Migration & Human Rights

The Refugee Olympic Team sets an example of what UK refugee policy could look like

2 August 2021 Yusra Mardini and her co-athletes represent the potential and possibility of a society where refugees are included and empowered to be a part of their adopted homes. It shows how they can transcend their traumatic past and boasts of the potential they can fulfil if given the opportunity to do so. Shamefully, UK policy towards refugees does not reflect that.

A new plan for immigration: Firm, fanatic and unfair

25 March 2021 On Wednesday, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel announced an overhaul to the UK asylum system. Charlotte writes about the new rules, under which a difference will be made between those asylum seekers who enter the UK legally and those who enter the UK illegally. An analysis of the compliance with international refugee law, and discussion of the UK discourse on asylum seekers:

Criminalising Migration

8 December 2020 Treating migrants like criminals, assimilating the two is a worrying trend which has taken over migration policy and discourse in the UK and many other Western countries. A look at this idea of “crimmigration,” the place where two fields of law – criminal & immigration – meet, and the disastrous consequences this merger has for asylum seekers in the UK and abroad.

EU migration policy fails yet again as Moria refugee camp fire leaves thousands homeles

10 September 2020 The EU may not be responsible for all conflicts that force people from their homes, but there is no doubt about who is to blame for the 12.000 displaced people who are homeless after the Moria refugee camp fire.

As controversial national security law comes into force in Hong Kong, the UK “comes to the rescue” 

16 July 2020 On 30 June 2020, Beijing signed its contentious national security law, granting the Chinese government sweeping powers to crack down on opposition and dissent by people in Hong Kong and by Hong Kongers abroad. In response, the British government has promised to protect the people of Hong Kong by offering some of them a path to British citizenship.

Surviving on £5.66 a day: “an insult, not an increase”

18 June 2020 As the UK celebrates Refugee Week to thank and celebrate the richness refugees bring to British society. Meanwhile, the Home Office is forcing asylum seekers to choose between buying hand sanitizer or feeding their children. How, you ask? On Monday, the first day of Refugee Week, the new Asylum Support rates came into force. They are set at £39.60 per week, or £5.66 a day. 

Home Secretary confirms that late applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme will be unlawful residents

7 May 2020 When Brandon Lewis MP stated that EU citizens who miss the EU Settlement Scheme deadline could face deportation, it was a wake-up call for all EU citizens in the UK. Now, the Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel confirmed in writing what grassroot organisations always feared, and Mr. Lewis hinted at in October: that those who fail to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline of 30 June 2021 will be unlawfully resident in the UK.

At what cost do we take back control? The new points-based system explained

19 February 2020 The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. Since then, the government has been rolling out changes to the immigration system, adapting it to a world without free movement to and from Europe. Today, the government finally revealed its plan for post-Brexit economic migration in Britain. At its core is the idea of “taking back control.” But what does that mean, exactly?

What happens if I miss the EU Settlement Scheme deadline?

3 December 2019 The EU Settlement Scheme has an application deadline, meaning that anyone who misses the cut-off to apply successfully for a post-Brexit status will be unlawfully resident in the UK. What will happen to people who have not made an application by the deadline is unclear. In the worst case scenario, it appears that the government intends to remove them from the UK.  

The geographic lottery: My experience visiting a detention centre

19 September 2019 The same week Toni Morrison passed away, I visited an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), otherwise known as a detention centre, for the first time.

The Nationality and Borders Bill: “fixing” a broken system by breaking it down further

14 July 2021 An analysis of UK Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill, which attempts to criminalise certain asylum claims, expand powers of detention and making more asylum claims inadmissible.

Venezuelan Refugees in Colombia: the opposing forces of integration and stigmatization

23 February 2021 Colombian President Duque recently offered to regulate and integrate Venezuelans who fled their home country since the 2014 crisis into Colombian society. A look at what this means for Venezuelans and Colombians alike:

The EU Migration Pact: the more things change, the more they stay the same

12 October 2020 Reflecting on the recent EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, this op-ed questions the Pact’s effectiveness, questioning if we learned anything from the 2015 refugee “crisis” and the policy deadlock that followed.

Continuous residence for the purposes of the EU Settlement Scheme, and the effect of COVID-19

20 August 2020 For an applicant to the EU Settlement Scheme to receive either pre-settled or settled status, they will have to fulfil three key criteria. Most importantly, they will have to confirm and prove a period of continuous residence in the UK. How does COVID-19 impact their period of continuous residence?

The harsh reality of family applications in the UK 

14 July 2020 Appendix FM of the immigration rules sets out the rules for non-EU citizens who want to come and join previously settled family members in the UK. The Appendix states that it aims to “strike a balance between the right to respect for private and family life and the legitimate aims of protecting national security, public safety and the economic well-being of the UK; the prevention of disorder and crime; the protection of health or morals; and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Does it manage to do so?

Life after Detention: Three Stories of a Broken System

25 May 2020 Imagine moving to the UK with your children, studying and working here. Imagine paying your taxes, getting a mortgage, building a life and a family home. Imagine your children going to school here, graduating, receiving the offer of a place at a university. Now imagine it all being taken away from you, being locked up in a detention centre, and deported back to a country you no longer know whilst your children remain in the UK. That is what happened to Asim and Nisha. 

Briefing: Fleeing Climate Change and Environmental Disasters

29 April 2020 Since 2008, an average of 26.4 million people per year have been forcibly displaced by weather-related hazards. This is the equivalent of one person being displaced per second every day. The UN Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council identify natural disasters as the number one cause for the international displacement of people. Many of those displaced find refuge within their own region or country. Others, however, are forced to go abroad and seek refuge in a foreign country.

What does immigration policy look like under the newly-elected Conservative government?

17 December 2019 Last week’s general election means the Conservative Party now has a clear majority in government to fulfil the many promises they made in their manifesto, including major overhauls to immigration policy. Not only did Boris Johnson vow to get Brexit done by the New Year, but his party also plans to put EU nationals on the same level as third party nationals once free movement law ends. This in and of itself is a radical approach to immigration law, and will have major consequences for EU citizens in the UK. 

International students’ testimonies: the post-study visa extension

13 November 2019 On 11 September 2019, the UK government announced an extension of the post-study visa rules. International students who complete their degree at a recognised institution will be able to stay in the UK for two years after graduation, increasing their chances of finding long-term employment upon completion of their studies.