News Stories (weekly) (weekly)

  • “UK Visas and Immigration modernised guidance about how to handle cases that meet the criteria for automatic deportation. “

    tags: news government reports publications

  • “A car, speeding through the crowded streets of Delhi. Inside, a phone is ringing. The voice on the line is that of a ghost, a girl who vanished into thin air three years ago.

    Somila was 16 when the traffickers lured her from the poverty of her home on the tea plantation in Assam with promises of a better life. Now she is a slave, trapped and terrified, lost in a city of 16 million people.

    Crammed into the car are people determined to find her and set her free. They crane to hear her voice on the tinny speaker. Help me, she says. Her owners are threatening to sell her into prostitution in Mumbai. She is afraid she will be lost for ever.”

    tags: news

  • “Foreign maids, cleaners and other domestic workers are being subjected to slave-like labour conditions in Qatar, with many complaining they have been deprived of passports, wages, days off, holidays and freedom to move jobs, a Guardian investigation can reveal.

    Hundreds of Filipino maids have fled to their embassy in recent months because conditions are so harsh. Many complain of physical and sexual abuse, harassment, long periods without pay and the confiscation of mobile phones.”

    tags: news

  • “Enam A Chaurdhury, President of the Commonwealth Society of Bangladesh,

    The Honourable Tofael Ahmed, Minister of Commerce,

    Key note speaker Professor Selina Mohsin,

    Ladies and gentlemen and members of the press.

    Sala’am w’alekum and thank you for inviting me today to mark Commonwealth Day 2014.

    I would like to congratulate the Commonwealth Society of Bangladesh for its untiring and dedicated efforts to uphold the spirit and values of the Commonwealth.

    Without the efforts of the society it would be much harder to promote this wonderful organisation.

    This year the Commonwealth Games, will be held this year in Glasgow from 23 July – 3 August. The UK looks forward to welcoming team members from the Commonwealth family, including Bangladesh, to what promises to be another magnificent event binding us together. “

    tags: news Bangladesh

  • “The Central African Republic (CAR) has been in turmoil since the Seleka rebel group overthrew the government in March 2013. Both during the coup attempt and in the months that followed, Seleka rebels (most of whom are Muslim) terrorized non-Muslim villages, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. In response to these attacks, the anti-Balaka, a primarily Christian militia, took up arms against the Seleka. Hundreds of thousands more people were displaced as a result of the fighting between the two groups, and many reprisal attacks were carried out against the country’s minority Muslim communities. An intervention by African Union and French forces is attempting to mitigate the violence. However, the country remains highly unstable, with many people still living in fear for their lives.”

    tags: news

  • “Tens of thousands of people have fled fighting in North and South Darfur in the last 10 days, the UN has said.

    Bloodshed has gripped the provinces since 2003 when rebels took up arms against the government, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. Peacekeepers have been unable operate in either area. AP”

    tags: news

  • “At a safe house in an undisclosed location, officers from the Yard’s anti-corruption unit began debriefing Detective Sergeant Neil Putnam, a police “supergrass” who was ready to spill the beans on a cabal of allegedly bent fellow officers.”

    tags: news

  • “An unpublished government-wide review has rebuffed repeated claims by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, that immigration has consigned large numbers of British workers to the dole queue. The potentially explosive report concludes that there is “very little evidence” of such job displacement when the economy is growing. One Whitehall source told The Independent the review found immigration had a “negligible” impact on British workers.”

    tags: news

  • “The crisis in Syria reaches a three year milestone on 15 March – a terrible anniversary. There are now over 9 million people inside Syria who urgently need assistance, including some 6.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs).

    As the analyst for the region I may have been pessimistic from the start about how the conflict would unfold, given the Syrian authorities’ historically dreadful record of human rights abuses. Sadly, this has not been disproved.

    Since the beginning of the conflict, peaceful civilian protesters have been targeted by the Syrian authorities, suffering abuses which include kidnapping, rape and torture. As the violence escalated into civil war, all sides – including the armed opposition – have reportedly been responsible for abuses against the civilian population, who continue to bear the brunt of the crisis.

    For many Syrians, leaving their homes in search of safer areas was at first a temporary measure, particularly in the first year. However, as the targeting of civilians and attacks against cities continued and increased, with large concentrations of IDPs being targeted, displacement became a fact of life for millions of Syrians across the country. As the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs commented in July 2013, “the indiscriminate use of weapons, aerial bombardments and ground attacks on civilian locations” are grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions which lead to forced displacement.”

    tags: news Syria

  • “Thousands of asylum seekers are living in destitution for years in the UK due to failures in local and central governments to address the problem in the support system, a report has found.”

    tags: news

  • “This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 11 February 2014, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

    We are welcoming a decision by the Mexican Senate that approved a Presidential initiative to withdraw reservations that Mexico had made at the time of becoming party to the 1951 Refugees Convention and the 1954 Stateless Convention.

    Mexico had reservations to Article 32 of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (became a party in 2000) and Article 31 of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (became a party in 2000). These reservations were related to the state’s powers to expel foreigners – including asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people. Under previous provisions of its constitution, Mexico could expel people in need of international protection to a third country – not to the country of origin – without following due process.”

    tags: news

  • “Introduction: This research paper details the experiences of 29 asylum seekers who were released from immigration detention in Australia into community-based arrangements with no right to work and limited entitlements. All of the men and women interviewed for this research arrived to Australia by boat after 13 August 2012, the date when the former Labor Government commenced this policy.

    The term “asylum seeker” refers here to an individual who arrived to Australia wishing to claim asylum but whose refugee status is yet to be determined. An individual is found to be a refugee if it is considered likely they would face persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) report that 88 per cent of the refugee claims that were processed in 2012-13 for asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat resulted in protection visas being granted. During the previous three years, over 90 per cent of these claims resulted in protection visas being granted. It is likely, therefore, that a significant proportion of asylum seekers currently in Australia who arrived by boat will also be recognised as refugees.”

    tags: news reports publications

  • “GENEVA, February 21 |(UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency on Friday called upon countries around the world to make multi-annual commitments towards a goal of providing resettlement and other forms of admission for an additional 100,000 Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016.”

    tags: Syria news

  • “The February 22, 2014 action by the Security Council is an important step towards getting desperately needed aid to millions of Syrians, including a quarter of a million who are trapped in besieged communities. However, this resolution will only be meaningful if it results in real, substantial changes on the ground in Syria. We have been in a similar situation before. Last October, the Security Council issued a strong statement urging all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, to facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need. At that time, approximately 6.8 million Syrians were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Now that number is 9.3 million, half of whom are children. After more than four months and a significant amount of diplomatic effort, the results on the ground have been meager and the overall humanitarian situation has deteriorated.”

    tags: Syria news

  • “The ongoing conflict in Syria that began in March 2011 has created one of the most pressing humanitarian crises in the world. As of early February 2014, an estimated 9.3 million people in Syria, nearly half the population, have been affected by the conflict. This figure includes estimates of between 6.5 million displaced inside Syria and 2.4 million Syrians displaced as refugees, with 97% fleeing to countries in the immediate surrounding region, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and other parts of North Africa. The situation is fluid and continues to worsen, while humanitarian needs are immense and increase daily.”

    tags: news Syria reports

  • “UN Human Rights Council, Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, 12 February 2014, A/HRC/25/65, available at: [accessed 14 March 2014] “

    tags: news Syria

  • “New Asylum Applications Syrians in Europe: Key Facts and Figures”

    tags: news Syria

  • “Working with asylum seekers and refugees in almost any location in the world involves juggling vulnerability with service availability, battling bureaucracy and bearing witness to remarkable people. Few situations we’ve worked in are as challenging as that of Libya. On the surface it is similar to many other countries in the region that have not signed the Refugee Convention, have no domestic asylum (or migration) legislation and offer no national refugee status determination (RSD) process. The national government is in transition and has no formal MoU with UNHCR.”

    tags: news publications

  • “JOHANNESBURG, 12 March 2014 (IRIN) – The riot at Australia’s offshore processing centre for asylum seekers on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea (PNG), last month, which left one detainee dead and more than 70 others injured, has put the spotlight on the outsourcing of numerous aspects of migration control to private security companies.”

    tags: news

  • “DUBAI, 6 March 2014 (IRIN) – Atop a tall metal pole some 80km north of the Jordanian capital, Amman, a giant United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag flaps near the entrance to a Syrian refugee camp.

    Opened in 2013 at a reported cost of US$10 million, and run by the UAE Red Crescent Authority, the Mrajeeb al-Fhood camp offers shelter and safety to several thousand Syrian refugees. But it is also an important symbol of UAE’s rapidly growing overseas aid portfolio.

    While Jordan – home to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees – was the biggest recipient of UAE aid in 2012, Emirati aid also reached as far as Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sudan.”

    tags: news

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