#RefugeeBanBill: What we are doing to stop the new UK Migration Bill

Rwanda protest Image from the background

 

JustRight Scotland has rejected the UK Government plan to proceed with a new Illegal [Migration] Bill which is due to have second reading today in the House of Commons. 

We have explained the reasons why this Bill is “cruel, unnecessary, and unlawful”. We have taken part in interviews to raise awareness about the extreme negative impact of this Bill on migrants, women and children.

Our Director of Policy and Development Jen Ang during her interview at BBC Good Morning Scotland, explained that the “right response to stop Channel crossings is to create more safe, dignified, and legal routes to the UK such as the Ukrainian and Hong Kong refugees’ schemes”.   

Our Legal Director Andy Sirel talking about this Bill on the BBC The Nine said clearly that “this Bill condemns people to living a life in limbo and strips them of all support.” 

As a human rights organisation, we have acted on several fronts, by signing joint statements and letters alongside other civil society organisations across Scotland and UK and by taking part in the organisation of activities and protests across the country.

We have jointly submitted a briefing with the Refugee and Migrant Children’s Consortium, highlighting that “under this Bill nearly all children who have not arrived via the very limited ‘safe routes’ (i.e. resettlement schemes) will be blocked from protection as refugees and victims of trafficking. All children from countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Iran and Syria, fleeing war and persecution and having endured traumatic journeys to the UK, will now be potentially subject to indefinite detention and removal.” 

Alongside Freedom from Torture, Helen Bamber Foundation, Safe Passage and René Cassin, we have submitted a briefing ahead of the second reading, calling on parliamentarians to “reject this legislation.” 

We have signed a joint letter with organisations across the Human Trafficking and Exploitation sector in the UK explaining why this bill is “unworkable as people whose claim has been deemed inadmissible won’t be able to regularise their status and therefore will have to rely on the Government for support.”
“This will result in a group of highly vulnerable people either kept in detention or in unsuitable accommodations for years at a very high human and financial cost. No trafficking victim should be held in immigration detention.” 

We attended peaceful protests across Scotland, including:

protest in Glasgow

At Edinburgh, where our CEO Emma Hutton spoke about legal safe routes and the urgency to come together to resist this bill. You can watch her full speech here.

At Glasgow, where we sent a clear message to the UK Government: “Refugees are welcome here”.

 

At JustRight Scotland, we believe that this Bill will strip people coming to Scotland for refuge of their rights to access justice and to ask for support. 

Our CEO Emma Hutton wrote an article on the Herald Scotland explaining why lawmakers must stop this Bill: “The Bill marks a new, cruel low. It’s an assault on both refugees and the basic principles of human rights.”

On Saturday 18th March, JustRight Scotland – alongside Scottish Refugee Council, took part in the demonstration planned in Glasgow’s city centre to encourage people to Stand up to Racism.


The Human Rights convention
safeguards the rights of every single person in the world. The Secretary of State recognises, by a statement under section 19(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”), that the provisions within this Bill are likely to be incompatible with the human rights convention.   

As the current proposal makes clear, the UK Government plans to  

  • Establish a ban on people claiming asylum, trapping victims of modern slavery and human trafficking into indefinite exploitation. 
  • Set the dangerous new precedent that a government can override people’s fundamental Human Rights through primary legislation to meet short term objectives. 

We also believe this plan will also impact significantly on areas of devolved competence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

 

 

JustRight Scotland is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC047818) which provides legal services through its limited liability partnership, JustRight Scotland LLP which trades as JustRight Scotland (SO305962). This firm has been authorised to act as solicitors by the Law Society of Scotland (Registered No 53703).

Our Registered Office is:
Room 1, 1st Floor, Libertas House
39 St Vincent Place
Glasgow, G1 2ER

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