The latest news from Asylum Welcome.
Bishop Stephen is the new patron of Asylum Welcome
Asylum Welcome is delighted to announce that the Right Reverend Dr. Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, is to become the charity's patron. Bishop Steven has a deep interest in the welfare of refugees and is keen to support efforts to enable them to rebuild their lives. Asylum Welcome achieves that through a large network of compassionate and expert volunteers and through the support of people in all parts of community.
Shaw Report: less detention & more safeguards needed, Asylum Welcome testimony cited
In 2015, following evidence and criticisms from a range of organisations and individuals including under-cover film from detention centres, the Home Secretary commissioned Stephen Shaw (former Prisons Ombudsman) to carry out a review into the welfare in detention of vulnerable persons. The Shaw Report was published in January 2016. Testimony from Asylum Welcome is cited the report. The report concludes:
“I my view, a smaller, more focused, strategically planned immigration detention estate, subject to the many reforms I have outlined in this report, would both be more protective of the welfare of vulnerable people and deliver better value for the taxpayer. Immigration detention has increased, is increasing, and – whether by better screening, more effective reviews, or formal time limit – it ought to be reduced."
You can read the full report (which includes an executive summary) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-into-the-welfare-in-detention-of-vulnerable-persons
and Asylum Welcome’s submission
Crisis Appeal for Funds
Asylum Welcome’s annual fundraising appeal has a special urgency this year. Asylum Welcome is playing a vital part in the local response to the growing international refugee crisis. Our services are getting busier, with more new arrivals and more complex needs. We are also advising the local authorities on preparations to accept resettled Syrians. All of this is only possible through the dedicated support of over 120 volunteers, who also continue to run advice sessions, provide English lessons, food parcels, detention visits, a youth club and more.
Asylum Welcome relies heavily on local donations and is asking local people to support its appeal this winter.
At this time of year, as the nights grow colder and darker, refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are desperately poor and hungry, sometimes destitute and homeless, need the help Asylum Welcome provides more than ever.
Please read our appeal letter.
Asylum Welcome's response to the Immigration Bill 2015
The Immigration Bill will be debated in parliament on 13th October. If implemented, it will have far-reaching impact on asylum seekers, refugees and detainees, and on local communities and local authorities.
In particular we are concerned about:
- Changes to the right of appeal
- Changes to asylum support, especially those changes affecting detainees and those affecting families with children
- New rules for landlords
- The lack of a time limit on detention
Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett visits Asylum Welcome
Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett visits Asylum Welcome on Friday to pay tribute to the charity’s efforts to support people who have survived war, terrorism, and human rights violations and who now face detention and destitution in Oxford.
Director Kate Smart described new Home Office proposals remove asylum support payments and accommodation from families with young children as “a complete absence of basic, decent humanitarian values”.
Immigration Announcements August 2015
In the last few days, the government has made a series of announcements about tougher policies affecting asylum seekers and other migrants who are in the UK.
Asylum Welcome has had a number of calls seeking further information and offering help.