Asylum Update December 17th 2008

17 December 2008


 The Refugee Council has published the report Remote Controls: How UK border controls are endangering the lives of refugees, revealing that the UK has implemented a series of measures that extend its border controls far beyond its shores.

 The Centre for Social Justice has published the report Asylum matters: restoring trust in the UK Asylum System, which discusses issues of refused asylum claims and destitution, and gives policy recommendations to the UK Border Agency to restructure the Asylum System. Response to this report by the Refugee Council available here 

 The Prison Service Journal, featuresin its current issue the paper Foreign Nationals in Prison and Detention, by Dr Mary Bosworth, which discusses the rapid increase of foreign nationals in prison in the last ten years, including implications for asylum seekers and refugees.

 Journal article: Asylum policy and asylum experiences: interactions in a Scottish context by Bowes, A. and Ferguson, I. in Ethnic and Racial Studies Vol 32 No 1.

 Journal article: Asylum seekers' expectations of and trust in general practice: a qualitative study by O Donnell, C.A.; Higgins, M.; Chauhan, R.; Mullen, K. in British Journal of General Practice Vol 58 No 557.

Policy and law

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons has published a Report on an announced inspection of the Oakington Immigration Reception Centre. Press coverage by BBC and The Guardian, Refugee Council’s press release

 UK Borders Agency stated that it could decide to remove asylum seekers even in the face of a last-minute threat or application to seek permission for judicial review.

This emerged in the context of a plea by a group of Nigerians asylum seekers facing deportation. See Independent coverage

 The United Kingdom Border Agency is withdrawing DP5/96, known as the Seven Year Child Concession. The new immigration rules and the Human Rights Act 1998 have superceded the rules of 5/96, which means that any decision to remove a family from the UK will continue to be made in accordance with UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Immigration Rules.

 The Council of the European Union adopted the Returns Directive, which will set out common standards and procedures for the return of third country nationals staying irregularly in the Member States. See ECRE’s bulletin for further information and the Official Journal of the European Union to monitor the enactment of this rule.

The UK Court of Appeal ruled that failed Congolese asylum seekers could be sent back to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This confirms a decision adopted by the UK Government in August 2007 establishing that the DRC was a safe country to return migrants to. See Home Office COI report on Democratic Republic of Congo; Human Rights Watch report on ‘The Restriction of Political Space in the Democratic Republic of Congo', Press coverage by The Independent and The Guardian.


The Institute of Race Relations has published its Annual Report 2008. The IRR carries out research into pressing issues of contemporary racism, featuring and reports on matters of asylum seekers, social cohesion and human rights. See also publication catalogue

The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association released new information sheets on the draft Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill, Children’s welfare and Zimbabwe country guidance


 ‘Strengthening the Voice of RCO. The Way Forward’

Presentation of the findings and recommendations on the consultancy: Strengthening the Voice of Refugee Community Organisations within London’s Second—Tier Voluntary Sector: Barriers and Opportunities.

Host: ICAR

Facilitator: Ms. Helena Ismail—Chairperson of London Refugee Voice

Venue:  City University, Northampton Square [map]

Date: Thursday 18 December 2008 | 10.00-13.30 pm

Undocumented Children in Europe Conference,

PICUM Brussels, 22nd - 23rd January 2009

Draft program and registration form are available on PICUM's website

Registration €15 (including lunch & refreshments) is open until 03 January 2009.


The Legal Action Group Magazine has reported recent developments in politics and legislation relating to immigration, and released the second edition of their Handbook on Support for Asylum seekers on legal and welfare rights



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