Dave Smith
Weekly Roundup of Refugee News wb 22.3.21

Weekly News Review (w.b. 22.3.21)

Asylum / refugees / immigration (UK) 

Guardian: UK considers sending asylum seekers abroad to be processed

The Home Office is considering plans to send asylum seekers who arrive in the UK overseas to be processed, an idea modelled on a controversial Australian system, it is understood.

Priti Patel, the home secretary, is expected to publish details next week of a scheme in which people who arrive in the UK via unofficial means, such as crossing the Channel in small boats, would be removed to a third country to have any claim dealt with.


Financial Times: Critics round on UK’s ‘firm but fair’ asylum shake-up

Campaigners, lawyers and opposition politicians on Thursday criticised reported Home Office plans to send asylum seekers overseas while their claims were processed as part of a planned immigration shake-up. 

The government is next week expected to publish proposals for a new “firm but fair” asylum system intended to be less attractive to clandestine migrants.


BBC: Right to challenge government in courts overhauled

Plans to change how government decisions are challenged in the courts have been announced by the justice secretary. 

Robert Buckland says the move is to "protect" judges from being drawn into politics and to "strike the right balance" between public scrutiny and the "need for effective government" 

It comes after an independent review into the issue. Labour says it is an attempt to "trample on values we all hold dear".


Work Permit: UK immigration amnesty for some says Boris Johnson

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said that he is open to legalising the UK immigration of some illegal immigrants, according to a report published by Bloomberg. Despite leading Britain out of the European Union on a wave of public anger over high UK immigration levels, Johnson is seemingly open to an amnesty for some migrants who arrived in the UK illegally.


Independent: Child asylum seekers threatened with deportation after being wrongly deemed adults by Home Office staff

Child asylum seekers have been detained in adult accommodation and threatened with deportation after being wrongly deemed to be over 18 by Home Office staff, it has emerged. 

The department is facing legal action over its new policy of recruiting its own social workers to carry out age assessments on young people when they arrive in the country via small boat, after it emerged a number of children had been wrongly judged to be adults during this process.


Guardian: Blind asylum seeker suicidal after Home Office inaction on claim

A blind asylum seeker says she has been left suicidal after the Home Office has failed to interview her about her case since she arrived in the UK 19 months ago.

Sanaz Derikvandi, 33, was studying for a PhD in English literature in her home country of Iran when she says she had to flee because she converted to Christianity.


Mail Online: 'Like a really bad dream'

An asylum seeker who fled gang violence and kidnap in his home country has described being housed in military barracks in the UK as 'the worst experience of my life'. Eduardo was forced to flee from his home country of El Salvador, after being kidnapped by gangsters. After arriving in the UK, he was housed at Penally camp in Pembrokeshire, Wales.


HuffPost: Revealed: Unheard Stories Of Asylum Seekers Stuck In Limbo Because Of Covid

Asylum seekers who escaped war and oppression to seek refuge in the UK have been left penniless and in limbo during a national crisis, HuffPost UK can reveal. Coronavirus has put their hopes for a new life on hold and many are struggling to clothe or feed their children.


Guardian: Specialist Covid infection control scientist faces threat of deportation from UK

An infection control specialist who has been offered a job as a senior NHS biomedical scientist to help tackle the pandemic is facing deportation by the Home Office, prompting fresh calls for a more “humane” approach to skilled migrants.

The government has refused Charles Oti, 46, from Nigeria the right to remain in the UK even though the job he was offered is among the government’s most sought-after skilled positions.


Asylum / refugees / immigration (international)


Guardian: 'We were left in the sea': asylum seekers forced off Lesbos

“We were all forced on to the boat. If we looked up they shouted at us and hit us in the head. Then they stopped at a place in the sea where there were no other boats, they left us.” 

Mustafa, his wife and two young children had only been on the Greek island of Lesbos a few hours when, they say, they were driven in a van to the coast, beaten by masked men and then taken out to sea on a raft and abandoned there.


Charity sector

 New Humanitarian: How the aid sector marginalises women refugees

I am a woman, a refugee from Darfur, and the co-founder of an organisation committed to supporting other Sudanese refugee women in Kampala, Uganda. I have heard about the localisation process in humanitarian aid, but I do not feel its effect. What I do feel, and experience on a daily basis, are the numerous ways women – especially refugee women – are discriminated against in the humanitarian system.