Asylum Update – 15 October 2008

Research

UNHCR has recently published a series of new evaluation reports on different aspects of their work, including returnee reintegration programmes in the Sudan and Angola, voluntary repatriation, and human trafficking.

State failure and extra-legal justice: vigilante groups, civil militias and the rule of law in West Africa is a new report in the UNHCR series New Issues in Refugee Research.

A new report by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child entitled Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention looks at the situation of asylum seeking children in the UK in the context of international standards. See also UN summary and Institute of Race Relations commentary

The Refugee Council has published More Token Gestures – a research report on the experiences of asylum seekers who receive Section 4 voucher support.

Migrationwatch has published a Balanced Migration: A new approach to controlling immigration. The report places asylum and trends in asylum seeking numbers within the context of immigration as a whole.

The October issue of Forced Migration Review focuses on climate change and displacement. To coincide with this the ippr have released a full transcript of the conference held on the same topic in London in April 2008.

Policy and law

The Asylum Support Partnership presented its recent policy report Access to Legal Advice for Dispersed Asylum Seekers to the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum in September 2008. Forum members are expected to respond in November.

The UK Borders Agency (UKBA) has released a statement documenting its efforts to tighten border controls six months on from UKBA’s inception. Among the targets it is still pursuing it notes that it has “360 days to make and enforce 60 per cent of asylum decisions within six months, with alternatives to detention for children.”

A written statement on asylum seekers’ educational entitlements and sources of further guidance on the subject has been provided by David Lammy, the Minister of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in response to parliamentary questions.

The¬†European Parliament has adopted an amendment to the European Refugee Fund which creates a “Solidarity Mechanism” allowing refugees to be transferred from EU member states facing severe migratory pressure to other member states. See October 10 ECRE weekly update for further details and background documents.

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