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Around the Campaigns Friday 9th January 2009

John O | 09.01.2009 12:26 | Migration | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Birmingham | World

'No immigration procedures affecting children have been changed by the UKBA Code of practice for keeping children safe from harm'

There are 43 children in Yarl's Wood IRC this morning

Raphael aged 5, has now spent 36 days in immigration detention
His mother still does not have removal directions, please email/fax every day.

New immigration code does not fully protect children

By Frances Webber, published by Institute of Race Relations 8th January 2009

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) Code of Practice on Children will not adequately protect children from the harm caused by immigration procedures.

The new Code of Practice for Keeping Children Safe from Harm, unveiled by the UK Border Agency on 6 January, was met with scepticism by refugee groups and practitioners. The Code follows the UK's withdrawal of its reservation from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which historically put the requirements of immigration control above the welfare of children. Now, children's welfare must be a primary consideration in all the UKBA's dealings with children, whether accompanied or not, whether asylum seekers or not.

There are however serious problems with the Code. The most important one is the fact that no immigration procedures affecting children have been changed. The Code has nothing to say about the detention of children, no new limits imposed, nothing about monitoring of children's detention, which is particularly concerning given the evidence of the serious impact that detention has on children's physical and mental health.
To read this article in full go to:

Sweden: Undocumented Children / 'All I want is to land'

Report from the Sweden Save the Children project a helpline for undocumented children in Sweden. This report is about 470 children and adolescents with whom Save the Children came into contact through the helpline. Most of them were present in Sweden without permission ("undocumented"). None of them or their parents has chosen this way of life. For a few it constitutes the best of several bad options. For most of them it constitutes a "non-choice" in a situation which is felt to be impossible. The children's own voices come to us through letters and accounts, show that they are victims of the circumstances which drove them into exile and of the migration policies which will not allow them to land - but not merely victims, but first and foremost individuals with individual needs and dreams of the future. Children and parents who have turned to the helpline have done so with three types of problem:

Asylum form Rape Petition
We are writing to ask you/your organisation to sign our Asylum from Rape Petition (now online) demanding the official recognition of rape as torture and persecution. Since its launch in 2006 many have signed the hard copy version including journalists Caroline Moorhead and Victoria Brittain, lawyer Gareth Peirce, actress Juliet Stevenson and poet Benjamin Zephaniah. 

Cristel Amiss, Black Women's Rape Action Project /

South Africa: End Strain on Asylum System and Protect Zimbabweans
Stop Deportations and Grant Temporary Status to Desperate Neighbors - The South African government should end its sole reliance on an overburdened asylum system that protects only a tiny fraction of the more than a million Zimbabweans who cannot return to the humanitarian disaster in their home country, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch renewed its call on the South African government to stop deporting Zimbabweans and, in recognition of their protection needs, to grant them temporary status and work rights.
Human Rights Watch, Johannesburg, January 8, 2009

1,502 migrants have died at the gates of EU in 2008
At least 1,502 migrants have died at the gates of EU in 2008. The figures decreased by 23% compared to 2007, but not in Sicily, where the number of the victims rose from 556 in 2007 to 642 in 2008, coherently with an increase of 80% of the arrivals in Lampedusa. Heading for Spain, 216 migrant found the deaths in the Strait of Gibraltar and 136 off the Canary Islands, while 181 people lost their life in the Aegean sea, sailing from Turkey to Greece. Apart from the 1,235 victims of the Mediterranean, other 267 people were found dead in the desert, hidden in the trucks or in the Greek ferries traveling toward Italy, as well as under the fire of border police. Full report >>

New policy on judicial reviews that challenge removals
A new policy on handling legal challenges to us removing people from the United Kingdom (judicial review challenges) will come into effect on 30 January. This will help us establish a swift end-to-end process for concluding asylum cases and deporting foreign national prisoners.
UKBA: 09 January 2009

End of Bulletin:

Source for this Message:
Institute of Race Relations
Sweden Save the Children
Black Women's Rape Action Project
Human Rights Watch
Fortress Europe

John O
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