Our fortnightly summary of ongoing advocacy initiatives, new research, government developments and useful resources. Contact us if you’d like to get this update directly into your inbox.
1. Advocacy and campaigning initiatives
Refugee Ban Bill
The Illegal Migration Bill returns to the House of Lords this afternoon for its second reading, where Peers will debate the principles of the Bill and proposed amendments. You can see a full list of amendments here and the latest on the Bill’s progress here. The House of Lords Library has published a full briefing explaining the Bill and debates around its implications.
87 Peers have put their names down to speak in the debate, and it is expected to face fierce opposition, with one Conservative Peer reportedly saying that the legislation will be ‘torn to shreds’. Opposition to the Bill’s proposals are expected to focus on areas including compliance with international law, child detention and modern slavery.
FLEX and ILPA have jointly compiled a master civil society briefing for Peers, summarising briefings and recommendations from across various sectors on the Bill, and UNHCR’s web page on the Bill contains their up-to-date briefings and legal observations. The Migration Observatory has also published a new analysis of the Bill and its implications for removals to third countries and countries of origin.
VITA network has launched its #ThisBillHarmsMyPatient campaign, aiming to draw attention to the detrimental health impacts of the Bill on people seeking asylum and modern slavery survivors. They have published a Safe Care Toolkit for those working in health services on how they can protect their patients.
Amnesty International UK has written to Peers ahead of the debate urging them to reject the ‘racist and xenophobic’ Bill and has an easy online template you can use to email the Prime Minister calling on him to drop the Bill. You can find more ways to take action against the Bill on our website.
Communities not camps
The Government continues to press ahead with its damaging plans to use military camps and barges as asylum accommodation, with the barge which will be used to house 500 people arriving in the UK this week to be prepared for use in July. Strong opposition across the country has continued, with the local council leader, MP and Police Commissioner expressing concern about the use of the barge and local residents in Northop Hall sharing their opposition to the plans to use a hotel in their village as a camp for 400 people.
You can follow and support the local campaigns against these sites at:
- The Fields Association twitter and website who are campaigning against the site in Wethersfield
- Save our Scampton campaigning against the site in Scampton
- Northop Hall Village Action campaigning against the site in Northop Hall
- Hastings Community of Sanctuary and the Refugee Buddy Project who are campaigning against the site in Bexhill
And you can take action against the plans by:
- Writing to your MP and encouraging others to do so using our online tool or template letter
- Signing the Migrants’ Rights Network petition
- Using the Communities Not Camps social media resources
- Getting in touch with us if you’d like unbranded Communities Not Camps posters and placards
As the humanitarian impact of the violence in Sudan continues to grow, the UK Government continues to refuse to create safe routes for people fleeing the crisis. A petition has been launched, calling on ministers to urgently create a Sudanese Family Scheme visa.
People Move projection
Last week on the eve of the Coronation, JCWI projected a video onto sites in central London to counter hostile rhetoric around migration, and to convey the message: people move. You can view and share the footage on twitter, instagram, facebook and tiktok.
Lift the Ban – new resources for High Street Challenge
The Lift the Ban campaign has shared new resources to help campaigners bring local businesses on board with the High Street Challenge initiative. Alongside the High Street Challenge handbook, resources available now include:
- Flyers to distribute to local businesses.
- A google form that new business can complete to register their support for Lift the Ban.
- A paper version of this form you can take to in-person meetings or events.
Once a business has signed up to support Lift the Ban, there are several ways they can make their support visible:
- Posters supportive businesses can put up on their premises
- Window stickers – both front-facing and reverse vinyl (available via post)
- Social media assets, for use on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.
All of these resources can be viewed and downloaded in this google drive folder, as well as in the campaign dropbox and on the website. Please do let us know at [email protected] if you would like to receive hard copies of any of these campaign materials in the post. To add your name to the email distribution list for Lift the Ban, or to sign up your organisation to the coalition, contact [email protected]
Hospitality not Hostility
During Refugee Week (19-25 June) and Scottish Refugee Festival (16-25 June), Together with Refugees is encouraging people to show #HospitalityNotHostility by hosting a community meal or tea and inviting your MP. They have produced a toolkit with top tips on how to create an impactful event.
2. Reports and research
Costility – the cost of hostility
Refugee Action has published a new analysis of Government spending of public money on deterrence policies and the hostile environment, in what it refers to as ‘costility’ – the cost of hostility. This includes new analysis of the cost of the harmful measures in the Illegal Immigration Bill. Refugee Action has also published its alternative vision for a compassionate, accessible and workable asylum system.
3. Resources, events, jobs & training
Refugee Week events calendar
If you are organising an event for Refugee Week this year on 19-25 June, you can submit it to the Refugee Week Calendar here.
Paid research opportunity with FLEX
Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) is recruiting research participants who have experience of the UK immigration system for a discussion group to inform a research project called Evidencing and preventing risks in post-Brexit labour migration routes. The first meeting will take place online on 17 May 6-8pm and participants will receive payment for their time. Further information and the application form are available here.
Migration Exchange leadership development project
Migration Exchange is looking for a partner to co-design, deliver and facilitate a community of practice focused on leadership development in the UK refugee and migration sector. The aim will be to nurture a collective discussion about how leadership development opportunities in the refugee and migration sector can be more accessible, equitable and contribute to system change. Full details of the opportunity and how to apply are available here. The closing date for proposals is 31 May.
- Reunite Families UK is recruiting a short-term Project Manager. Applications on a rolling basis.
- St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax is recruiting a Communications Manager. Closing date 10 May.
- Settled is recruiting a Senior Immigration Adviser for Scotland and Wales. Applications on a rolling basis, closing date 15 May.
- Brigstowe is recruiting a Migrant Advice and Support Service Worker. Closing date 22 May.
- Here for Good is recruiting an EUSS caseworker/Volunteer coordinator. Closing date 22 May.
- Big Leaf Foundation is recruiting a Governance, partnerships and projects coordinator (closing date 25 May) and an East Surrey Caseworker (closing date 18 May).
- Anti-Slavery International is recruiting a Digital Mobilisation Officer. Closing date 25 May.
- The St Vincent de Paul Society is recruiting a Research and Insight Officer. Closing date 26 May.
- African Rainbow Family is recruiting a Refugee Advocacy Lead. Closing date 27 May.
- Solace is recruiting for a range of therapeutic, administrative and managerial roles, which can be found on their website here. Closing date 29 May.
- City of Sanctuary UK is recruiting a Finance and Administration Officer. Closing date 22 May.
- South Yorkshire Refugee Law & Justice is recruiting an Interim Director (closing date 5 June) and a Trainee Legal Adviser (closing date 30 May).
4. What we’ve been reading, watching and listening to
- A blog by Loraine Masiya Mponela with tips for those waiting for a decision on their asylum claim
- This article sharing insights into the experiences of people working undocumented as couriers
- An evocative article in The National by Hyab Yohannes and Alison Phipps from the University of Glasgow, sharing via powerful second-hand narration the experiences of people they both know who are affected by events in Sudan.