Asylum Update – 24th September 2008



Call for papers to be included in panel on ‘Is humanitarianism compatible with refugee rights?’ at the World Conference of Humanitarian Studies, February 2009, The Netherlands.

The Journal of Refugee Studies Vol 21 No 3 contains Back to Basics: The Conditions of Just Refugee Returns by Megan Bradley.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee has published Access to Protection at Airports in Europe, a report on monitoring at 5 airports.

UNHCR has published an Evaluation of UNHCR’s returnee reintegration programme in Angola


Policy and law

The Council of Europe has presented the first of three memoranda on asylum and immigration in the UK. It is based on visits this year, and issues addressed include children, the detention of asylum seekers and forced returns. See also BBC coverage and the Welsh Children’s Commissioner on the treatment of asylum seekers’ children.

The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) has published a new policy paper entitled ‘The French Presidency’s European Pact on Immigration and Asylum: Intergovernmentalism vs Europeanisation? Security vs Rights?’

The Report on UNHCR’s Annual Consultations with Non-Govermental Organisations is now out. The consultations included a session on Europe which addressed the Common European Asylum System.



A conference will be held to evaluate Refugee Week 2008 and make specific recommendations for Refugee Week 2009. It takes place at Amnesty International in London on Friday 21 November 2008.


Asylum Update – 17th September 2008


Amnesty International has published Scotland’s Slaves: An Amnesty International briefing on trafficking in Scotland

Soldiers, Migrants and Citizens – the Nepalese in Britain is a new report by Jessica Mai Sims in the Runnymede Community Studies series.

Beyond the 21st Century Hadrian’s Wall: the Externalisation of Immigration and Border Control Policy by the European Union by Frigo, M; and Clandestine Immigration across the Strait of Gibraltar: Effects of Control Mechanisms on Immigration from North Africa by Mesa, J.R. appear in Vol 11 No 2 of the Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights

The quality of Somali translations of public service information used by refugees in Manchester is deficient, according to an ongoing study sponsored by the Millennium Commission and Manchester Metropolitan University.


Policy and law

On 8 and 9 September, the French EU Presidency hosted a ministerial conference entitled “Building a Europe of Asylum” in Paris, in order to prepare the second phase of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and host an exchange between the EU Institutions, Member States, UNHCR and civil society on the issue. See also UNHCR statement to EU ministers.

A legal challenge on behalf of Iraqis who worked for the British military who do not currently qualify to be resettled in Britain has been dismissed. The challenge sought a judicial review on the basis that the government’s duty of care to its staff was not being met.

The Refugee Council has published a new briefing on the Draft (partial) Immigration and Citizenship Bill 2008 [September 2008]

An 8-year-old Iranian boy held at Yarl’s Wood removal centre since 15 July has been released after solicitors began High Court proceedings against the Home Office, challenging the legality of his detention. See also: families’ ‘alternative to detention’ centre to shut and centre for returning Afghan minors to open


‘Are Asylum Seeking Children Safe in the UK?’ is a conference to be held on Tuesday 14 October in London and hosted by the Children’s Service Network. It will examine the ‘tension between asylum legislation and policies designed to support and protect vulnerable children’, with speakers from UKBA, IOM and other bodies..

The Institute of Race Relations will be holding a conference to mark its 50th anniversary on Saturday 1 November in London, with Lee Bridges, Victoria Brittain, David Edgar, Liz Fekete, Arun Kundnani, Herman Ouseley, Colin Prescod, A. Sivanandan and Salma Yaqoob.


The Refugees into Teaching project has issued reports of two conferences held in June: its annual national conference and a special conference on retraining and reemploying refugee teachers.

Asylum Update – September 12th 2008


A summary has been published on research by the Institute of Education into the emotional wellbeing and mental health of unaccompanied young people seeking asylum in the UK.

Policy and law

The European Parliament has adopted a report critiquing the Dublin system and will propose amendments to the Dublin Regulation later this year.


The Electronic Immigration Network is holding a conference on Immigration and asylum law on 25 September 2008. Email for more information.

On Tuesday 14 October 2008 in The British Library the International Library and Information Group will host a half day seminar on Information Services for Migrants and Refugees. Email for more information.


United Nations Committee on the ‘Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’ (CEDAW) has criticised the United Kingdom for its treatment of immigrant women and women asylum-seekers and has observed that they may be subject to multiple forms of discrimination. A report was published by the Committee on 29 August.

The New Statesman has launched a campaign against the detention of children for immigration reasons.

According to Home Office figures, incidences of self-harm in immigration detention centres rose 73 per cent in the first six months of this year.


The Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust and the Chartered Institute of Housing have launched the first housing rights website to be specifically aimed at answering housing rights queries for new migrants.

Asylum Update – September 3rd 2008


Immigration and social cohesion in the UK: the rhythms and realities of everyday life is a wide-ranging new study by Mary Hickman, Helen Crowley and Nick Mai, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Responses to the publication of the 2007 asylum statistics continue to appear, including from the press in Birmingham and Leeds in the light of the significant fall in the number of asylum seekers accommodated by UKBA (NASS) in those cities.

Meanwhile the Refugee Council has given its response to the second quarterly asylum statistics, also published in August.

Journal article: Young Asylum Seekers’ Conceptions of ‘Home’ at a Time of Transition to Adulthood by Ala Sirriyeh, in the International Journal of Migration Health and Social Care Vol. 4, Issue 1.

Policy and law

The UNHCR has issued recommendations centred on international protection for the second Euro-African conference on Migration and Development, to be held in Paris on 20 and 21 October 2008.

European Parliament briefing paper: EU: An analysis of the Commission Communications on future development of Frontex and the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR).


On 8 and 9 September, the French presidency of the European Union will host a ministerial conference entitled “Building a Europe of Asylum” in relation to the draft European Pact on Immigration and Asylum. The conference will also now include civil society participants.


70 migrants from Eritrea and Sudan were killed en route to Europe when their boat capsized