Asylum Update – 14th May 2008


The Equality and Human Rights Commission is gathering evidence for its Human Rights Inquiry into how human rights works in Britain. The deadline is 21 June for both employees and users of the public and voluntary sectors to submit evidence.

Journal article: The Human Rights of Failed Asylum Seekers in the United Kingdom by J.A. Sweeney in Public Law 2008

The Refugee Council has published Beyond the School Gates, its report on supporting refugees and asylum seekers in secondary schools.

The TUC Commission on Vulnerable Employment has published its findings. A section on asylum seekers recommends the right to work after six months.

Future Floods of Refugees is a new report published by Norwegian Refugee Council on the issue of ‘climate refugees’ escaping environmental disasters in developing countries. See also Foreign Secretary David Milliband’s response to BBC Newsnight on the prospect of such refugees seeking asylum in the UK.

According to Fortress Europe at least 12,059 people have died since 1988 along the European frontiers, including 36 in February 2008.

The European Migration Policy Centre (EMPC) is a new European Commission initiative aimed at linking policy-making and research. It will be set up by the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and is due to open in the autumn.

Policy and law

The government has advised local councils to map and monitor local refugee communities as part of a new guide for local authorities aimed at promoting greater community cohesion and integration.

The Refugee Council and Asylum Aid have made available their responses to the UKBA’s consultation over its Code of Practice for Keeping Children Safe from Harm. See also press coverage

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the European Parliament must have as much a say as member states in designing ‘safe countries of origin’ for asylum seekers.

The European Commission will propose harmonising refugee resettlement practices in the EU member states in the asylum policy plan to be presented in June. The proposal does not however recommend specific quotas. Background: See 2005 ECRE resettlement paper

During discussions over a draft return directive, EU member states have failed to agree the maximum period a migrant can be kept in detention after entering EU territory.


People on the move: The challenges of displacement in the 21st century. International Rescue Committee (UK) annual lecture by António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. 7pm, 16th June, London. Details here

Comic Relief-funded refugee integration project Shared Futures launch with the Children’s Commissioner for England. 10am, 17th June, London. Places can be booked by email


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