Tag Archives: Refugee Council

Refugee Council: Let them fly: ask the Government to offer safe passage to Syrians

Refugees should be allowed to reach safety legally and by plane, the Refugee Council has said today.

Ahead of a special UN conference on Syrian refugees on 30 March, the charity is calling for Britain to offer more refugees safe passage.

At the conference in Geneva, the UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is calling for countries to offer safe pathways to refugees fleeing Syria’s brutal war, which is heading into its sixth year.

Britain’s Minister for Syrian Refugees Richard Harrington is attending the conference and will have the chance to offer refugees fleeing Syria’s brutal conflict more safe and legal options for international travel.

Ask your MP to call on Richard Harrington to #LetThemFly – email them now

At the moment, refugees fleeing war and persecution have little option for safe, legal international travel.

When war breaks out, countries like Britain often close down refugees’ legal options by refusing to issue them travel visas. This means they can’t get on planes.

Other harsh rules stop refugees joining their loved ones who have already made it to safety in other countries and there simply aren’t enough resettlement places to go around.

This is how refugees can end up in smugglers’ hands.

But there is a way out.

Read the full article on the Refugee Council website at:  www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/4560_let_them_fly_ask_the_government_to_offer_safe_passage_to_syrians


Refugee Council Archive Weekly Bulletin: Issue Number 3


Refugee Archives News

The Refugee Council Archives at UEL Weekly Bulletin

Issue: 3


Many apologies for the slightly belated circulation of this the third  issue of Refugee Archive News: The Refugee Council Archives at UEL (hopefully) Weekly Bulletin.

This bulletin has the aim of providing both the latest news and developments on the Refugee Council Archive at the University of East London whilst also providing additional information on issues of concern to refugee and forced migration studies more generally. This I hope will include details of news stories, calls for papers, conferences and seminars, and online resources of potential interest. This bulletin, I hope, will aim to provide useful information to both students and academics on both UEL undergraduate courses in International Development and postgraduate students on our courses in Refugee Studies; Refugee Studies and Community Development and Conflict, Displacement and Human Security, whilst also being hopefully of interest to a wider readership represented by our Twitter and Blog followers.

This bulletin will be circulated via our Refugee Archive WordPress blog and also via our Refugee-Research Jiscmail email list. We would welcome any feedback that you may have on this bulletin and we would also welcome any input that you may have in terms of current and future content for both this bulletin and also our WordPress blog more generally. Please Contact Paul Dudman via email (library-archvies@uel.ac.uk) or Twitter (@PaulDudman) with any feedback or thoughts that you may have.

There are also some general Archive details included at the end of this and every bulletin posting for your reference.

Archive, CMRB and Course-Related News

In the News

Amnesty International – Racism, segregation, and rejection: The reality for Romani children in the Czech Republic.

British Red Cross – Asylum seekers sent to hotels without essentials or medicine.

Electronic Immigration Network – Court of Appeal warns over asylum legacy cases, saying commonly repeated arguments are now “laid to rest”.

Electronic Immigration Network – Very private lives: “acceptable questioning” in sexual orientation asylum cases.

Electronic Immigration Network – Control and restraint techniques used on people being removed from UK are lawful, says Court of Appeal.

Electronic Immigration Network – New UN guidelines on the rights of women asylum seekers and refugees.

The Compas Blog – Schooling, mobility and belonging.

UNHCR – UNHCR warns of winter crisis ahead for almost a million displaced people in Iraq, Syria.

UNHCR – Education Above All Launches Multi-Sector Education Project in Kenyan Refugee Camp.

UNHCR – UNHCR welcomes new General Recommendation on refugee and stateless women.

BBC News – Syria crisis: Istanbul misery for desperate refugees.

BBC News – Syria war refugees’ key role in telling the story.

BBC News – Inside a supermarket for Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Daily Mail Online – Paddy Ashdown accuses government of policy ‘to drown more refugees in the Mediterranean’ by blocking rescue efforts.

Guardian Online – Scapegoating immigrants is the oldest trick in the book.

Guardian Online – More immigration – but managed much better. That’s what the UK needs.

Guardian Online – Theresa May downgrades Cameron pledge to reduce net migration.

Guardian Online – Serco shares crash after latest profits warning.

Guardian Online – Sandwich maker goes ahead with Hungary hire drive.

Guardian Online – A good mix: why ethnic minority pupils boost school achievement.

Guardian Online – Bordergame review – immersive theatre show casts audience as refugees.

UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition – Trapped Populations – Hostages of Climate Change and other stories.

DW – ‘Triton’ sets out to rescue refugees.

Telegraph OnlineWealthy foreign tourists and business people to be given fast track British visa.

Telegraph Online – Britain must now curb migrant tax credits, Iain Duncan Smith says.

Telegraph Online – Earl of Sandwich says migrant workers can make ‘good or better’ sandwiches.

Telegraph Online – Romania and Bulgaria migrants reach record high.

Telegraph Online – We can’t control our borders until we control those judges.

Telegraph Online – Immigration: the real cost to Britain.

Telegraph OnlineImmigration report too ‘narrow’, says minister James Brokenshire.

UNHCR – Sharp increase in number of Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe, Ethiopia and Sudan.

The Guardian – Riot police deployed after violence against refugees in Rome.

The Guardian – David Cameron backs John Major’s warning on future of UK in Europe.

Free Movement – Legacy cases “laid to rest” by Court of Appeal.

New Additions to the Archive

Lives in transition : experiences of migrants living in Morocco and Algeria / research by Andrew Galea Debono based on interviews with migrants in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangiers in Morocco, and in Algiers, Oran and Tamanrasset in Algeria.

After the Arab Spring : new paths for human rights and the internet in European foreign policy / by the European Parliament Directorate General for External Policies Policy Department.

Desperate choices : conditions, risks and protection failures affecting Ethiopian migrants in Yemen / a joint report by the Danish Refugee Council (Regional Office for the Horn of Africa and Yemen) with the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, (RMMS).

Statelessness and the benefits of citizenship : a comparative study / [edited] by Brad K. Blitz and Maureen Lynch.

Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis and rising Xenophobia : an overview of the situation of people excluded from healthcare systems / by Dr. Pierre Chauvin, Nathalie Simonnot and Frank Vanbiervliet.

Refugees in Europe / Danièle Joly with Clive Nettleton.

Romania’s ethnic Hungarians / George Schöpflin and Hugh Poulton.

Minorities in southeast Europe : inclusion and exclusion / $$c by Hugh Poulton.

Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe / edited by Minority Rights Group and TWEEC.

At fortress Europe’s moat : the “Safe Third Country” concept / [written by Steven Edminster.].

The uprooted : agony and triumph among the debris of war / [by] Kanty Cooper

Refugees; the work of the League / by C. A. Macartney.

Aftermath : France, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, 1945 and 1946 / Francesca M. Wilson.

“Safe third country” policies in European countries / edited by Nina Lassen and Jane Hughes.

Quest for quality educational guidance for refugees in Europe / by Ayten Sinkil.

Refugees included : a survey of refugee involvement in refugee-assisting non-governmental organisations in the European Union / by Hildegard Dumper.

The common foreign and security policy and conflict prevention : priorities for the intergovernmental conference / [by Reinhardt Rummel]

Developing transnational partnerships : a guide for voluntary organisations working on EC funded projects / Ute Kowarzik and Maggie MacDonald.

Proceedings of the 2nd Colloquy on the European Convention on Human Rights and the Protection of Refugees, Asylum-seekers and Displaced Persons : consolidation and development of the asylum-related jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights / organised jointly by the Council of Europe and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Strasbourg, 19-20 May 2000.

UNHCR’s dialogues with refugee women / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Survivors, protectors, providers : refugee women speak out / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

A global review : UNHCR’s engagement with displaced youth / By Rosalind Evans and Claudia Lo Forte with Erika McAsian Fraser.

An introduction to cash-based interventions in UNHCR operations / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

UNHCR’s mental health and psychosocial support for persons of concern : global review – 2013 / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The implementation of UNHCR’s policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas : global survey – 2012 / MaryBeth Morand, Katherine Mahoney, with Shaula Bellour and Janice Rabkin.

Passages and junior passages : an awareness game confronting the plight of refugees / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Carly / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Not just numbers : [educational pack] / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Through the eyes of refugees : looking to the future / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Ageways: Practical Issues to Ageing and Development. Issue 82, March 2014.

Australian Journal of Emergency Management. Volume 29 Number 2, (April 2014).

ARC Magazine. Number 297, (May 2014).


New Off Air Recordings

The following TV programmes have been requested for the Refugee Council Archive:

Saturday 15th November

0430-0500: BBC News 24: Our World –  Rojava: Syria’s Secret Revolution. Series Recording.

Monday 17th November

2235-2320: BBC1: Panorama – Ebola Frontline.

Friday 21st November

1935-2000: Channel 4: (8/8) Unreported World – 15 and Learning to Speak. Series Recording.


Archive Opening Hours

The current Opening Hours for our Archival collections are detailed as follows. The Refugee Council Archive and the British Olympic Association Archive are currently located on our Docklands Campus Library whilst the Hackney Empire Archive is currently located in our Stratford Campus Library.

The opening hours for both Docklands and Stratford Archives are as follows:

Docklands Archive

Mondays:  1pm – 6pm*

Tuesdays:  1pm – 6pm*

Wednesdays:  1pm – 6pm*

Thursdays:  1pm – 6pm*

Fridays: 1pm – 6pm*

Sat/Sun:  Both Archives Closed

Access to the Stratford Archive for the Hackney Empire Archive is by prior appointment only.

* Morning appointments between 10am and 12pm are available by prior appointment.  The Archive will be closed between 12pm and 1pm for lunch.

We would recommend that, especially for external users, that you contact us in advance of your trip in order to make an appointment to use the Archives.  This enables us to ensure that a member of staff will be on hand to assist you.

To make an appointment, please click on the link to our Make an Appointment page.


Archive Web Resources and Email List

Please find details below of our various online and social media resources which are currently available online and please do take a look. We would also welcome any feedback that you may have on how these can be improved:


We have created several blogs to help support the archival work that we undertake and these are highlighted as follows:


Please join and Like Us on Facebook, links are as follows:


Please follow us on Twitter by selecting one of the options below:

Refugee-Research Email Mailing List

Please also consider joining our Refugee Research Jiscmail e-mail list which is managed in conjunction with this blog.  To subscribe to the mail group
www.jiscmail.ac.uk, type REFUGEE‐RESEARCH into the ‘find lists’ box, or use the alphabetical index to scroll down to R. and then follow the instructions on our REFUGEERESEARCH homepage to ‘join or leave the list’. Most users need only enter their email address and name. Alternatively, email the Archivist, Paul Dudman on p.v.dudman@uel.ac.uk, requesting to join the mail group.

Please let us know of any further links that you would like to see added.


Contact Details

Paul Dudman is currently the Archivist responsible for all of the physical Archives located here at the University of East London Library and Learning Services: Archives. Paul is happy to receive and respond to any questions or queries that you may have in response to both our Archival collections and also our social media presence.

If you wish to contact the Archive, please contact Paul Dudman via one of the contact methods detailed below:

By email at: library-archives@uel.ac.uk

By telephone at: +44 (0) 20 8223 7676

Online at: uelarchivesportal.wordpress.com/contact-us/

On Twitter at: @refugee_archive

By post to:

Paul V. Dudman
Library and Learning Services
University of East London
Docklands Campus
4-6 University Way
London, E16 2RD
United Kingdom.

Courses: Refugee Council Training Dates for November 2014

The Refugee Council have training dates coming up in November. All courses will take place at Refugee Council head offices based in Stratford.

Courses coming up:
. Key Issues in Asylum and Asylum Support- 20th  November
. Emotional Well Being of Refugee Children and Young People- 21st November
. Age Assessment Awareness and Working with Age Disputed Young People – 24th November
. End of Process: Support for Asylum Seekers who have been Refused Asylum- 27th November

Prices for the courses are:
£175 + VAT = £210 for all Organisations and Businesses
£115 + VAT = £138 for all Charities

All courses can be booked online: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/training_conferences/training/current_training_courses?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Refugee+Council&utm_campaign=4809161_Training+November+2014&utm_content=All%2520current%2520courses%2520information%2520November%25202014&dm_i=I6P,2V2RT,31JK3Q,ADILL,1

Or call 0207 346 6737

– Key Issues in Asylum & Asylum Support – 20th November

Working with asylum seekers and refugees requires an understanding of some key issues. Asylum and immigration legislation and policy are characterised by frequent changes which can make it difficult for practitioners to keep up-to-date and offer accurate advice and most effective practice.

This course will provide an overview of some key structures in the asylum system (including determination and support) in order to support delegates’ understanding of asylum issues.

By completing this one-day course, delegates will have a basic understanding of:
. The distinction between refugees, asylum seekers and other migrant groups
. The current international context of asylum and the causes of flight
. The current legislative structure including updates on the Immigration Act 2014 and legal aid changes
. The asylum determination process including the appeal process
. Support provision under current legislation
. Possible implications of future legislative changes

Book now: http://noreply.refugeecouncil.org.uk/I6P-2V2RT-31JK3Q-1AUY7H-1/c.aspx

– Emotional well-being of refugee children and young people – 21st November

The aim of the course is to examine the effects of trauma and loss on emotional well-being of refugee children and young people and to develop further understanding of their overall needs. Participants will be provided with the tools to assess the organisation in which they work, to identify factors which are detrimental to emotional well-being and to devise strategies for providing appropriate care and support.

On completing this course, participants will have a practical understanding of:
. The experiences of refugee children and young people
. The impact of trauma and loss on mental health
. Risk and protective factors
. Problems refugee children and young people may encounter in the UK
. The importance of appropriate support and access to education
. Cultural backgrounds and coping mechanisms

Book now: http://noreply.refugeecouncil.org.uk/I6P-2V2RT-31JK3Q-1AUY7I-1/c.aspx

– Age Assessment Awareness and working with age disputed young people – 24th November

This course aims to give delegates a thorough understanding of the legal and policy framework around age assessment, and practical insight into what is required of a social workers undertaking this assessment and the roles of others involved in the process. Delegates are invited to consider the child’s background, the impact of the assessment on the child, and the context within which it takes place.

On completing this course delegates will have a practical understanding of:
. The impact of cultural background on the age assessment process
. The legislative and policy framework of Children’s Services and the Home Office.

Book now: http://noreply.refugeecouncil.org.uk/I6P-2V2RT-31JK3Q-1AUY7J-1/c.aspx

– End of Process: Support for asylum seekers who have been refused asylum – 27th November

End of Process is the term used to describe the situation for those asylum seekers who have been refused asylum and have exhausted all appeal rights. UK policy states that when someone is in this position they are no longer entitled to many services and support, including asylum support. For many asylum seekers at the end of the process who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country, this means that they become destitute. For those working in the voluntary and statutory sector, knowing how and when they are able to support asylum seekers at the end of process is a challenge. Service providers often hear conflicting messages and myths, and can struggle to ensure they are up to date with the continual changes to policy and procedures to support entitlements and legal options.
On completing this course, participants will be able to:

. Clarify some misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding ‘categories’ of refugee and asylum seekers
. Identify the processes of making a further representation and a fresh asylum claim
. Define the eligibility criteria and entitlements under Section 4 support
. Recognise who is eligible for community care support
. Discern when different client groups are entitled to healthcare and employment

Book now: http://noreply.refugeecouncil.org.uk/I6P-2V2RT-31JK3Q-1AUY7K-1/c.aspx

In-House Training Courses:
. Training tailored to organisation needs
. Value for money: as little as £70 per delegate (based on 20 delegates)
. Convenient, one or a half day out for all staff
. Venue of your choice

Ask us about in-house courses by emailing training@refugeecouncil.org.uk or call 020 7346 6737.

Please note all courses are subject to VAT at the current rate

Events: Crisis in Syria: Conflict & Refugees (short films and panel discussion)

The Refugee Council, in collaboration with the Refugee Law Initiative at the School of Advanced Study, is hosting a film screening and panel discussion entitled ‘Crisis in Syria: Conflict & Refugees’. Four short documentary films on the Syrian crisis will be shown, followed by an expert panel discussion.

The panel discussion will include: Roland Schilling (UK representative, UNHCR), Olly Lambert (Filmmaker), Maurice Wren (CEO, Refugee Council and panel Chair), Sonia Koury (Syrian refugee doctor) and further speakers (TBC).

Date and time: Friday 22nd November, 6.30 – 9.00pm (refreshments will be served).

Location: Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU.

To book your free tickets please RSVP to rebecca.lancaster@refugeecouncil.org.uk.



Refugee Council Training: Age Assessment Awareness and working with age disputed young people

Refugee Council Training:

Age Assessment Awareness and working with age disputed young people.
5th November, 2013

Our next date for Age Assessment Awareness and working with age disputed young people will be 5th November.

Ensuring the well-being of unaccompanied refugee children and young people is at the heart of this course, which aims to give delegates the confidence and information they need to challenge assessments, and the tools to ensure that the correct processes are in place in your organisation.

On completing this course delegates will have a practical understanding of:

. The impact of cultural background on the age assessment process . The legislative and policy framework of Children’s Services and the UK Border Agency

Course fees:

Full rate £175 + VAT

Charity rate £109 + VAT

Please note this course will be held at our head office in Stratford. Book now: email training@refugeecouncil.org.uk.

We also offer this course as in-house option see below.

In-House Training Courses

We also offer our training courses as in-houses courses, where the trainer comes to a venue of your choice.

. Value for money as little at £68 per delegate (based on 20 delegates) . Convenient, one or a half day out for all staff . Venue of your choice . Tailored to suit your needs

Ask us about in-house courses: call 020 7346 6736 or email training@refugeecouncil.org.uk.

Please note all courses are subject to VAT at the current rate.


Events: Refugee Council save-the-date; ICVA meeting (Syrian Needs Analysis Project)

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

We would like to inform you of the date of Refugee Council’s conference on children, taking place on 12th February 2014 (follow this link to view this save-the-date email in your browser: http://noreply.refugeecouncil.org.uk/I6P-1SQN3-9D31JK3QCA/cr.aspx).

We understand that working with children and young people from abroad can be challenging in the current climate, and that it is sometimes difficult to support them through difficult circumstances in the light of changing policies and limited resources.

This conference has been designed to support you in your work and to keep you abreast of policy and processes affecting young people. The conference will offer up- to-date information, practical advice and an opportunity to discuss how policy and practice can be improved.

Issues to be covered in presentations and discussions include – Legal Aid, duties to families with no recourse to public funds, trafficking and the latest on age assessments.

The conference will take place at the KPMG building, Canary Wharf, London.

To register your interest in this event follow this link:  http://bit.ly/16IKpsJ

From the Refugee Council: Asylum seekers access to healthcare – download our new leaflet

The full news story is available here: www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/blogs/3662_asylum_seekers_access_to_healthcare_-_download_our_new_leaflet

We’ve published some useful new leaflets that explain asylum seekers’ rights and entitlements to NHS and heath treatments in the UK.

Asylum seekers have long had difficulties in accessing the healthcare they are entitled to. We’re worried that the government’s rhetoric around ‘health tourism’ is going to make it even more difficult for our clients. We hope that these new leaflets, produced by our Health Befriending Network will help clear up any misunderstandings.

You can download the leaflets for free in several languages here.

Re-blog: Parliamentary inquiry into asylum: our evidence

From the Refugee Council:

Parliamentary inquiry into asylum: our evidence

24 Apr 2013

The Refugee Council has submitted evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, which launched an inquiry into the asylum system in February for the first time in ten years. The evidence has been published on the Committee’s website this week, alongside 98 other submissions from organisations and individuals. The Committee has now begun hearing evidence from key stakeholders, such as the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

The aim of the inquiry is to look at, among other things, the effectiveness of the screening process for asylum applicants including the Detained Fast Track, the assessment of credibility of vulnerable asylum seekers, whether support to asylum seekers is sufficient and effective, the prevalence of destitution, and whether the media is balanced in their reporting of asylum issues.

The Refugee Council’s Advocacy team drew evidence from across the organisation to highlight the issues our clients regularly face. Our evidence includes:

How the dispersal of pregnant women in the asylum system puts their health at serious risk

Living on Section 4 support, including how the cashless system poses risks to pregnant women

Gaps in receiving asylum support and destitution as a result

Obstacles people experience in finding support, housing and employment after being granted refugee status

Problems for refugees applying for travel documents due to the new Biometric Residence Permits

The disproportionate and discriminatory nature of some reporting of asylum and refugee issues in the media.

Read our submission here, or to read all the evidence submitted to the Committee, click here.

Original News Story via Parliamentary inquiry into asylum: our evidence.

Re-blog: Asylum claim process flawed, says Amnesty report

Re-blog from the Refugee Council – Asylum claim process flawed, says Amnesty report.

Asylum claim process flawed, says Amnesty report
19 Apr 2013

Copyright: Refugee Council

Amnesty International UK and the Still Human Still Here Coalition have released a report this week further highlighting critically flawed decisions made by UKBA border officials in charge of deciding asylum claims.

Statistics used in the A Question of Credibility report show the process, first highlighted by AI UK in their 2004 report Get It Right: How Home Office decision making fails refugees, is actually becoming more inaccurate with regard to first-instance decisions, with 25 percent of refusals now being overturned on appeal.    Despite repeated calls for decision-making policy to be reformed, such as in the recent Refugee Council report Between as Rock and a Hard Place, perceived shortfalls in areas such as access to legal aid and flawed decision-making based on credibility issues have not been effectively addressed by the Home Office.

Research showed that in sample cases, the caseworkers often incorrectly applied caselaw, or did not follow the relevant credibility or operational guidance notes instituted as part of Home Secretary Theresa May’s recommendations.  While some of the negative decisions could be chalked up to reasonable disagreements between the judges at different stages in the process, the majority of  cases cited in the study were overturned primarily due to the fact the ‘UKBA case owner had wrongly made a negative assessment of the applicant’s credibility’.

Further, a significant number of reviewed cases also had their decisions reversed at appeal stage, on the alarming basis that the UKBA officer speculated what was likely to happen or how the applicant should have acted using solely  their own judgment, often not referring to region-specific research that would have alerted them to the fallibility of these decisions.  In other cases, the case officer did not ‘give appropriate weight’ to evidence, such as medical records and other documentation, which added credence to the applicant’s case.

While Amnesty admits that its research cannot be taken to correspond to all cases, the report is substantive, and in addition to a growing body of work that underlines the same conclusions supports a widening call to overhaul asylum claims’ procedure.  The monetary cost of unnecessary appeals is substantial, but the cost to the individual fleeing persecution cannot be measured in pounds and pence.

Read the full report: A Question of Credibility: Why so many initial decisions on asylum claims are overturned at appeal in the UK


New Report: Parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people

News from The Children’s Society and The Refugee Council:

Parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people

Link: The Children’s Society

Based on the parliamentary hearings and the submitted evidence received, the panel released its findings as:

Read the press release about the report’s shocking findings.

Recommendations and our campaign

As a result of the shocking findings this inquiry uncovered, as well as our research and years of work providing direct assistance to young asylum-seekers, refugees and their families, we began the End Forced Destitution campaign.

The campaign’s goal is for the government to adopt recommendations made in the inquiry’s report.

Get involved in our campaign.


The inquiry collected written evidence on specific questions from a range of perspectives. They also conducted three oral evidence sessions.

Learn more about the:

See Also: The Refugee Council –

MPs’ report shows asylum support system fails children & young people

A damning parliamentary report published today has found that the asylum support system is failing to meet the needs of many children and families, and in a worrying number of cases, putting children in unsafe situations or ones that will be harmful to their heath.

The Refugee Council submitted written evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people, led by former children’s minister Sarah Teather MP, in December 2012. The inquiry panel comprised MPs from all three main parties, as well as a Bishop, a barrister and the Chief Executive of the Children’s Society, who supported the inquiry. The report, released today, contains evidence from many different organisations and individuals, including experts in the health and well-being of children and asylum seekers living on section 95 support (for people waiting for a decision on their claim) and section 4 support (for those who have been refused).

The full news story is available [here].


New Report: When Maternity Doesn’t Matter: Dispersing pregnant women seeking asylum

When Maternity Doesn't Matter - Refugee Council and Maternity Action reportWhen Maternity Doesn’t Matter: Dispersing pregnant women seeking asylum is a joint report by the Refugee Council and Maternity Action. The Refugee Council has now released the following new stories providing further information on this report:

When Maternity Doesn’t Matter: Dispersing pregnant women seeking asylum

Link:  www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/maternity

This joint Refugee Council and Maternity Action report looks at the experiences of pregnant women in the asylum system, based on interviews with asylum seeking women and midwives responsible for their care.

The findings show that the UK Border Agency’s ‘dispersal’ policies are putting the health of pregnant women and their babies at risk. By moving them to acommodation around the county, women are uprooted from essential healthcare and their support networks, leaving them isolated and vulnerable.

When Maternity Doesn’t Matter – download full report 

Download the summary 

What you can do

#DignityinPregnancyJoin our campaign today to help ensure no women nor their babies have to suffer as a result of UKBA policies.

Please see also:

UK Border Agency putting health of mothers and babies at risk
By the Refugee Council


25 Feb 2013

– Midwives and MPs speak out in light of new report –

UK Border Agency policies are putting the health of hundreds of pregnant women and their babies at risk, a new report by Maternity Action and Refugee Council reveals today. The research found that the UK Border Agency is endangering the health of pregnant asylum seeking women and their babies by moving them to accommodation around the country, thereby removing them from essential healthcare and leading to isolation.

For the full news story, [click here].


Turing 18 Project

*** Apologies for Cross Posting ***

Turning 18


Welcome to ‘Turning 18’, a series of audio stories put together to mark 18 years of The Refugee Council’s Children’s Section. The stories in this collection are written and read by refugees inspired by the theme ‘turning 18’, with introductions by Zoë Wanamaker, Vivienne Westwood, Grayson Perry, and Peter Tatchell.

From the website:

http://www.turning18.co.uk/To mark 18 years  of the Refugee Council’s Children’s Section Penguin Books have  teamed up with the charity  to produce a collection of audio stories inspired by the theme ‘turning 18’. A range of refugees and asylum seekers took part in the project and have lent their energy, time and remarkable stories to the series.  Here’s how we did it…..


The project started with a writing workshop held at Penguin’s office’s in central London and led by booker nominated author Romesh Gunesekera. The workshop was attended by a range of refugees and asylum seekers including current and ex clients of the Children’s Section.  Participants took part in creative writing exercises which encouraged them to create a personal response to the theme ‘turning 18’.

The range of responses and writing styles was staggering.  From carefully crafted vignette’s to simple snapshots of experience all the pieces gave a unique and personal insight into what it  means to become an adult.  After the workshop, participants went away to perfect their stories and whilst news spread that the project was happening we received stories from more refugees who were interested in submitting their stories too.

In addition to this we received guest submissions from Penguin authors  Joe Dunthorne author of Submarine and Beverley Naidoo whose book The Other Side of Truth won the 2002 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for it’s portrayal of child refugees.


After collating the submissions, we invited the refugee writers to record their stories at Penguin’s recently-built audiobook studios.  Penguin has a well-established history publishing audiobooks ranging from literary classics, through to commercial bestsellers.  However, this would be the first collection of its kind to be recorded with such a wide-ranging scale of voices.

From the very first reading it was clear that delivering the pieces in the voice of the writer would help people to connect with the work. The unique accent, tone and inflection of each voice adding depth and colour to each story..

In order to raise public awareness of the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers we wanted to give some background on the refugee voice to explain a bit more about their individual story. Where they are from and why they had fled. The collection includes voices from Nigeria, Bolivia, Jamaica, Tanzania, Iran, Uganda, Afghanistan and Somalia. Contributors include those who have fled conflict, young people who were trafficked here as children, and those who have escaped persecution for political beliefs, or sexual orientation.

Famous supporters of the Refugee Council’s work kindly agreed to provide the narrations. They included fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, artist Grayson Perry, actress Zoë Wanamaker and political  campaigner Peter Tatchell.


The ‘Turning 18’ collection will be serialised here over a number of weeks from 22 November 2012.

Keep checking the website for the latest instalment.

Follow Turning 18 on Soundcloud

New: Meolody’s Story – New Refugee Council Animation

News from the Refugee Council:

In this animation, Melody tells her story of arriving in the UK completely alone at the age of 12. She was sent to the UK from her home country of Nigeria to live with a friend of the family, but was forced to live in domestic servitude and was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused. This is the 3rd in the series of short animations featuring child refugees released by the Refugee Council in conjunction with their Children’s Section’s 18th birthday. To find out more about our vital work protecting child refugees like Melody, please visit this page: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/howwehelp/directly/children/18th.htm

See the film on Youtube at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xZGBYeuDYA&

New Publications on Rethinking Integration; Greece; Food Insecurity; Human Trafficking; Halifax Public Libraries; Children; Asylum

Rethinking integration

Rethinking integration

Rethinking integration.
A new report written by Myriam Cherti and Clare McNeil for the IPPR.

IPPR has published a report setting out what they call an ‘everyday integration’ approach to bringing cultural minorities into the mainstream.

The report argues that this contrasts with the ‘group multiculturalism’ which has been advocated by academic researchers in the past, and the more recent assimulationist approaches which have been advocated in recent years by government.

[Access Full Report].
(Source: Migrants’ Rights Network).

Update report Greece/ June 2012.
Report written by Thanos Maroukis for the CLANDESTINO Project.

In a new report posted on the project’s website they have set out an alternative assessment for 2011 which suggests figure of 390,000 as representing the upper range of credible estimates. This figure is calculated on the basis of CLANDESTINO’s baseline estimate for 2007 updated to take into account apprehension data provided by the Greek authorities and other factors used by researchers to interpret data.

[Download Full Report].
(Source: Migrants’ Rights Network).

The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI).
Produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
[Download Full Report]
(Source: IDS – World Food Day: What hope for a new era of global action on food security?).

First Annual Report of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking

First Annual Report of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking

First Annual Report of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking – Cm. 8421.
Produced by the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group (IDMG) on Human Trafficking.

Fuelled primarily by those who seek to make a profit from the misery of others, human trafficking is the vilest of crimes and equates to modern day slavery.

Men, women and children from across the world are exploited and forced into performing services or other work against their will. In some instances the exploitation can be experienced over a prolonged period of time. Those who are exploited may face years of sexual abuse, forced labour, or domestic servitude and, in many instances never fully recover from their traumatic experience.

[Access the Report]
(Source: The Metro – Trafficking misery: illegal trade of humans into Britain ‘rising every year’).

Asset Mapping at Halifax Public Libraries: A Tool for Beginning to Discover the Library’s Role with the Immigrant Community in Halifax.
Article written by Kenneth Williment and Tracey Jones-Grant and published in Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, vol. 7, no. 1 (2012).
[Download Article]
(Source: The Network E-bulletin).

Into the unknown: Children’s journeys through the asylum
A new report by the Children’s Association.
[Download Full Report]
(Source: The Network E-bulletin).

Tell it like it is: the truth about asylum.
A new report by The Refugee Council.
[Access the Report]
(Source: The Network E-bulletin).