February Campaigns 2016
Reunite Refugee Families
Refugee Action has launched a campaign urging the UK to expand its refugee family reunion rules to ensure people’s loved ones are able to join them safely.
Take their quiz to find out if your family would be able to join you if you’d found sanctuary in the UK, read Abebe’s experience of trying to reunite with his wife, and find out more about why current family reunification laws are an issue by clicking here.
Unaccompanied Minors in Europe
Save the Children ran a January campaign urging the government to take in 3,000 lone refugee children from across Europe. While the government did not agree to take in 3,000, it did make three pledges regarding unaccompanied minors:
- Reunite children in Europe with family in the UK.
- Resettle unaccompanied minors from conflict areas in the UK when it is in their best interests.
- Provide more resources to help protect children arriving in Europe.
Read more about what the government has pledged to do on the Save the Children website.
The Jewish Council for Racial Equality, which organised a petition from the Jewish community in support of the Save the Children campaign, welcomed the government’s proposals but expressed deep disappointment ‘ that most unaccompanied children in Europe, separated from their families and at tremendous risk of abuse, violence and trafficking, will be excluded from this scheme.’
In January the Shaw Review was published. The independent review into the welfare of immigration detainees commissioned by the home secretary called for ministers to reduce “boldly and without delay” the 30,000 people detained each year.
The report was not allowed to address the question of indefinite detention or proposals submitted on the matter. It did however address the issue through the inability of some detainees to apply for bail, leaving those who are most vulnerable to ‘languish in detention because they lack the capacity to make a bail application.’
René Cassin called the review ‘positive but piecemeal’, saying it ‘demonstrates some of the worse parts of the UK detention system yet continues to ignore an underlying cause of welfare problems.’