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December 2021

Newsletter
The tragedy of the 27 people that died navigating the treacherous channel crossing was etched in our minds as we reflected on writing this piece. The UK Government's response to such a needless loss of life made clear that they are neither genuine nor committed to ensuring people are able to seek safety and sanctuary in the UK and that refugees are not welcome here despite what the branding of Operation Warm Welcome might suggest.

Whatever the reasons these people decided to take that risky journey, it created a watershed moment, which you would hope would in turn sway those in power emotionally. Yet, this moment only pushed the government to double down their efforts to make the UK an unwelcome destination, and compel people into the hands of smugglers and potentially traffickers. 

Developing the specifics of how to provide more and better safe routes to the UK needs careful consideration, but reinstating the 'Dubs amendment' route for child refugees and facilitating easier pathways to family reunion would be a step towards a more humanitarian approach.

Feeling safe and secure is a basic human need, perhaps especially so for those whose immigration status or heritage can make them feel more vulnerable.

Deprivation of citizenship and nationality is not new, it's been enacted since the 1981 British Nationality Act which gives the power of depriving citizenship under strict circumstances, and often when the victim is abroad. What emerged was a rapid use of these powers, and then a subsequent amendment through the Immigration Act 2014 (hostile environment policies) that expanded the ability of the Home Secretary to revoke British citizenship even if that rendered them stateless. 

The only moments we hear about derivation of citizenship is through high profile cases such as Shamima Begum, and where someone has been suspected of terrorism. In spite of who it has been used against, it is a law that needs to be challenged on the basis that is a highly discriminatory power which disproportionately affects racialised communities.

Priti Patel parroting the line “Citizenship is a privilege, not a right” has shone a light on this unjust policy. Maybe it will inspire those within and beyond the sector to challenge anyone being denied a nationality and citizenship regardless of the crimes they may have committed or be accused of.
 

News & Campaigns

Assistance to people being held in barracks or hotels

BID is now setting up to assist people held in either barracks or in hotels to:

  • Help people find out their bail conditions when they don’t know them.
  • Help people understand their bail conditions when they are unsure of what they mean.
  • Help people apply to vary their bail conditions (e.g. report less frequently, change of residence conditions because of medical needs, family circumstances etc.).
  • Apply to change accommodation if people are unhappy where they are. 
  • Any miscellaneous concerns about bail conditions or accommodation.

The project will be led by BID’s Legal Manager Adam Spray. To make a referral please contact casework@biduk.org with the subject line “FAO Adam: barracks/hotel/acc. centre referral”.

Click here for more information
 


Support For Migrant Victims Scheme

Southall Black Sisters and partners have been awarded funds to operate the Support For Migrant Victims Scheme (SMV), a one-year project to provide temporary support to survivors of abuse and to build a better understanding of their needs. This scheme is now open for referrals. It will provide support to up to 500 migrant victims of domestic and other forms of gender-related abuse (and their children) who are subject to the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) Rule.

To Find Out More Click Here


The Together Programme

TOGETHER is a collection of projects delivered by Groundwork London and Groundwork South, supporting refugees and non-EU migrants to settle into life in the UK. The projects offer a stepping stone, facilitating people in finding social support networks, job opportunities, and language skills towards socio-economic integration.

The projects offer a range of services focused around three pillars of integration:
English Language Skills
Employment Advice
Social Activities (including wellbeing and resilience post COVID-19)

To Find Out More Click Here


International Organization for Migration - #ItTakesACommunity

This year, in collaboration with IMIX, IOM are raising awareness of the positive contribution of migrants to the UK by supporting Civil Society Organisations and communities across the UK to mark International Migrant Day. They will be facilitating and promoting events and success stories under the theme of #ItTakesaCommunity which will run from 13th-19th December 2021.

Read More
 


Frontline Network - The Frontline Worker Survey 2021

Each year, hundreds of frontline workers complete our survey to share their insights and experiences and help inform action to end homelessness. Now is the time to have your say on some of the key issues you are witnessing in your work, alongside the solutions needed to ensure that suitable, secure, affordable housing is available to all.

This year's questions cover issues ranging from the ease of accessing accommodation, to the impact of recent changes such as the withdrawal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit in October, through to questions about staff wellbeing and organisational support. We hope the survey will highlight good practice and what works, but also be honest about the challenges faced so that these can be addressed. 

Please submit your response before 12pm on Wednesday the 8th of December by clicking here

 

Events

Barriers & Threats To Access To Justice In The Immigration & Asylum System


7th December 2021 - 5pm

Chaired by Sonali Naik QC, this event will discuss challenges and uncertainties in the future of access to justice within immigration and asylum. Our panellists include Bella Sankey (Director, Detention Action), Adrian Berry (Barrister, Garden Court Chambers; Patron, ILPA), Alison Pickup (Director, Asylum Aid), and Jawaid Luqmani (Solicitor, Luqmani Thompson & Partners).

Register for the event here


Imix - Storytelling - Free Food Business Workshop

14th December 2021- 7:00 - 8:30pm, on Zoom

Elahe Ziai the Community Outreach Officer for Imix will be running a free, online workshop on 14th December for people with lived experience working in the food business.

This project will support people with immigrant and refugee-led food world to tell their stories and promote their business.

For more details and to register for the event click here


Online Workshop for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Campaigners


8th January 2022 - 10am - 4pm

Free full-day training workshop for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people who want to build their skills in activism and campaigning.

This free full-day workshop is for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people who want to build their skills in activism and campaigning. The workshop is open to all Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and nomadic people regardless of ethnicity, culture or background. It will be interactive, with lots of opportunities for discussion and networking.

Registration is via the Eventbrite link here

Sector Vacancies

Policy Manager - Open Rights Group

ORG are currently looking for a Policy Manager to
develop and implement ORG’s policy strategies in relation to their Sector Support programme.

More info and how to apply           Deadline: 8 December 2021
Investigator - Open Rights Group

ORG is recruiting an experienced investigator to develop an innovative research strategy within their Sector Support programme.

For more information                   Deadline: 8 December 2021


 Regional Communications Coordinator - Imix

Imix are seeking an experienced communicator to work across Birmingham, Coventry and the West Midlands to support the refugee and migration sector to reach new audiences with positive stories of change.  

More information here                Deadline: 5 December 2021


 Clinic Helpline & Access Coordinator - Doctors Of The World

DOTW tackles health inequalities by helping some of the most marginalised with vulnerabilities in health to access healthcare and wider support services via our clinic and advocacy programme. We provide holistic health assessments for service users to identify risks, stressors and protective factors that might impact on health. You will reduce health inequalities by coordinating our clinic and our advice line (alongside a wider team).

More information here               Deadline: 9 December 2021

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