Asylum Update – December 3rd 2008



The Refugee Women’s Resource Project (RWRP) has published Relocation, Relocation: the impact of internal relocation on women asylum seekers by Claire Bennett.


The International Journal of Refugee Law Vol 20 No 4 features an article by Robert Thomas on Consistency in Asylum Adjudication: Country Guidance and the Asylum Process in the United Kingdom


New Human Rights Watch report: Stuck in a Revolving Door: Iraqis and Other Asylum Seekers and Migrants at the Greece/Turkey Entrance to the European Union


Ethnic Conflict and Minority Refugee Flight from Post-Soviet Ukraine, 1991-2001 by Jeffrey Burds in The International Journal of Human Rights, Vol 12, No 5.


 Policy and Law


The housing charity Shelter has published a new policy discussion paper – No Place Like Home? Addressing the issues of housing and migration which covers the needs of asylum seekers amongst other groups.


HM Chief Inspector of Prisons has published a Report on an unannounced full follow-up inspection of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre based on a visit made in May 2008. See also the official summary



A right to a voice: Survival English for Asylum Seekers – launch of the NIACE Campaign. Wednesday 10 December, London.


Imkaan provides support to BAMER (black, asian minority ethnic and refugee) women’s refuges across the UK.  They will hold their 10th anniversary AGM in London on Thursday 11th December – email to reserve a place. In September Imkaar produced the briefing paper A Matter of Life and Death: The loss of specialist services for BAMER women and children experiencing violence




The Children’s Legal Centre has updated its Guide to Higher Education Entitlements for Refugees and Asylum Seekers


New Londoners: Reflections on Home is a collection of photographs and writing by 15 young refugees supported in their work by leading London photographers.


Asylum Update – November 28th 2008



Accommodate – better together is a summary of the final evaluation report of ‘Accommodate’ – a refugee housing partnership project led by the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (hact).


Mental healthcare of asylum-seekers and refugees by Helen McColl, Kwame McKenzie, and Kamaldeep Bhui in Advanced Psychiatric Treatment Vol 14 No 6.


Politics of Exception and Unease: Immigration, Asylum and Terrorism in Parliamentary Debates in the UK by Huysmans, J.and Buonfino, A. in Political Studies Vol 56 No 4.


Women’s Right to Asylum: Protecting the Rights of Female Asylum Seekers in Europe? by Freedman, J. in Human Rights Review Vol 9 No 4.


Policy and law


UNHCR have published a new Guidance Note on Refugee Claims relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) has with a recent decision reviewed the existing country guidance on Democratic Republic of Congo and extended the ‘risk categories’ to members of the Hema tribe. This immediately follows the AIT’s review of country guidance on Zimbabwe, with similarly profound implications for asylum seekers in the UK. See transcripts of DRC and Zimbabwe decisions, and Immigration Advisory Service statement on both decisions.


The Conclusions of the Asylum Conference held in The Hague on 22-24 October under the auspices of GDISC (General Directors’ Immigration Services Conference) have been published. The GDISC is an EU Member State Initiative aimed at improving the European asylum process and increase cooperation between member states on the issue.



“The DRC, a Forgotten Emergency.” Saturday 29th November, 10:30-13:30 at Burngreave Vestry Hall, 2 Burngreave Road, Sheffield S3 9DD. Speakers include Meg Munn, Sheffield MP, and Noel Mbala, a former DRC minister.


The Evelyn Oldfield Unit, which provides specialist support for refugee organisations, is looking for a Chair. Its AGM will be held on 4th December.

In Defence of Learning: Past and Present is a two day conference on 3-5 December hosted by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics in London. In addition, on December 4 there will be an evening ‘conversation’ with 4 refugee academics from Sudan, Iraq, Algeria and Kurdistan. Booking via email

The Refugee Council’s Inclusive Secondary Schools action research project is hosting a national event on ‘Supporting refugee communities in secondary schools’ on December 12 in London. This follows its regional workshops. Contact Susanna Siddiqui for details and booking.




Border Country by Melanie Friend is a book of photographs and an accompanying audio CD documenting Britain’s Immigration Removal Centres and the voices of asylum seekers and other detainees held in them. See press review  


The General Teaching Council for England has updated its Resource file on supporting asylum seeker and refugee learners


The Equality and Human Rights Commission has commissioned a new interactive map of minority groups in Britain. 


The BASIS project has set up an e-forum for the exchange of information about refugee community organisation (RCO) fundraising.


New Philanthropy Capital has published a new downloadable report entitled Heads Up (Mental Health for Children and Young People – a Guide for Charities) which highlights the situation of young refugees and asylum seekers, amongst other vulnerable groups.

Asylum Update November 12th 2008



Trafficking in Persons in Afghanistan is a new report from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on trafficking both in and from Afghanistan, based on research conducted last year in Kabul and nine border provinces.  

Moving Up Together is a new study by the Institute of Public Policy Research examining ‘why some migrant and minority communities in the UK are falling behind’ and relevant policy interventions. It focuses on people born in Bangladesh, Iran, Nigeria and Somalia.

The European Journal of Migration and Law Vol 10, No 3 contains:

Whose Rights and Which Rights? The Continuing Story of Non-Refoulement under the European Convention on Human Rights by Maarten den Heijer and Must EU Borders have Doors for Refugees? On the Compatibility of Schengen Visas and Carriers’ Sanctions with EU Member States’ Obligations to Provide International Protection to Refugees by Violeta Moreno Lax.


Environment and Planning D Vol 26 No 5 contains Domopolitics and disease: HIV/AIDS, immigration, and asylum in the UK by Ingram, A.


Child Care Health and Development Vol 34 No 6: Social support in unaccompanied asylum-seeking boys: a case study by Mels, C.; Derluyn, I; Broekaert, E.



Policy and law


The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the future priorities in the field of Justice and Home Affairs policy, which covers asylum and refugees.
Meanwhile the European Civil Liberties Network has produced its own alternative questionnaire.


New Home Office minister Phil Woolas has stated that it would be disproportionately expensive to collate statistics on the number of people with exceptional leave to remain who have been refused settlement in the UK and whether having a criminal conviction in Britain was a reason for said refusal.




Sir John Waite, co-chair of the Independent Asylum Commission, will give the 9th Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture entitled ‘Asylum: a new perspective.’ It is hosted by the Refugee Studies Centre and will take place in Oxford on Wednesday 19 November. Email Katherine Salahi to book a place.


‘Mental Health Matters: Issues for Asylum Seekers and Refugees’ features key note speakers from organisations like the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, Gofal, Mind Cymru and AWETU. It takes place at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea on Wednesday 10th December 2008.


Launch of research report: ‘Relocation, Relocation – The impact of internal relocation on women asylum seekers’ by RWRP/Asylum Aid on November 27 at Garden Court Chambers, London, 6-8.30 pm. Email if you wish to attend.


The Refugee Council is hosting a series of regional workshops in November and December as part of the Inclusive Secondary Schools Project, which aims to encourage partnership work between schools and Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs).




A Congolese demonstration in Manchester protested against deportations to the DRC and the worsening situation in that country.

See also: Cameroonian returned to UK after passenger protest


The Border Agency plans to open a new immigration detention centre near Arncott, Bicester, would open in 2012 and house 800 people.

Asylum Update 4th November 2008


Refugee Schooling: how the education needs of certain vulnerable groups are not being met by Dorling, K. in ChildRIGHT No 250.

Conflict and the Refugee Experience: Flight, exile and repatriation in the Horn of Africa, by Assefaw Bariagaber Earney, C. and Between vulnerability and assertiveness: Negotiating resettlement in Kakuma refugee camp, by Kenya Jansen, B. J. both appear in African Affairs Vol 107 No 429.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Right to be Granted Asylum in the Union’s Law in Refugee Survey Quarterly Vol 27 No 3 by Law Gil-Bazo, M.

The housing charity Shelter has published a new policy discussion paper – No Place Like Home? The paper examines the debate on housing and migration, including the housing needs of asylum seekers.

The July-September 2008 Accessions List for the Refugee Studies Centre Library is now available and contains details of new publications received by the Library.

Policy and law

The government has announced a pilot scheme to end the detention of families currently kept in Dungavel detention centre inn Scotland. See BBC and The Scotsman coverage.

The Refugee Council have published a response to the Department for Work and Pensions Green Paper, “No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility.” It has also along with Scottish and Welsh Refugee Councils responded to the UK Border Agency’s Consultation on ‘Strengthening the Common Travel Area’.

The Impact of the EU Qualification Directive on International Protection is a new ECRE study of the impact of the directive, which seeks to establish minimum standards for granting international protection in the European Union.


‘Promoting integration of vulnerable migrant groups’ on Monday 24 November in London is the third in a series of seminars based on the findings of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Immigration and Inclusion Programme. New ippr research on the integration of Bangladeshi, Iranian, Nigerian and Somali migrants will be made available.

‘Supporting disabled refugees and asylum seekers: opportunities for new approaches’ is the title of the launch of new research commissioned to ICAR by Refugee Support, the refugee arm of the Metropolitan Support Trust. It will take place on Friday 14 November at City Hall, London.


Shelter has published a new guide: Asylum seekers and refugees: Accessing accommodation and housing support

Migreurop have updated their map of immigrant detention centres and camps in Europe.








Asylum Update – 23 October 2008


UNHCR has published Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, covering the first half of 2008.

The Home Office has published its immigration statistics including asylum figures for the second quarter of 2008.

What Are They Doing Here? A Critical Guide to Asylum and Immigration by Peter Fell and Debrah Hayes (Venture 2007) is reviewed in Vol 8 No 4 of the Journal of Social Work.


Policy and law

The European Council comprised of EU heads of state and the president of the Commission has adopted the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum. See EUObserver coverage.

The UK Border Agency has now awarded contracts for the Refugee Integration and Employment Service (RIES). The service is for over-18s with refugee status or humanitarian protection and started up on 1 October 2008.

See also the Refugee Council’s new Multilingual Leaflets for New Refugees on housing, welfare rights and training and employment. 

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has announced an independent inquiry into claims by asylum seekers that they were mistreated or abused by security and detention centre staff, following publication in July of the Outsourcing Abuse report. See also press coverage



Two new research reports into Chinese migration to Britain will be launched on 14 November at Middlesex University’s Hendon Campus. The reports are ‘Cityscapes of Diaspora: Images and Realities of London’s Chinatown’ and ‘The Changing Chinese Community in London’. Further information from Professor Rosemary Sales


Following a cabinet reshuffle, Phil Woolas has replaced Liam Byrne as Minister of State for borders and immigration.



A new interactive website developed by the Institute of Community Cohesion (ICoCo) and supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government, brings together practical advice and support for practitioners on how to promote cohesion and integration, based on good practice cases.

Radio 4 interviews with some of the young asylum seekers who contributed to the ‘New Londoners’ book of photographs.

Asylum Update – 9th October 2008

Refugee Children: Towards the Next Horizon
Health and Social Care in the community
2008 16(5)
C, Watters and Dennis, J.

Unaccompanied refugee children and adolescents:
The glaring contrast between a legal and a psychological perspective
International Journal of Law and psychiatry
2008 31(4)
Derluyn, I and Broekaert, E.

The housing and neighbourhood impact of Britain's changing ethnic
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
October 2008
Perry, J.
Policy and Law
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has produced
a report that criticisesthe UK Government for failing to meet
international standards on the treatment of children.

Following a six-month Home Office review of the
general reservation on immigration and citizenship to the UN
Conventionon the Rights of the Child (CRC) the UK government
has announced that the reservation will be withdrawn. This means
that vulnerable children who are subject to immigration control will
now be entitled to the fundamental human rights set out in the

UKBA have published a consultation on proposed reforms to the
immigration appeals process.

Children's Service Network Conference
‘Are Asylum Seeking Children Safe in the UK?'
The conference is to be held on Tuesday 14th October in London.
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 Home Office has launched an investigation into the alleged abuse
of asylum seekers during their detention and removal from the UK: 
Under the Freedom of Information Act the Home Office has released
information on: 'Deportation of asylum seekers failed due to
disruptive behaviour by the passenger'.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons has published a Report on an
announced inspection of Tinsley House and Yarl's Wood Immigration
Removal Centre carried out in March 2008.
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Housing 
Associations'Charitable Trust (HACT) have launched the first housing 
rights website to be specifically aimed at answering housing rights 
queries for new migrants.

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.