Asylum Update – July 23rd 2008


The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has published Community Cohesion and Migration – the results of its inquiry into the effects of migration on local communities and cohesion in England and actions to address these effects.

See also BBC coverage

Integration and Diversity in the UK is a summary of work to date and in progress by the Institute for Public Policy Research on migration, equalities and citizenship. The research project in progress is called ‘Moving up together: promoting equality and integration for the UK’s diverse communities’, and looks at socio-economic disadvantage among some migrant and minority communities.

The Emotional Well-being of Young People Seeking Asylum in the UK by Elaine Chase, Abigail Knight and June Statham presents findings from a study of the perspectives and experiences of children and young people arriving unaccompanied to seek asylum in the UK.

Groups vulnerable to financial exclusion, including refugees and asylum seekers, are the main focus of Financial inclusion in the UK: Review of policy and practice  – a new study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Institutions for the Management of Ethnopolitical Conflict in Central and Eastern Europe is a new book examining the work of eight different international organisations which have become involved in trying to prevent or resolve ‘ethnopolitical’ conflicts.

Policy and Law

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has published its Human Rights Annual Report 2007, which looks at the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in relation to human rights worldwide and contains individual country chapters and recommendations.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the government is “actively looking at what we can do to support Zimbabweans in this country who are failed asylum seekers, who cannot work and who are prevented from leaving the UK through no fault of their own.” This possible policy shift comes in the wake of media coverage about how destitution and removal affect Zimbabwean asylum seekers.

Meanwhile the European Court of Human Rights ruled on 17 July that a Tamil man denied asylum in the UK could not be deported to Sri Lanka because he would risk torture there. The verdict could set a legal precedent, affecting similar pending cases, as the ECHR had asked Britain to suspend 342 procedures pending their ruling.

See ECHR press release and BBC and newspaper coverage

Finally, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has rejected calls for a moratorium on the deportation of failed Iranian asylum seekers, particularly those fearing persecution on grounds of sexual orientation. See press coverage



Exploring Integration: Third Country Migrants in the EU Seminar. Middlesex University, Hendon. Friday 25th July, 10.30-4.30pm. Two new research projects will be launched at this seminar and presentations will look at both the UK situation and recent developments in the EU. Email Rosemary Sales for details.


The British Red Cross has launched ‘Wee Positive Images’ – a new interactive educational toolkit in Scotland to help primary school children better understand asylum and refugee issues and experiences in their classrooms.


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