BID's Reuniting Familes Campaign

Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) needs you! They need to raise an initial £5,000 to help fund their ‘Separated Families’ project. With these funds BID will help reunite 20 families devastated by the separation of immigration detention. It is a very achievable goal, if every one of our supporters donates £2 each we’ll get their fund off to a great start. Their press release is set out below.


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Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) needs you! They need to raise an initial £5,000 to help fund their ‘Separated Families’ project. With these funds BID will help reunite 20 families devastated by the separation of immigration detention. It is a very achievable goal, if every one of our supporters donates £2 each we’ll get their fund off to a great start. Their press release is set out below.


Reuniting Separated Families

Today (Monday 13
th June), Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has launched a CrowdJustice campaign (https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/bid/) aimed at securing funding for their vital Separated Families project.

Each year, BID helps reunite around 100 families who have been torn apart by the horrors of immigration detention. Every year, the government detains over 30,000 people for immigration purposes, routinely separating mothers and fathers from their children. Losing a parent to detention – never knowing how long they will be gone for – is devastating for a child. That’s why BID has a special team dedicated to providing parents who have been detained away from their children with legal advice and representation to help them apply for bail and to challenge their deportation.

BID’s CrowdJustice appeal (
https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/bid/) is seeking to raise an initial £5000 to help fund the Separated Families project over the next 12 months. £5000 would be enough for BID to help reunite 20 families devastated by immigration detention.

Commenting on the appeal, BID Director Celia Clarke said:

“I’m really excited to be launching this appeal on CrowdJustice. All the people we help at BID need legal advice and support. But when we hear about cases of mothers and fathers being locked up away from their children we know all too well how vital it is that quick action is taken to help put the pieces back together.

“Having a parent ripped from your life is really unimaginable for any child. Yet that is what we see the government do time and again with their immigration detention regime. BID’s Separated Families project aims to give parents in detention legal advice and representation to help them apply for bail and to challenge deportation orders.

“Last year, BID helped reunite 110 families. But we know there are hundreds, maybe thousands more families who have been torn apart by detention. Without our help, many of those parents will never have access to legal advice, will never be able to challenge their detention and find a way back to their families.

“We hope that this appeal will help fund our vital work for another year, and we hope that the public will give generously so that BID can carry on reuniting parents with their children. ”

Please visit
https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/bid/ for more information and to donate.

Save child refugees

petition

Please help defeat the UK Government’s decision tor refuse to take vulnerable children who are alone and at risk in Europe.

Please sign the petition put to the Government demanding that they accept the call to give sanctuary to children. Despite the scaremongering, we are a rich and well resourced country, very well equipped to provide sanctuary to a small number of children.

The petition can be found by clicking here.

As at the time of this blog post there were 42,439 signatures. At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament. So please share this link to everyone you know. The deadline to achieve 100,000 is 26 October 2016. But let’s not stop at 100,000, let’s show the Government that we remain an inclusive and caring country, a country that should lead by example.

Refugee Crisis

Seraphus supports the statement calling for an urgent, humane and effective governmental response to the refugee crisis. Its signatories include retired judges, Queen’s Counsel, barristers, solicitors and law professors. The statement appears on Monday 12 October 2015 in The Times and The Guardian and it has 342 signatories comprising:

12 - Retired Judges
103 - Queen’s Counsel
30 - Partners and Directors
24 - Professors of Law and International Migration
127 - Barristers
24 - Solicitors
23 - Law Academics

The signatories believe that, as a matter of urgency:

1. The UK should take a fair and proportionate share of refugees, both those already within the EU and those still outside it. The UK's present offer is deeply inadequate: in Lebanon alone, a country of 5 million, there are 1.2 million registered Syrian refugees.

2. Safe and legal routes to the UK, as well as to the EU, need to be established. Permitting travel by ordinary means will do much to halt the hazardous boat traffic and will save lives. Such routes ought to include:

(i) Humanitarian visas – that is to say visas for the specific purpose of seeking asylum on arrival – issued in the country of departure or intended embarkation.
(ii) Resettlement schemes, accepting refugees directly from the country of persecution or from neighbouring states.
(iii) Humane family reunion policies, such as allowing child refugees in the UK to be joined by adult family members.

3. Safe and legal routes within the EU, including the UK, should be established. For instance:

(i) A relocation scheme to take refugees from destitute conditions elsewhere in Europe;
(ii) A suspension of the ‘Dublin’ system, save for the purpose of family reunification.

There should be access to fair and thorough procedures to determine eligibility for international protection wherever it is sought.

International refugee law developed following the horrors of the Second World War because states, including the United Kingdom, recognised that people fleeing persecution have a moral and legal entitlement to protection.

But many member states of the European Union, including the UK, make it impossible for people to gain access to these rights by normal means of travel. They require regular visas conditioned on an early return home. There is no such thing at present as a visa for travel from refugee-producing countries such as Syria, Iraq, Eritrea or Afghanistan, permitting entry in order to claim asylum.

This situation, coupled with draconian penalties on airlines and ships which carry undocumented passengers, including those fleeing persecution, has created the conditions which drive individuals and families into the hands of people-smugglers, with unseaworthy and overloaded boats or suffocating lorries.

The EU’s ‘Dublin’ system, under which asylum-seekers are compelled to apply to the first member state in which they land, is dysfunctional. In certain member states, particularly at the EU’s periphery, reception conditions have collapsed and determination procedures are rudimentary.

Like many others, we consider that the UK Government’s offer to resettle 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees from camps in the Middle East, spread over 5 years, is too low, too slow and too narrow.

Family and General - Call for evidence - deadline 19th June 2015

15.06.12 - JCWI - call for docs

'I am an immigrant poster campaign': call for crowd funding

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has set up an excellent crowd funding campaign to run posters across the UK showcasing migrants and their invaluable contribution to British life. Please circulate and support if you can.   There are only 14 days to run so you need to hurry.

The details below are taken from the funding website, click here, where you can make your pledge and the video tells you about the project.


Immigrants are part of the fabric of our society. Its time to celebrate, not vilify them.

We will have posters of migrants contributing to British life across all tube and rail networks in the run up to the General Election. Are you a migrant? Do you want to be one of fifteen people representing your profession, business or industry? Contact us urgently to audition for a professional photo shoot.

What is the poster campaign?

‘I am an immigrant’ poster campaign is a response to the increased anti-immigration rhetoric occurring in politics and the need to shed positive light on immigrants and the social, economic and cultural prosperity they bring to the nation.

The poster campaign emerged out of the Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) which aims to rid the dialogue on immigration policy of racism and discrimination. With the 2015 General Election, the language and the rhetoric will only get worse.

What is the purpose of the poster campaign?

The Poster Campaign is an exciting and powerful way of showing that immigrants not only contribute but are part of the fabric of British society and a vital part of multi-cultural Britain.

The negative rhetoric against immigrants fuelled by populist media has meant the Government is countering this by passing legislation that is increasingly anti-immigrant. Most parties are guilty of scapegoating immigrants. This affects all of society including British citizens as the Family Migration rules demonstrate. The new rules make it very difficult for foreign spouses to join British partners resulting in separated families, heartache and children growing up without both parents.

The Immigration Act 2014 which is now in force has all but eliminated the rights of appeal for migrants and changes to the NHS are proposed. Lawful migrants who work and pay taxes in the UK will have to pay a further levy to use the NHS. International students are being particularly signalled out. In a pilot scheme in the West Midlands landlords are being forced to take on the role of border guards and conduct immigration status checks on all tenants or face a hefty fine. This is likely to result in racism and discrimination against those without papers or from a black or ethnic minority background.

We are concerned at the impact this has on social cohesion and the existence of a just, tolerant and fair nation. Through the poster campaign, we will be able to highlight the importance of immigrants in a way that captures their contributions to society as a whole, economically and culturally.

If all migrants stopped working our country would grind to a halt.

Our goal is to create a campaign that will negate the anti-immigrant climate currently developing, celebrate the vital contribution of immigrants and induce an open and inclusive conversation about immigration policy built on human rights and equality.

What will the process be?

We will begin by selecting only fifteen migrants, including a few celebrities, from different occupations and all walks of life, such as health service professionals, teachers, cleaners, tube/bus drivers, business entrepreneurs, journalists, lawyers, etc. to be photographed by Vogue photographer Philip Volkers.

The message will be simple and the poster will consist of a photo of the individual with name and occupation, it will be titled ‘I am an Immigrant’ and will have a simple line outlining their contribution to British society such as “I am a brain surgeon and I have saved 6,000 lives”. Research demonstrates that visual depiction is extremely powerful.

Posters will be rolled out nationally through tube and train stations and will be displayed for two/three weeks before the General Election. We will also launch them through social media and a dedicated website. The social media arm will be interactive with the ability for all migrants to send in their own photos and will last well beyond the elections.

COSTS:

£44,000 is the bare minimum we need to create a nationwide poster campaign of 15 British migrants that will be distributed on all London underground tube stations and National rail stations. The entirety of these costs are to Exterion Media for publicity on the transport network. We are getting charity rates from them. Whilst still expensive, his will have the greatest impact on the public as we will have 300 escalator panels in London and 550 posters nationwide. These will be seen by 7.3 million people who use national rail daily and 4.2 million people using the tubes daily. However we ideally need to raise £66,802 in order to create a social media campaign that will run simultaneously and continue past the General Election allowing us to go global with the campaign. This will also allow all migrants to provide their own photographs and be part of the digital campaign. All staff including the Vogue photographer and graphic designer are working without profit but raising the full amount will allow us to meet their costs and to run a digital campaign with global reach. Please see below for a break down. Further details can be obtained from JCWI.


Publicity Only Costs to Exterion Media who run all production and publicity on the transport network:

Total London Costs: £11,700

Poster production for tube escalator panels,
300 sites and 15 designs: £3,600

Distribution for escalator panels for 2/3 weeks: £ 8,100

Total Nationwide Costs: 32,150

Poster production 4 sheets for National Rail,
550 sites and 15 designs: £4,650

Distribution National Rail stations for 2/3 weeks: £27,500

TOTAL: £43,850

Costs only for:
Vogue photographer
Graphic Designer
Campaign staff

Creation and maintenance of Digital campaign:
Dedicated website and social media platforms to allow all migrants to participate

Total: £22,952

GRAND TOTAL: £66,802


Asylum Aid campaign - close the protection gap for women

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Please join Asylum Aid in their campaign to close the protection gap for women seeking asylum. See their campaign leaflet below or, for further information, visit the website, here.

‘Now is your chance to help close the protection gap for women seeking asylum.

Take action in the new campaign under the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum which starts today!

In the past few months new initiatives have come into play for women facing rape and violence at home and abroad. But women seeking asylum are falling through a protection gap.

William Hague and Angelina Jolie signed off an international agreement on how a woman raped during a civil war should be supported. But if that woman comes to the UK to seek protection she isn’t guaranteed the same support. There is a glaring hypocrisy in how we treat women and girls who seek protection in the UK; they continue to be missed out of government policies on violence against women.

We believe that no woman seeking asylum should have to tell her story:
* in front of her children
* to a male interviewer or interpreter if she is not comfortable with this
* to someone who doesn’t understand how trauma affects memory
* without being given counselling
* without information about her rights as a woman in the asylum system

We believe that five particular measures in Hague and Jolies’s international agreement are also vitally important for women seeking asylum in the UK.

Let’s tell Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to use her powers to put these measures in place in the asylum system now:

Ø Provide childcare during screening and asylum interview
Ø Guarantee that women can have a female interviewer and interpreter if they choose
Ø Training for interviewers and interpreters on sexual violence, trauma and memory
Ø Counselling and support for trauma for women who have experienced gender-based harm
Ø Information about the asylum process, rights and entitlements specific to women seeking asylum

Take action now to close the Protection Gap for women seeking asylum:

* Send a Protection postcard to your MP

* retweet us @asylumaid

* write your own tweets using hashtag #ProtectionGap (we’ve attached a tweet sheet)

* put the attached information onto your website

* use the attached images

For more information do go to
www.asylumaid.org.uk/protectiongap or contact Debora Singer MBE on 020 7354 9631 extension 208.’

Supporting the Poppy Project

On a blog post dated 12 October 2010 we provided details of an important support service for female survivors of trafficking called the Poppy Project.

Despite the importance of their work the UKBA is terminating the funding it provides for them. Instead it has awarded a contract to the Salvation Army, which means the Project’s funding is reduced by 90%.

They need to raise £1.8 million very year to keep providing high quality support and accommodation to women who have been trafficked for sexual or domestic exploitation, and their children.

You can help support them here.

Slough Immigration Aid Unit

The SIAU is a charity that provides specialist immigration advice to individuals and families in the Slough area. It is regulated by the OISC. In the absence of solicitors with a legal aid contract, the SIAU is one of the only places in Slough where those who cannot normally afford legal representation can get it for free.

As SIAU is a charity it survives purely on donations and grants for the majority of its funding. Representatives of SIAU will be walking to raise money for the unit during the London Legal Support Trust walk on 16 May 2011. If you would like to support that walk click here.

Defending Legal Aid

The Law Society has published its views on the Government's proposals to cut legal aid. The proposals explain how access to justice can be safeguarded whilst still making financial savings. At the same time they have established a Sound Off for Justice campaign. The campaign aims to Read More...