey, Yemen. July saw a worsening of the situation in Yemen, where nearly 2,000 civilians have been killed since the war started in March, while in Turkey a dramatic escalation in violence led to the collapse of the state's two-year-old ceasefire with Kurdish insurgents
Image: UN Gift Boxes at the Fringe - Can you help?
04/08/2015
UN Gift Boxes at the Fringe - Can you help?
The Scottish Churches Anti-Human Trafficking Group (SCAHTG) are working in partnership with Edinburgh Presbytery and Stop the Traffik to host UN Gift Boxes during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from the 19th – 21st of August and are looking for volunteers to help.
Image: Not Enough Done For Survivors of Trafficking & Modern Slavery
28/07/2015
Not Enough Done For Survivors of Trafficking & Modern Slavery

Recent figures indicate an increase in the number of victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the UK. Yet a recent report from the Human Trafficking Foundation has accused the government of failing to provide adequate protection to individuals who have been trafficked, often leaving them exposed to further exploitation or vulnerability.

Image: Early Day Motion 344: Allowances For Asylum Seeking Children
23/07/2015
Early Day Motion 344: Allowances For Asylum Seeking Children
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
Parliament is now in recess, but your MP might be able to sign the motion electronically, or can sign it when Parliament resumes. That this House condemns the 30 per cent cut in the daily allowance of asylum seeking children from £7.50 to £5.20; notes that this cut goes against the High Court judgment of 9 April 2014 that the Government assessment omitted the cost of essential items such as nappies; deplores this disregard for children's welfare.
Image: Time To Debunk Myths and Prejudices About Roma Migrants in Europe
20/07/2015
Time To Debunk Myths and Prejudices About Roma Migrants in Europe
Political and media debates on Roma migration have become recurrent in several European countries.  Since the eastward expansion of the European Union in 2004 and 2007, and the lifting of employment restrictions regarding Romanian and Bulgarian citizens in a number of EU member states in 2014, fears of Roma migration have often triggered uninformed and inflammatory discourse.
Image: Asylum Seekers With Children to Have Support Payments Cut
18/07/2015
Asylum Seekers With Children to Have Support Payments Cut
Thousands of asylum seekers with children will have to live on £73.90 a week from August as a result of cuts of up to 30% in their support payments, the UK Home Office has announced. Ministers said the cuts, which would affect more than 27,800 destitute asylum seekers, were being made because the current payment system resulted in families with children in particular receiving "significantly more cash than is necessary" to meet their essential living needs.
Image: Children are Holders of Rights, in Their Own Right
08/07/2015
Children are Holders of Rights, in Their Own Right
The Council of Europe has been fighting for children's rights since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force 25 years ago-and even before. In that time there have been huge strides forward, not only in terms of the many special protections now in place for children, taking into account their unique vulnerability.
Image: Dungavel IRC - Report of unannounced inspection
07/07/2015
Dungavel IRC - Report of unannounced inspection
Report of an unannounced inspection
A report by the UK's chief prison inspector has highlighted concerns about the detention of vulnerable asylum seekers at Dungavel immigration removal centre. Good outcomes have been maintained for detainees at Dungavel and detainees were positive about their treatment but there were concerns about casework processes, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. The report of an unannounced inspection of the immigration removal centre was published  on Tuesday 7th July 2015
Image: Rainforest Rescue: Stop the Nicaragua Canal
02/07/2015
Rainforest Rescue: Stop the Nicaragua Canal
Email Action
Nicaragua is planning a new canal for container ships and oil tankers. While the project is economically important for China – the apparent driving force behind the canal – it would mean clear-cutting rainforests, mass resettlement and the destruction of Lake Nicaragua’s ecosystem.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2015
02/07/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2015
Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Chad, Kuwait, Myanmar, Tunisia. Extremist violence again dominated the month, with deadly attacks hitting Tunisia, Kuwait and Chad, while in Afghanistan the Taliban made further territorial gains and launched an unprecedented number of attacks.
Image: High Court Ends Fast Tracking of Asylum Appeals!
29/06/2015
High Court Ends Fast Tracking of Asylum Appeals!
The Court of Appeal on Friday 26th June 2015, finally brought to a halt the Detained Fast Track appeals process for asylum-seekers in detention. The Court of Appeal has lifted with immediate effect the stay on the High Court Order of 12 July 2015 ruling that the Fast Track appeals process is unlawful.
Image: International Day in support of Victims of Torture
26/06/2015
International Day in support of Victims of Torture
Vigil of Prayer for Victims of Torture
As in previous years the UK Branch of Action by Christians Against Torture will join with Christians around the world to keep a Vigil of Prayer victims of torture. Many European ACATs hold will be holding a prayer vigil during at least part of the night of 26th to 27th but others will be holding services or vigils at the weekend (28th ). This year’s theme is: What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them – human beings that you care for them?”  Psalm 8 v.5
Image: 30 Million Children Displaced by Conflict in 2014
19/06/2015
30 Million Children Displaced by Conflict in 2014
Almost 60 million people worldwide were forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution at the end of last year, the highest ever recorded number, the U.N. refugee agency said on Thursday, warning that the situation could deteriorate further. More than half the displaced from crises including Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia were children, UNHCR said in its annual Global Trends Report. (Joseph D'Urso, Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Image:  TTIP vote at European Parliament postponed at the last minute
15/06/2015
TTIP vote at European Parliament postponed at the last minute
A historic vote on the biggest trade deal ever negotiated between the EU and the US has had to be postponed after the European Parliament descended into chaos.  Our MEPs - were meant to have a series of votes on the deal. But after never-before-seen levels of pressure on MEPs from members of the public across Europe, politicians behind the deal were so worried about losing the votes that they cancelled them.
Image: World Day Against Child Labour - 12 June
12/06/2015
World Day Against Child Labour - 12 June
Hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
Image: Immigration: Battening Down the Hatches
09/06/2015
Immigration: Battening Down the Hatches
According to an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, in just the ten years to 2013, 3.4 million people were displaced by World Bank-funded projects around the globe: land grabs, dam projects, mines, power plants which leave a trail of broken livelihoods and broken promises of resettlement. These refugees of globalisation, along with refugees from war and persecution, make up the hundreds of thousands who, denied visas, denied boarding on any safe or legal means of transport, are risking their lives on the migrant boats in the Mediterranean in search of security and dignity in Europe. Verified deaths in the Mediterranean went from 600 in 2013 to 3,419 in 2014 and over 1,800 so far this year.
Image: Rana Plaza workers get compensation
09/06/2015
Rana Plaza workers get compensation
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) is delighted to announce a major campaign victory with the confirmation that the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund has finally met its target of $30 million, following a large anonymous donation.  The CCC has been campaigning since the disaster in April 2013 to demand that brands and retailers provided compensation to its victims.
Image: El Salvador vs Oceana Gold - URGENT EMAIL ACTION
05/06/2015
El Salvador vs Oceana Gold - URGENT EMAIL ACTION
In just a few weeks, a World Bank tribunal could decide whether the tiny Central American nation of El Salvador will have to dish out millions to a Canadian-Australian mining giant - just for rejecting a destructive gold mine. OceanaGold is suing El Salvador for a whopping $301 million under investor laws that allow corporations to shamelessly sue countries.
Image: Privacy and free speech under threat, warns Liberty
05/06/2015
Privacy and free speech under threat, warns Liberty
The Government appears to have delayed plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. While many of the Conservative manifesto commitments were in the legislative agenda, the Queen's speech said only that 'proposals' would be brought forward for a British Bill of Rights. (Ekklesia)
Image: Two Early Day Motions: EDM71 Dawn Raids EDM 72 Dungavel
03/06/2015
Two Early Day Motions: EDM71 Dawn Raids EDM 72 Dungavel
Please ask your MP to sign these EDMs
Early Day Motion 71: Dawn Raids By Border Agency Staff. Early Day Motion 72: Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre. House of Commons: 02.06.2015
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - May 2015
02/06/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - May 2015
10 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and 2 improved in May 2015, according to CrisisWatch N°142.  Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, Korean Peninsula, Macedonia, Pakistan, South China Sea, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Yemen
Image: World Cup? FIFA sponsors must tell Qatar to play fair on workers' human rights.
22/05/2015
World Cup? FIFA sponsors must tell Qatar to play fair on workers' human rights.
62 workers may lose their lives for each game played during Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, a tournament likely to be sponsored by FIFA partner companies Coke, VISA, McDonald’s, Adidas, Kia and Hyundai. Without sponsorship, this multi-billion dollar tournament couldn’t take place.
Image: Call on the Prime Minister to protect refugees in the Mediterranean
20/05/2015
Call on the Prime Minister to protect refugees in the Mediterranean

The world is in the grip of the greatest refugee crisis in recent memory. Shamefully, our leaders’ response has been to build the walls of fortress Europe ever higher, leaving desperate people dying disgracefully on our doorstep in the Mediterranean Sea. On the 25th of June, European leaders have the chance to take decisive action to save lives and stop the smugglers in their tracks by offering refugees another route to safety. TAKE ACTION TODAY

Image: Dungavel Demonstration 30th May
18/05/2015
Dungavel Demonstration 30th May
Saturday 30 May: Demonstration outside Dungavel removal centre. 12 noon. The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has criticised the Home Office after it refused to allow a delegation of political and religious leaders access to Dungavel detention centre following reports of a hunger-strike. A demonstration has been called for Dungavel on the 30 May which has the support of trade unions, churches and campaign groups. Please join Justice and Peace at this demonstration
Image: Immigration Statistics - Asylum - April 2014  to March 2015
12/05/2015
Immigration Statistics - Asylum - April 2014 to March 2015
There were 25,020 asylum applications in the year ending March 2015, an increase of 5% compared with the previous year (23,803). The number of applications remains low relative to the peak number of applications in 2002 (84,132).  In the year ending March 2015, the largest number of applications for asylum came from nationals of Eritrea (3,552), followed by Pakistan (2,421) and Syria (2,222).
Image: British Media Reporting on Migrants Causing International Concern
06/05/2015
British Media Reporting on Migrants Causing International Concern
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, has urged the UK to take action following a recent article in the Sun responding to the huge loss of human life of those attempting to make the crossing to Europe. The Sun article in question compares migrants to cockroaches and refers to them as 'feral humans.' Zeid is now calling on authorities, media and regulatory bodies to curb incitement of hatred.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - April 2015
01/05/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - April 2015
8 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in April 2015, according to CrisisWatch N°141. Deteriorated Situations: Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Kashmir, Nepal, South Sudan, Ukraine, Yemen
Image: Dungavel latest: Detainees in Scotland paid just £1 an hour by Guantanamo Bay firm
28/04/2015
Dungavel latest: Detainees in Scotland paid just £1 an hour by Guantanamo Bay firm

People held in Dungavel detention centre in South Lanarkshire are paid only £1 an hour for work, it has been revealed. Figures obtained by investigative campaign group Corporate Watch and reported in the Sunday Herald show that detainees at the centre in South Lanarkshire worked a total of 52,858 hours over 12 months between 2013 and October 2014 and were paid £52,858 over the same period. The work undertaken includes cooking, cleaning and laundry with detainees doing work to get money to pay for phone credit in order to call legal advisers and friends.

Image: Religious and Refugee Groups Denied Access to Dungavel
22/04/2015
Religious and Refugee Groups Denied Access to Dungavel
The Home Office has refused to allow religious and refugee representatives into the controversial Dungavel immigration centre in Scotland amid reports of detainees on hunger strike, it is claimed. An emergency motion before the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) AGM on Tuesday condemns the decision and calls for an end to detention within the asylum system.
Image: Draconian changes to applications to renew Discretionary Leave to Remain
20/04/2015
Draconian changes to applications to renew Discretionary Leave to Remain
On 6 April (Easter Monday) a sinister revolution took place in the renewal of Discretionary Leave to Remain. Until 5th April all applicants for renewal had to fill a form with about 15 pages in it, most of them redundant if the person had committed no offences over the 2½ or 3 years since they had been granted DLR. There was no fee - only the postage cost. Overnight applicants have to fill in a 32-page form and also have to pay £649 per individual, including dependant infants, plus a further £600 per person for a brand new "Immigration Health Surcharge".
Image: Will Rana Plaza victims finally get what they are owed?
20/04/2015
Will Rana Plaza victims finally get what they are owed?
This week the world will mark the second anniversary of the worst industrial accident in the history of the garment industry. We must always remember and never forget the thousands of people whose lives were lost or forever changed – all for the price of a cheap T-shirt.
Image: Go Home
16/04/2015
Go Home
Mapping the unfolding controversy of Home Office immigration campaigns
In July 2013, the UK Home Office launched a series of high-profile initiatives  aimed at directing public attention to what the government was doing to control ‘illegal immigration’. The most controversial of these was a billboard which asked ‘In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest’, which was mounted on a van driven around London boroughs. Our research project is about studying the impact and implications of these initiatives.
Image: Immigration Detention: Signs of Spring, or False Dawn?
02/04/2015
Immigration Detention: Signs of Spring, or False Dawn?
Campaigners have welcomed signs of movement around immigration detention - but celebration may be premature. In March 2015, the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) on Refugees and Migration produced a strong report whose main recommendation, that immigration detention be severely curtailed and strictly time-limited, echoed the demands made for decades by detainee groups, campaigners and international human rights bodies.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - March 2015
01/04/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - March 2015

3 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and 4 improved in March 2015, according to CrisisWatch N°140.  Deteriorated Situations: Burundi, South Sudan, Yemen. Improved Situations: Colombia, Guinea-Bissau, Myanmar, Nigeria

Image: Theresa May urged to investigate Dungavel concerns
30/03/2015
Theresa May urged to investigate Dungavel concerns
HOME secretary Theresa May has been urged by the Scottish Government to investigate conditions at Dungavel following hunger strike protests. (Sunday Herald 29 March)
Image: Fairness Not Fares in Our Asylum System
23/03/2015
Fairness Not Fares in Our Asylum System
Sign the online petition
The new Home Office rule, coming into force on March 30th, will force asylum seekers to travel to Liverpool if they want to submit new evidence for their case. What's more, there won't be any help for those who can't afford the journey.
Image: UPDATED 19 MARCH - Hunger Strike at Dungavel
16/03/2015
UPDATED 19 MARCH - Hunger Strike at Dungavel
There are protests including hunger strikes in the following UK Immigration Removal Centres: Dungavel, Harmondsworth, Colnbrook, Dover. There are about 70 people protesting in Dungavel. They are refusing to go to the kitchen to eat. The only news we have of this is from inside the detention centres. The National ran this article on 18 March
Image: UK FCO Human Rights and Democracy Report 2015
13/03/2015
UK FCO Human Rights and Democracy Report 2015
Published by Foreign & Commonwealth Office 12th March 2015
The Human Rights and Democracy Report presents the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) analysis of the human rights situation in 27 countries where the UK government has wide-ranging concerns.
Image: Early Day Motion 900: Protests in Detention Centres
11/03/2015
Early Day Motion 900: Protests in Detention Centres
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House notes with serious concern that protests, demonstrations and hunger strikes by detainees have taken place in detention centres around the country, including Harmondsworth Detention Centre; and calls on the Home Secretary to launch an independent public inquiry into the grievances of the detainees which have sparked these protests and to bring forward a report on the use of detention overall.
Image: Action by Christians Against Torture Easter cards for persecuted Christians
07/03/2015
Action by Christians Against Torture Easter cards for persecuted Christians
For the first time ACAT-UK is seeking your help and those of your colleagues, friends and parishes to send an Easter card specifically to victims of torture, persecuted Christians, Human Rights groups and individuals under threat.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - February 2015
06/03/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - February 2015

8 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in February 2015, according to CrisisWatch N°139. Deteriorated Situations: Libya, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen

Image: Time For a Time Limit – Parliamentarians call for a 28 day max time limit on immigration detention
04/03/2015
Time For a Time Limit – Parliamentarians call for a 28 day max time limit on immigration detention
Parliamentary Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention Concludes
A cross-party group of MPs and Peers has recommended that the next government should introduce a maximum time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can be detained in immigration detention. The call comes in a report published on 3 March 2015 following a joint inquiry into the use of immigration detention in the UK by the APPG on Refugees and the APPG on Migration.
Image: Amnesty International 2014/15: State of the World's Human Rights
03/03/2015
Amnesty International 2014/15: State of the World's Human Rights
This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones, Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need.
Image: Immigration Policy Led to 'New Forms of Racism'
02/03/2015
Immigration Policy Led to 'New Forms of Racism'
The Government's tough rhetoric on immigration is alienating migrant communities and causing 'new forms of racism' to break out across the country, a major study will warn today (2 March). Controversial policies such as the use of billboard vans warning illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest” and the posting of pictures on Twitter showing suspects being led away by officials has led to legal migrants being subjected to racial prejudice, it concluded. (Independent , 01/03/15)
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - February 2015
01/03/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - February 2015

8 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in February 2015, according to CrisisWatch N°139.  Deteriorated Situations: Libya, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen

Image: Immigration Statistics, Q4 October to December 2014
26/02/2015
Immigration Statistics, Q4 October to December 2014
Published 26 February 2015 - Summary Points: October to December 2014
Detention: The number of people entering detention in 2014 fell slightly to 30,365 from 30,418 in 2013. Over the same period there was a fall of 1% in those leaving detention (from 30,030 to 29,655).
Image: UK Violence Against Women and Girls
23/02/2015
UK Violence Against Women and Girls
House of Lords/House of Commons - Joint Committee on Human Rights

"Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation we face globally, whether in times of peace, conflict or post-conflict transition". (Ms Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.)

Image: Early Day Motion 804: Migrants' Deaths At Sea
13/02/2015
Early Day Motion 804: Migrants' Deaths At Sea
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House expresses alarm at yet another tragic loss of life at sea when 300 migrants were feared drowned in the Mediterranean trying to escape through Libya; notes the wholly inappropriate tendency of many to blame the people-traffickers; acknowledges that thousands have died in the Mediterranean fleeing war, poverty and oppression from all over the middle east and north Africa; further acknowledges that current search and rescue operations are underfunded and wholly inadequate;
Image: Theresa May Announces Review Of Immigration Detainees' Welfare
09/02/2015
Theresa May Announces Review Of Immigration Detainees' Welfare
The home secretary, Theresa May, will today (9/2/15) announce a wide-ranging independent review of the welfare of immigrants held in detention centres or set for escort, including prior to deportation. The review, to be led by Stephen Shaw the prisons and probation ombudsman until 2010, comes as May prepares to publish a highly critical but more narrowly drawn report on the mental health of detainees, prepared for her by the Tavistock Institute. (Patrick Wintour, Guardian, 08/02/15)
Image: Freedom in the World 2015 - Freedom House Annual Report
04/02/2015
Freedom in the World 2015 - Freedom House Annual Report
The number of countries designated by Freedom in the World as Free in 2014 stood at 89, representing 46% of the world's 195 polities and nearly 2.9 billion people-or 40% of the global population.  The number of countries qualifying as Partly Free stood at 55, or 28% of all countries assessed, and they were home to just over 1.7 billion people, or 24%of the world's total.
Image: EU's Asylum System Dysfunctional
04/02/2015
EU's Asylum System Dysfunctional
The European Union needs to grant asylum to more refugees and members must share the responsibility of hosting them more equally, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said on Tuesday 3 February. With wars raging in Syria, Iraq and other countries, 50 million people are displaced worldwide due to conflicts and persecution, the highest number since World War II, according to the UN agency.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - January 2015
03/02/2015
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - January 2015
8 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and 1 improved in January 2015, according to CrisisWatch N°138. Deteriorated Situations: Bangladesh, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Sudan, Ukraine, Yemen
Image: Faith leaders join call on PM to take in more Syrian refugees
03/02/2015
Faith leaders join call on PM to take in more Syrian refugees

Senior British faith leaders are calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to increase the number of Syrian refugees resettled in the UK in response to ‘one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of our time’. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales’ Conference Department of International Affairs along with other faith leaders to express support for the UK to do more to help Syria’s refugees find safety here. (Ekklesia)

Image: Asylum: Finance - Azure Cards - Credit Can be Carried Over
29/01/2015
Asylum: Finance - Azure Cards - Credit Can be Carried Over

Lord Bates: Practical arrangements to remove the restriction that prevents Azure card users from carrying over more than £5 credit on the card from one week to the next are imminent. Card users with children are already allowed to carry over unlimited credit. We expect to complete the work by the end of February. Card users will be notified of the change by letter and there will be appropriate changes to our website information about the card.

Image: Asylum Seekers: Women
29/01/2015
Asylum Seekers: Women
Lord Hylton to ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to consult Asylum Aid about ways to improve protection and fairness for women asylum applicants and support provided for those who have suffered gender-based harm.
Image: Early Day Motion 714: Change to Rules on Submitting New Evidence in Asylum Cases
21/01/2015
Early Day Motion 714: Change to Rules on Submitting New Evidence in Asylum Cases
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House expresses concern that the Home Office has made a rule change, due to be enforced on 26 January 2015, that asylum seekers who have been refused leave to remain will have to submit evidence in person in Liverpool regarding their case, regardless of where they are living;
Image: Refused Asylum Seekers Fighting to Stay Must Pay for Own Travel
20/01/2015
Refused Asylum Seekers Fighting to Stay Must Pay for Own Travel

In a rule change to be enforced by the Home Office from January 26, refused asylum seekers will no longer be permitted to submit new evidence that could help their case at local Immigration Reporting Centre. Instead they will have to travel to Liverpool to present any new submissions. Claiments will have to make their own travel arrangements and pay the full cost, including if they cannot return to their home town the same day, overnight accommodation.

Image: Romero’s martyrdom has been officially recognised
19/01/2015
Romero’s martyrdom has been officially recognised
By unanimous vote the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recognised Archbishop Oscar Romero’s martyrdom in odium fidei. He was killed whilst celebrating mass. All so-called doctrinal objections to his beatification have been withdrawn. (Gianni Valente, Rome)
Image: Immigrants: Detainees [Government Will Not Limit Length of Detention]
16/01/2015
Immigrants: Detainees [Government Will Not Limit Length of Detention]

Lord Roberts of Llandudno  to ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to place time limits on detention for immigration purposes.  Lord Bates: The Government has no intention of introducing a fixed time limit on immigration detention in the UK. Lord Roberts of Llandudno to ask Her Majesty's Government on what ground an individual can be detained for immigration purpose for periods in excess of 30 days.

2014

Image: Clean Clothes Campaign
19/12/2014
Clean Clothes Campaign
New report to mark International Migrant Day
To mark the United Nation’s International Migrant Day, Clean Clothes Campaign released a new report in conjunction with the MAP Foundation outlining the gross violations of labour rights among migrant workers in the Thai apparel industry.
Image: Detention of Asylum Seekers Not at Risk of Absconding Unlawful
17/12/2014
Detention of Asylum Seekers Not at Risk of Absconding Unlawful
The Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday 16th December 2014 that a second element of the Home Office's detained asylum process is unlawful.  The Court found that the detention of asylum seekers who are not at risk of absconding whilst their appeals are pending is unlawful.  The ruling is the second Court of Appeal defeat in a week for the government's immigration policy, following Monday's ruling that the guidance on legal aid for immigration cases is unlawful
Image: Early Day Motion 578: Sexual Violence In Conflict In Burma
05/12/2014
Early Day Motion 578: Sexual Violence In Conflict In Burma
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House condemns the continuing use of rape as a weapon of war and the recent escalation in military attacks in Kachin, northern Shan and Karen States; notes the recent report by the Women's League for Burma, detailing evidence of the continuing use of rape and sexual violence; calls for a nationwide ceasefire and an end to the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war in Burma
Image: Early Day Motion 565: Immigration Checks On Private Sector Tenants
02/12/2014
Early Day Motion 565: Immigration Checks On Private Sector Tenants
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House notes the introduction on 1 December 2014 of the pilot scheme of the requirement for private sector landlords to conduct immigration checks on their tenants; believes that this will lead to new fees from letting agents to all of Britain's nine million private tenants on moving to conduct these checks; considers that almost no undocumented migrants will be caught, as they will move into illegal tenancies, and in so doing will create a new market for illegal and exploitative landlords;
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - November 2014
02/12/2014
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - November 2014
4 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in October 2014, according to CrisisWatch N°136. Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Colombia, Egypt, Kenya
Image: Today is World Aids Day
01/12/2014
Today is World Aids Day
World Aids Day was the first ever global health day and has continued to be marked since 1988. It is an opportunity to join people worldwide in the fight against HIV, showing support for people living with HIV and commemorating those who have died. More info: UN AIDS       World Aids Day      Catholics for AIDS Prevention and Support   
Image: International Community has Duty to Protect Minorities
28/11/2014
International Community has Duty to Protect Minorities
It is the international community's duty to draw lessons from the horrific violence and atrocious crimes facing minorities around the world to prevent them from being repeated, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said at a forum on minority issues. Speaking to the 7th Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues on "Preventing and Addressing Violence and Atrocity Crimes Targeted against Minorities," Mr. Eliasson explained that simply saying "never again" is not enough.
Image: Immigration statistics, July to September 2014
27/11/2014
Immigration statistics, July to September 2014
Asylum: There were 24,257 asylum applications, an increase of 2% compared with the previous 12 months (23,805), but low relative to the 2002 peak (84,132). The largest numbers of applications were from Eritrean (2,932), Pakistani (2,891), Iranian (1,999) and Syrian (1,802) nationals.
Image: Early Day Motion 543: For Our Daughters Campaign
26/11/2014
Early Day Motion 543: For Our Daughters Campaign
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House notes that For Our Daughters, a national charity which campaigns against sexist violence and homicide and commemorates those who have died, reports that at least three to four women and girls die each week in the UK as a result of all forms of male violence; further notes that the annual death rate is worse than in the Northern Ireland conflict and exceeds annual troop losses in Iraq and Afghanistan;
Image: Serco Given Yarl's Wood IRC Contract Despite 'Vast Failings'
26/11/2014
Serco Given Yarl's Wood IRC Contract Despite 'Vast Failings'
The Home Office has been condemned after it renewed a private security giant's contract to run a controversial women's immigration detention centre where staff have been accused of sexual misconduct. The decision to pay £70m to Serco to operate Yarl's Wood in Bedfordshire over the next eight years was attacked by MPs, refugee groups and penal reformers.Yarl's Wood, Britain's largest detention centre for women facing deportation, has suffered a succession of damaging allegations since Serco began managing the facility in 2007. (Independent, 24 Nov)
Image: Christmas Greeting Card Campaign
22/11/2014
Christmas Greeting Card Campaign
If you would like to send greeting cards to prisoners of conscience this Christmas, the following organisations have lists of prisoners who are victims of torture, persecuted Christians and human rights groups. Action by Christians Against Torture; Christian Solidarity Worldwide; War Resisters International. Please make sure you follow the instructions given by each organisation when sending your cards
Image: World remembers murder of 6 Jesuits and 2 laywomen 25 years ago in El Salvador
18/11/2014
World remembers murder of 6 Jesuits and 2 laywomen 25 years ago in El Salvador
The world marked the 25th anniversary of the murder of 6 Jesuits and two laywomen in El Salvador on Sunday, one of the most chilling episodes in the unrest affecting Central America in the late 20th century.  In the early morning of November 16, 1989, a group of soldiers entered the Jesuit residence of the University of Central America, and dragged 5 priests out of their beds, and shot them in the back of their heads in a courtyard.  They then killed another Jesuit inside the residence.  Finally, they killed the housekeeper and her teenage daughter, who were hiding in a bedroom. (Vatican Radio)
Image: For Syria’s 3.2 million refugees, winter is closing in - ask your MP to act
17/11/2014
For Syria’s 3.2 million refugees, winter is closing in - ask your MP to act
Nearly a year ago, under pressure the UK Government offered a safe haven to some of Syria’s most vulnerable refugees. But sadly, since the Government set up its special resettlement scheme for Syria’s refugees, very few people have actually arrived. Worse still, the Government has said it only anticipates resettling ‘several hundred people’ over a three year period. This is pitiful. We can and should be helping so many more people.
Image: Children's Rights are Human Rights
13/11/2014
Children's Rights are Human Rights
Children must fully enjoy the protection offered by all international human rights treaties. Dignity and integrity of children are non-negotiable. Discrimination on any grounds cannot be tolerated. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) adopted in 1989 changed the way in which countries look at children as real rights holders. On 20 November 2014, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention. It has been ratified by all 47 Council of Europe member states.
Image: Destitution, Intimidation . . . How Britain Shirks its Obligations to Asylum-Seekers
11/11/2014
Destitution, Intimidation . . . How Britain Shirks its Obligations to Asylum-Seekers
In the North of England there are dozens, probably hundreds of Syrians, some with children, who over the past year have waited and waited for their first interview, dumped in overcrowded slum housing on a meagre income. This rise in numbers comes at a time when politicians and the media have constructed a toxic discourse around immigration. For the first time for many years the term 'asylum seekers' is again being demonised alongside 'illegals, 'migrants', 'foreigners', or 'immigrants'. (John Grayson, Open Democracy, 19/11/14)
Image: Home Office under fire for multiple failings
11/11/2014
Home Office under fire for multiple failings
MPs committee condemns Home Office for extended delays in reaching decisions on asylum claims

A new report by the Public Accounts Committee condemns the Home Office for multiple failings and delays in the processing of asylum claims. The report identifies a range of failings within the Home Office’s new UK Immigration and Visas Department since its creation just eighteen months ago, including the use of outdated data and information, poor quality IT resources and the loss of 120 experienced caseworkers. (Scottish Refugee Council)

Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - October 2014
07/11/2014
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - October 2014

8 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in October 2014, according to CrisisWatch N°135. Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Yemen; Lebanon; Venezuela; Mexico; Kasmir. Iraq

Image: Early Day Motion 465: ILO Convention On Gender-Based Violence At Work
05/11/2014
Early Day Motion 465: ILO Convention On Gender-Based Violence At Work
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM
That this House notes the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November 2014; further notes with concern that gender-based violence is present in every society in the world and that globally one in three women will be beaten or sexually abused in their lifetime and that this occurs everywhere, even in the workplace;
Image: Stop Gendercide - Contact your MP
30/10/2014
Stop Gendercide - Contact your MP
Many millions of abortions take place around the world simply because the unborn child is a girl. A bill will be tabled in the House of Commons on the 4th November aimed at combatting the terrible injustice of sex- selected abortion. Please contact your MP ahead of that date.
Image: This politics of denial over immigration is feeding a growing inhumanity
29/10/2014
This politics of denial over immigration is feeding a growing inhumanity
The cowardice and dishonesty of politicians means we now talk about people as if they were a virus
We are indeed swamped. By stories about immigration. Someone somehow has decided that stories about immigrants are top of every news agenda at every hour. (Suzanne Moore, The Guardian,  29 October 2014)
Image: More Respect, Less Criminalisation For Migrant Workers
27/10/2014
More Respect, Less Criminalisation For Migrant Workers
The lack of political will to stand up for migrant workers' rights remains the greatest challenge to the protection of this "very vulnerable" group of human beings, an independent United Nations expert has affirmed
Image: J&P Europe: Protecting Human Dignity at a Time of Economic Crisis
27/10/2014
J&P Europe: Protecting Human Dignity at a Time of Economic Crisis
Final Statement of the International Workshop of Justice and Peace Europe, October 2014
‘Representatives of 22 European Justice and Peace Commissions, met in Greece for an International Workshop on theme of Human Dignity and Economic Crisis. In Greece the impact of the crisis has been particularly stark and visible, with people taking to the streets to protest about the widespread unemployment and its consequences. We have come here to reflect on the threats to, and offences against, human dignity that have emerged, and learn about models of good practice for the protection of human dignity…
Image: Ten Myths About Migration
16/10/2014
Ten Myths About Migration
The overwhelming majority of migrants living in Britain do not need to learn English, they already speak it. As the most recent 2011 census showed only 138,000 of the 7.5 million non-UK born population in England and Wales cannot speak any English. It is true that the main language spoken by 4 million people living in Britain is not English or Welsh but Polish, Punjabi or Urdu in that order. But 1.7 million can speak English very well, a further 1.6 million can speak it well and 726,000 can get by in conversation but have difficulties with written English. (The Guardian)
Image: Factory collapse injures four
16/10/2014
Factory collapse injures four
A factory floor in a factory in Cambodia collapsed on 21 October injuring a number of people. The factory was producing for H&M and New Look. Four employees suffered back and leg injuries after part of the floor collapsed at a Takeo province garment factory yesterday morning.
Image: Why so Much Hostility to Immigrants in the UK?
15/10/2014
Why so Much Hostility to Immigrants in the UK?
"It is not prejudiced to worry about immigration," Ed Miliband suggests. Possibly. But no one is worried about immigration. Yes, 77% of people in the UK want immigration reduced, and 56% want it "reduced a lot" - but this is not worry or concern, rather a hardening anti-immigrant consensus. As to whether this is prejudiced, the evidence is clear: polling shows that most people have a negative opinion of immigration, despite them not having any negative experience of it. In fact, people in areas with most immigrants are least likely to express anti-immigrant sentiment. (Richard Seymour, theguardian.com, 14/10/14)
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - September 2014
06/10/2014
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - September 2014

4 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in September 2014, according to CrisisWatch N°134. Deteriorated Situations: Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen

Image: Detention Centres: Children - Policy to separate families will continue
03/10/2014
Detention Centres: Children - Policy to separate families will continue
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock to ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the recommendations made by Barnardo's in its report of April 2014 on the treatment of children in the Cedars facility; which, if any, of the recommendations have been acted upon; and what actions have been taken.
Image: Modern Slavery Rises in UK led by Sex, Labour Trafficking
01/10/2014
Modern Slavery Rises in UK led by Sex, Labour Trafficking

The number of people locked in slavery in Britain rose by 22% last year, with online dating, social media sites and Internet job advertisements used increasingly to recruit victims, a new report has shown. Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) identified 2,744 people, including 602 children, as potential victims of human trafficking in 2013 with more than 40% ending up in the sex trade and almost 30% forced into manual labour.

Image: Tamil Asylum-Seekers Deported From UK Despite Evidence of Torture
24/09/2014
Tamil Asylum-Seekers Deported From UK Despite Evidence of Torture
The UK continues to deport Tamils seeking political asylum to Sri Lanka, despite strong evidence that the security forces systematically use torture against those suspected of dissident activity five years after the end of the country's civil war. A new report by the Freedom From Torture advocacy group, based on medical evaluations of victims, found that many were subjected to branding and two thirds of those examined suffered rape or other sexual torture. (Julian Borger, Guardian 23/09/14 )
Image: No Place to go - Unnecessary Delays in Granting Bail
22/09/2014
No Place to go - Unnecessary Delays in Granting Bail
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has been carrying out research this year to identify precisely where delays in the Section 4(1)(c) application process take place, how long the delays are, and why they are occurring.  They have already shared their interim findings with the Home Office. Their final research report, 'No place to go: delays in Home Office provision of Section 4(1)(c) bail accommodation' is now published.
Image: This is One world Week
19/09/2014
This is One world Week
One World Week "Living Differently" Breaking Chains - Making Change
Image: The Extent and Impact of Asylum Accommodation Problems in Scotland
11/09/2014
The Extent and Impact of Asylum Accommodation Problems in Scotland
Asylum housing report rings alarm bells

Leaking ceilings, infestations, people with no keys to their building, subject to racist abuse and whose concerns are routinely ignored... Our latest report raises serious concerns about the quality of asylum housing in Scotland and calls for an urgent review.

Image: Asylum Seekers Locked Out of Homes
10/09/2014
Asylum Seekers Locked Out of Homes
Vulnerable asylum seekers are being locked out of their homes and left destitute without warning. Campaigners claim that Orchard & Shipman, the housing provider which works on behalf of Serco and the Home Office, is routinely performing lock changes on the homes of people who have been refused asylum. In documents seen by the Evening Times, Serco protocol says a legal process to secure an eviction order should be followed. However, campaigners say they are concerned that this is not being followed, and are calling for action to stop the lock changes. (Glasgow Evening Times 09/09/14)
Image: Act now to end child slavery in the chocolate industry
10/09/2014
Act now to end child slavery in the chocolate industry
Much of the chocolate we enjoy may be tainted by child slavery. Anti-Slavery International’s latest research shows the continuation of child trafficking, a form of modern slavery, to cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast, which produces almost 40% of the world’s cocoa. Instead of going to school young boys are forced to spend long days hacking open cocoa pods with machetes, handling dangerous pesticides and carrying heavy loads - work that is deemed extremely hazardous, can lead to injury and ill-health, and that no young child should have to do.
Image: Protect Migrant Domestic Workers
05/09/2014
Protect Migrant Domestic Workers
The UK government should address, not dismiss, evidence that employers have abused migrant domestic workers in the UK, Human Rights Watch and the UK charity Kalayaan have said. A draft law before parliament is aimed at combating forced labor and other criminal offences but does not address a visa system that contributes to the abuse of migrant domestic workers by their employers.  Human Rights Watch, 04/09/14
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - August 2014
03/09/2014
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - August 2014

12 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in August 2014, according to CrisisWatch N°133. Deteriorated Situations: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kashmir, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen

Image: Biased and Unjust : The Immigration Detention Complaints Process
27/08/2014
Biased and Unjust : The Immigration Detention Complaints Process
The report 'Biased and Unjust : The Immigration Detention Complaints Process' (published 27 Aug), examines complaints - that Medical Justice assisted detainees to make - nearly half of which were escalated to an Ombudsman, illustrating the failure of the Home Office to investigate adequately. Though not accused of a crime, 30,000 immigrants each year are detained indefinitely.
Image: 17 Hundred Percent Growth in Immigration Detention Since 1997
26/08/2014
17 Hundred Percent Growth in Immigration Detention Since 1997

In 1997 Campsfield IRC the first UK Immigration detention centre opened with 200 places.  As of August 2014 the number of places had grown to 3,690 an increase of 17 hundred percent. On the 30th June this year 3,079 of those places were occupied, another 580 places in HMPs were occupied by persons solely detained under immigration rules, bringing the total of immigration detainees to 3,659. As Mitie becomes the Home Office's largest provider of immigration detention this month, merging Colnbrook and Harmondsworth into a super-size 'Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre', Corporate Watch takes a look at the company's track record at Campsfield House, the only detention centre it has run before.

Image: Burma: 20,000 People Have Risked Lives Crossing the Indian Ocean
26/08/2014
Burma: 20,000 People Have Risked Lives Crossing the Indian Ocean
In its Irregular Maritime Movements report, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has revealed that an estimated 87,000 people have embarked on dangerous journeys across Southeast Asian waters since July 2012 in order to escape the violence in Burma's Rakhine State. 53,000 are thought to have journeyed in the 12 months ending June 2014, an increase of 61 per cent. (The Independent)
Image: Unlocking Detention
26/08/2014
Unlocking Detention
Immigration detention centres: Out of sight, out of mind?
Unless you know somebody personally who is detained, you are very unlikely to ever visit an immigration detention centre, know where they are, or be able to imagine what conditions are like for people in detention.
Image: Immigration Statistics, April to June 2014
25/08/2014
Immigration Statistics, April to June 2014
Published 28 August 2014

Removals and Voluntary Departures: There were 12% fewer (-1,744) enforced removals from the UK in the year ending June 2014 (12,415), the lowest figure since the series began in 2004. However there was a much larger, 3,940 increase (+12%) in total voluntary departures, to 37,216. Over the same period the number of passengers refused entry at port and who subsequently departed increased by 3% (+424) to 14,671.

Image: Private firms 'are using detained immigrants as cheap labour'
25/08/2014
Private firms 'are using detained immigrants as cheap labour'
G4S and Serco saving millions by paying detainees as little as £1 an hour to cook and clean, claim campaigners
Home Office figures showed that in May this year, detainees in centres run by Serco, G4S and other contractors did nearly 45,000 hours of work for a total of nearly £45,500 in pay. Had they been paid at the national minimum wage, the cost would have been more than £280,000"  (Kevin Rawlinson, The Guardian, 22 August)
Image: Pope lifts beatification ban on Archbishop Oscar Romero
19/08/2014
Pope lifts beatification ban on Archbishop Oscar Romero

Pope Francis has lifted a ban on the beatification of murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. An outspoken critic of the military regime during El Salvador's bloody civil war, Archbishop Romero was shot dead while celebrating Mass in 1980. (BBC News)

Image: Home Office - asylum support rates will remain unchanged following review, despite legal challenge
13/08/2014
Home Office - asylum support rates will remain unchanged following review, despite legal challenge
The Home Office  announced on 12 August, that the cripplingly low level of support paid to people seeking asylum in the UK will remain unchanged. This decision follows a landmark legal battle by Refugee Action which resulted in the High Court ordering the Home Office to review the level of support. Refugee Action is warning that this disappointing decision will continue to push some of the most vulnerable individuals and families in our society further into poverty. Thousands of people who are banned by the government from working are being forced to live on as little as £5.23 a day.
Image: The Commonwealth Games, principles and protest
11/08/2014
The Commonwealth Games, principles and protest
The 2014 Commonwealth Games brought moments of sporting glory, to Glasgow. It also brought protests exposing the gap between Commonwealth ideals and reality in many member countries. The very existence of the Commonwealth, originating from the British empire, raises questions. Nevertheless it offers opportunities for international cooperation and exchange. The Commonwealth Charter commits members to high ideals including democracy, human rights, peace, sustainable development and environmental protection. Yet many – the UK included – fall short, with little real challenge. (Ekklesia)
Image: How Chiquita Bananas Undermined the Global War on Terror
06/08/2014
How Chiquita Bananas Undermined the Global War on Terror
Colombian families whose relatives were massacred by paramilitaries cannot sue the Chiquita Brands fruit company in federal court, the 11th Circuit United States Court of Appeals ruled last week. The victims charged that Chiquita was responsible for the deaths by funding a right-wing paramilitary group. A panel of judges decided the victims did not have standing in U.S. court, even though the North Carolina-based banana giant pled guilty to U.S. criminal charges in 2007. The victims were claiming potentially billions of dollars in damages from the company.  The ruling was a big victory for the banana giant — and for the rights of American companies to finance international terrorism
Image: Stepping Up Fight Against Human Trafficking at Core of Vatican Conference
04/08/2014
Stepping Up Fight Against Human Trafficking at Core of Vatican Conference
Top US Official Hosts Event That Recalls 1st World Day Against This Tragedy (Zenit News)
VATICAN CITY, August 01, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The call to combat human trafficking was echoed again at the Vatican this week. Urging participants to step up the fight and support trafficking survivors, the Vatican held a video conference Tuesday recalling the first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, reported Vatican Radio on Wednesday.
Image: Supreme Court victory for victims of trafficking
04/08/2014
Supreme Court victory for victims of trafficking
Up until 29 July 2014, not all people trafficked into the UK had a right to recover damages from their traffickers. It depended on their immigration status – if it was irregular, they weren't able to do it, even if it was the traffickers who caused their status to become irregular in the first place. Yesterday, thanks to anti Slavery International intervention in the Supreme Court, that changed. In what is a historic judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that trafficked people have a right to claim damages from their traffickers irrespective of their immigration status. This is a hugely important step forward in the fight to end modern day slavery, and a proud week for Anti-Slavery International and their supporters.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2014
04/08/2014
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2014

7 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in July 2014, according to CrisisWatch N°132. Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan

Image: Ending Violence Against Women Must Become a Top Priority
30/07/2014
Ending Violence Against Women Must Become a Top Priority
On August 1, the Istanbul Convention, a landmark treaty of the Council of Europe dedicated to preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, will enter into force. It could not come at a better time. Violence against women remains one of the most widespread human rights violations which takes place every day in Europe; intimate partner violence is still among the major causes of non-accidental death, injury and disability for women. This tragic situation stems from a variety of social, economic and cultural reasons, but a common background condition is glaring inequality between men and women. The Convention has the potential to become a powerful driver in making progress on this pressing human rights issue.
Image: Catholic MP blasts “awful” British immigration policy at J&P Conference
23/07/2014
Catholic MP blasts “awful” British immigration policy at J&P Conference
“Many asylum seekers in Britain are at near destitute levels because the government doesn’t want to be seen to be soft on asylum seekers,” Sarah Teather MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, told the annual gathering of the English and Welsh National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) on Sunday.
Image: UNHCR Calls for UK to End Detention of Asylum-Seekers and Refugees
04/07/2014
UNHCR Calls for UK to End Detention of Asylum-Seekers and Refugees
The UN refugee agency has issued a new global strategy aimed at helping countries move away from the detention of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people worldwide. Detention of asylum-seekers and refugees has become routine in a number of countries. It has serious lasting effects on individuals and families. UNHCR is concerned about the growing use of immigration detention, particularly of children.
Image: Freedom in the World 2014
04/07/2014
Freedom in the World 2014
8th Year of Decline in Political Rights/Civil Liberties
The state of freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House's annual country-by-country report on global political rights and civil liberties. Particularly notable were developments in Egypt, which endured across-the-board reversals in its democratic institutions following a military coup. There were also serious setbacks to democratic rights in other large, politically influential countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Venezuela, and Indonesia. Fifty-four countries showed overall declines in political rights and civil liberties, compared with 40 that showed gains.
Image: Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2014
03/07/2014
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - June 2014
6 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in June 2014. Deteriorated Situations: Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Yemen
Image: Why We Should Outlaw the Word 'Illegal'
30/06/2014
Why We Should Outlaw the Word 'Illegal'
It makes no more sense to call someone an 'illegal migrant' than an 'illegal person.'
Despite that, the term pops up again and again in the mainstream media. The New York Times recently reported on the 'surge of illegal migrants from Central America across the South Texas border.' The BBC and other European media outlets are similarly reporting on 'illegal migrants' in the Mediterranean and at the EU's external borders. (Human Rights Watch)