Dave Smith
Weekly Roundup of Refugee News 14.12.20

Asylum / refugees / immigration (UK)

Newschain: Concerns raised over ‘camps’ to hold asylum seekers

Former Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes warned that the Home Office’s proposed changes to the asylum system “have far reaching implications”.  She criticized the plans, due to come into force on January 1, which include putting newly arrived asylum seekers in camps with no electricity or running water.

Gal-Dem: Amid the pandemic, Sheffield’s activists are mounting a new line of defence to protect asylum seekers

Last week a group of activists set up camp outside a building near the centre of Sheffield, in order to prevent two asylum seeking women and their children from being evicted from their home during the Covid-19 pandemic.


GMCA: Greater Manchester leaders' open statement to the Home Office on asylum seeker evictions policy

Greater Manchester leaders have written to the Home Secretary to convey their profound concern at the possibility that those in the asylum system who have received a negative decision could start to be evicted from accommodation.


Guardian: UK to deny asylum to refugees passing through 'safe' third country

Ministers have quietly changed immigration rules to prevent people fleeing war or persecution from claiming asylum in the UK if they have passed through a “safe” third country, prompting accusations of a breach of international law.


Independent: Home Office unlawfully leaving destitute and disabled asylum-seekers homeless, High Court rules

The Home Office is leaving destitute asylum-seekers homeless in breach of the law due to its failure to monitor the operations of private firms contracted to manage asylum accommodation, the High Court has ruled. Justice Robin Knowles found that the five claimants in the case had been left homeless for prolonged periods.


Observer: UK ‘reneges on vow to reunite child refugees with families’

Unaccompanied children in France are being told by the French authorities that they should give up hope of being reunited with family in the UK after the Home Office failed to offer the help it had promised.

The Home Office is accused of reneging on its vow to help unaccompanied children reunite with family in the UK.


BBC: Eight asylum seekers missing from Folkestone barracks

Eight asylum seekers have gone missing from a former army barracks which is being used to house migrants, the Home Office confirmed. Those staying at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, are free to live elsewhere but must supply an address. Failure to do so may result in their asylum claim being withdrawn, the Home Office said.


Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk takes in almost 50 asylum seeking children who fled by boat to UK

Norfolk has taken in almost 50 children who fled to the UK over the sea and without their parents to seek asylum. The county responded to a plea for help from Kent County Council in the summer, given a surge in children arriving in small boats after travelling across the English Channel.


Asylum / refugees / immigration (international)

Washington Post: Four years after it became a symbol of Europe’s failures, migrants are still stranded in Calais

There are still desperate migrants stranded in the “Jungle” of Calais, four years after French authorities demolished the sprawling migrant camp. French police regularly raid the successor “Jungle” and other sites where migrants sleep, confiscating their belongings.


Forbes: Greece has intensified its crackdown on refugee NGOs with a new Confidentiality Law

The Greek government has enacted a new law that prevents NGO workers and volunteers from talking about abuse, neglect or deprivation in the country's refugee camps. NGO workers fear it’s an underhand way of limiting their ability to operate.


AlJazeera: Canary Islands: Concerns grow for thousands of child refugees

A refugee crisis is brewing in the Canary Islands, where tens of thousands of people fleeing northern and West Africa have arrived in recent months. More than 8,000 refugees and migrants arrived in the Spanish archipelago – situated off the coast of northwest Africa – in November alone, a record figure.


Observer: They risked all to cross the Red Sea. Now a cruel fate awaits in Yemen

Saudi Arabia was Tigrit’s dream: a place where she could find work as a cleaner or maid, and send money back to her husband and young daughter in Ethiopia. Now, like hundreds of thousands of East Africans who have left home and travelled across the Red Sea in search of a better life, she finds herself stranded in Yemen instead.


Good news

Guardian: Kurdish refugee 'shocked' by Australia's decision to free him after seven years in detention

A Kurdish refugee who was suddenly freed from immigration detention after seven-and-a-half years has said he feels “reborn again”, and thanked supporters and human rights activists. Farhad Bandesh was held on Manus Island for six years, and then in detention in Australia since July 2019.