Advocacy Update – 02 May 2024

Our fortnightly summary of advocacy and campaigning initiatives, new research, government developments and useful resources from across the asylum, refugee and migration sector. Contact us if you’d like to get this update directly into your inbox.

  1. Advocacy and campaigning initiatives


The Safety of Rwanda Bill has been passed and government announced plans to begin the preparations for deportations with an expectation that flights would leave in 10-12 weeks. Sunday saw the government announce that arrests will commence, with commentary suggesting this has been timed around the Local Elections.  It has been reported that half of the people earmarked for enforced deportation to Rwanda can not be found. Later in the week, there were reports that a refused asylum seeker has gone to Rwanda under a voluntary removals programme which is different to the forced deportations scheme.  There have been people across the country supporting and informing people at reporting centres of actions to take, some attempting to prevent immigration vans from leaving.  Thirteen protesters were arrested outside the reporting centre in Solihull.


For those at risk of detention, especially those reporting, both Action Against Detention and Deportation and Care for Calais have created information leaflets to be given out. AADD has a list of numbers people can call and Care For Calais has their hotline and information about the Rwanda/Notice of Intent letters in different languages. Right to Remain’s toolkit has a section on being prepared in case of detention.

Right to Remain has also updated its briefing on Rwanda which provides an excellent overview of the plan, who is at risk and steps people can take, this will continue to be updated. There is also a blog on Immigration Raids which covers what rights people have and what you can do if you witness a raid taking place. JCWI have created a one page explainer of the Rwanda Act


Freedom from Torture continues its campaign to ask airlines to refuse to participate in the forced removal of people to Rwanda, you can support their action here against Airtanker  and on  Twitter or  Instagram and then against Jet2 here.

A new campaign was launched last week by Detention Action, it’s a cross sector collaborative campaign that’s non affiliated run through, the petition just launched last Thursday afternoon and has already got over 40,000 signatures.

Fight the Anti-Refugee Laws: new General Election resources

Asylum Matters has shared new General Election resources as part of the Fight the Anti-Refugee Laws campaign. The resources are designed to support local groups in engaging with their prospective parliamentary candidates and calling on them to repeal the #AntiRefugeeLaws and commit to building an asylum system that treats everyone with compassion and dignity. The resources include two documents:

We hope that these resources will support campaigners in reaching out to candidates and setting out the changes our communities urgently need. You can also share the resources on Twitter and Facebook.

Ask MPs to sign EDMs 539 and 540! #CommunitiesNotCamps

There is growing parliamentary pressure building on the Government in regards to its use of RAF Wethersfield and RAF Scampton as camp-style accommodation sites for people seeking asylum. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has signed EDM 540 and EDM 539 which challenge the Special Development Orders laid down by the Government in relation to these sites. Parliamentary procedure means that generally when the Leader of the Opposition signs an EDM, the Government makes time for a parliamentary debate on the topic. However, there are no guarantees, and whilst it’s been reported that a debate on RAF Scampton is coming, there’s no word on RAF Wethersfield yet.

You and your networks can lobby MPs to sign these motions and drive up the number of signatures to put pressure on the Government to allow for debates to scrutinise the use of these sites with our easy letter-writing tool. You can also send them our parliamentary briefing and share these graphics on social media with the hashtag #CommunitiesNotCamps; or print these resources.

Minimum Income Requirement Petition

This Parliamentary petition calls on the UK Government to not increase the income requirement for family visas to £38,700. They only need just under 18,000 signatures to reach 100.000 at which point the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Praxis #ChildcareForAll campaign

Praxis campaigners visited the Department for Education calling for childcare to be opened to all parents, no matter their immigration status. In their stunt, they spelt out their message with larger-than-life children’s building blocks. The campaign is co-produced by the No Recourse to Public Funds Action Group, a group of migrants who are fighting for equality, justice, and fairness for all. They created a short video to share on social media:  Twitter,  Instagram and Facebook.

  1. Government and parliamentary updates

Lift the Ban receives parliamentary boost

The case for granting people seeking asylum the right to work within six months has been strengthened following a new report by a cross-party group of MPs that backs the Lift the Ban campaign’s proposals. The joint report by the APPGs on Poverty and Migration following an inquiry, recommends the right to work within six months, as well as improved access to social security and public services.

Row between Irish and UK Governments over people seeking sanctuary

The past few days have seen the Irish and UK Governments locked in a dispute over people seeking asylum entering Ireland from the UK. It has been reported that the Irish Government wishes to send people seeking asylum back to the UK, whilst the UK Government has no plans to take people back in until France agrees to similar terms. The Irish Government is now seeking to redesignate the UK as a ‘safe’ country for people seeking asylum.

Asylum ‘limbo’ numbers could top 100k

According to the Refugee Council, new anti-refugee laws including the Safety of Rwanda Act could leave 115,000 people in limbo and cost the taxpayer £6.2bn on accommodation. This comes after a Government report revealed over half of the people allocated for removal to Rwanda cannot be found. Highlighting that these laws will not deter small boat crossings, Refugee Council warned of a ‘system meltdown’ and called on the Government to prioritise ‘processing asylum claims promptly and fairly’.

  1. Reports and research

Refugee Council report into Illegal Migration Act

Refugee Council have published a report into the Illegal Migration Act and Rwanda, projecting over 111,000 people will be stuck without status by the end of 2024, you can read the report here 

COMPAS launching report on Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK

The online launch of COMPAS’ Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK report is on Tuesday 14 May from 10 – 11:30 am, RSVP here

  1. Resources, events, jobs and training 

HOPE not Hate survey

HOPE not Hate is looking for organisations in the migration/sanctuary/refugee space to complete a survey for an upcoming report on the state of community resilience in Britain today. This year, we’re looking back at 14 years of Tory governments and asking what needs to change for whoever comes into power at the upcoming General Election. There will be a “deep dive” section on how governmental approaches to migration affect the sector and community resilience more widely – which is where you come in!

Radical Solidarity Hub – 14th May 11-12pm on Zoom 

Right to Remain have set up quarterly Solidarity Hubs to keep in touch with large and small groups across the country, to update them about new Toolkit pages, introduce them to each other and find solutions together. For more information click here.

ATLEU Training – 22nd May onwards

The Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit have released new dates for their online training programme for support providers and legal advisors working with survivors of trafficking and slavery. The sessions begin with an Overview of Modern Slavery on 22 May and you can get all six sessions aimed at support providers and legal advisors for the price of four! Book here.

  1. What we’re reading, watching and listening to

  • This amazing piece reflecting on life as an asylum seeker in Wales.
  • Kenan Malik writes in The Observer on the Rwanda scheme.
  • This opinion piece in Byline Times on the benefits of lifting the ban on the right to work.
  • This long-read in The Guardian about a man opening up his home to give homeless people, including asylum seekers, a safe place to stay.
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