Asylum Update January 23rd 2009

23 January 2009


The National Community Forum has published: ‘Sources of resentment, and perceptions of ethnic minorities among poor white people in England’. It was commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) and  based on qualitative research. The research was undertaken by a team from the University of West England.

Positive Action  For Refugees & Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS) has published a briefing paper entitled ‘No direction home? The politics of return for refused asylum seekers’. Contact the organisation for a copy

Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) has published the book “Am I Safe Yet? Stories of women Seeking Asylum in Britain “. To order, contact the organization.

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has published the first report of session 2008–09: 'Monitoring of the UK Border Agency'. It examines the quality of decision-making of the agency, and tthe correct use of procedures used to reach decisions.

The Refugee Studies Centre has added new titles to its Working Papers Series, including the following:

'Salah Sheekh is a refugee: New insights into Primary and Subsidiary Forms of Protection' Working paper 49 by Jean-François Durieux.

'UNHCR as an Autonomous Organisation: Complex Operations and the Case of Kosovo' Working Paper 50 by Ann McKittrick.

'Family Reunification: A Right for Forced Migrants?' Working Paper 51 by Anne Staver.


Journal article: Cultural Factors in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Traumatised Migrant Patients from Turkey by Schouler-Ocak, M.; Reiske, S.-L.; Rapp, M.A. and Heinz, A. in Transcultural Psychiatry Vol  45 No 4.

Journal article: The Right to Seek - Revisited. On the UN Human Rights Declaration Article 14 and Access to Asylum Procedures in the EU by Gammeltoft-Hansen, T. and Gammeltoft-Hansen, H. in European Journal of Migration and Law Vol 10 No 4.


Policy and Law

Air and ferry passengers travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain are to face routine passport checks under new laws.These plans are outlined in the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill, which was published on 15th of January. See coverage by the BBC and The Guardian. The bill also contains the new "earned citizenship" rules for spouses and economic migrants. See coverage by the BBC, and ILPA’s initial briefing on the Bill.

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Thomas Hammarberg, has presented to the Committee and the Parliamentary Assembly the 4th Quarterly Activity Report 2008 , which concluded that thematic priorities for 2009 will be anti-discrimination (Roma, LGBT, people with disabilities); juvenile justice and migrants and refugees.

 The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. António Guterres has recently briefed the UN Security Council on global protection challenges relating to a series of conflicts worldwide that have generated millions of refugees and presented enormous humanitarian challenges.  For details see press release

 The Quadro group, formed by the EU member states of Malta, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy has met in Rome. Amongst other issues, the quartet will call on the EU to take urgent action on the principle of solidarity and fair burden-sharing, and also discuss the strengthening of Frontex, the EU's border control agency. In relation to this meeting, the UN refugee agency UNHCR has appealed to EU justice ministers to make sure people seeking asylum have access to fair procedures to examine their claims. See also press release by the Council of Europe on the Commissioner for Human Right’s assessment of Italian immigration policies.

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) will carry out comparative legal research in 2009 to develop a compendium of best practices and guidance to EU Member States for adopting the highest standards of protection of fundamental rights. The director of the FRA, Morten Kjaerum, added that the purpose of this project is to support the Community and its Member States in their efforts to develop policies to protect the fundamental rights of irregular immigrants especially migrant women and children.

See FRA’s 2009 work programme and Eurasylum monthly policy interviews for further information.



27 January 2009: Workshop on the charter of rights of women seeking asylum, organized by the Refugee Women’s Resource Project-Asylum Aid. Contact Debora Singer, coordinator.

30th January 2009: Seminar on FGM, Asylum and Refugee Policies in the UK, organized by the Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development (FORWARD). For further information and to register email:

4th February 2009: Conference on Equality and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender refugees, organized by the Refugees in Effective & Active Partnership (REAP). Booking essential, click here

Call for Papers: "Refugees: Lives Pushed to the Margins?". To be presented at the 6th Annual Forced Migration Student Conference, hosted by the Refugee Research Centre at the University of East London on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of April. Postgraduate students (Masters/MPhil/PhD) are invited to submit abstracts for papers (no more than 250 words) and a personal profile (no more than 100 words). They should be sent, with full contact details, by 4pm on 9th February 2009 to: 



Forced Migration Online has relaunched the Digital Library and Journals sections of their website. This work was undertaken as part of the Open Access Repository System (OARS) project, funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)

Save the Children has published Positive Press: Working with the media to challenge racism and discrimination’ DVD resource pack.   A limited number of free copies are available. If you would like a copy please contact Chris Macarthur providing details of your name, address, school or organizations.

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