PICUM Bulletin — 11 October 2011


  • ITALY / Tunisians unwelcomed on Lampedusa Island

    Following the fire and ensuing disorder on 21 September 2011 on Lampedusa Island, more than 500 Tunisians were transferred to other identification centres across Italy. In the meantime 26 Tunisians crossed the Mediterranean Sea by boat and reached the coasts of Lampedusa. The Mayor of Lampedusa, Bernardino De Rubeis, said that after the events on 21 September 2011 the city would prefer no longer accepting any more Tunisian migrants.
    Source: La Repubblica, 23 September 2011

  • ITALY / Prosecutor’s Office in Palermo to investigate on alleged mistreatment of migrants

    On 27 September 2011 the Prosecutor’s Office in Palermo, Italy, opened an investigation on alleged mistreatment of irregular migrants on board the Moby Vincent, Moby Fantasy and Audacia ships in the harbour of Palermo. Hundreds of migrants, among whom 221 Tunisians waiting to be repatriated, are being kept on board such ships, labelled ‘floating expulsion centres’, in questionable legal conditions. They have no legal assistance and are denied their own cell phones thus also “being denied of their freedom to communication with the outside world”, explained asylum law Professor Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo. At the same time the Prefecture’s Offices in Ragusa, Palermo and Agrigento have denied Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) permission to visit irregular migrants on board the ships in the Sicilian harbours of Palermo and Porto Empedocle as well as in Pozzallo Reception Centre (Ragusa ) because of ‘security reasons’. MSF has asked to be allowed to check the health conditions of the detainees and called for a greater transparency in the national management of the reception of migrants and asylum seekers coming from Libya and Tunisia.
    Source: La Repubblica, 27 September 201127 September 201129 September 2011

  • USA / REPORT / Abuse faced by undocumented migrants by Border Patrol agents along the US-Mexico border

    In a report released by the nonprofit organization No More Deaths, interviews with more than 12,000 undocumented migrants show that many were denied food, water and medical treatment or otherwise abused by Border Patrol agents along the US-Mexico border. The interviews were conducted between 2008 and 2011, shortly after they were deported back to Mexico. The interviews showed that 2,981 of the returned migrants said they were denied food during Border Patrol detention, while 863 reported being denied water. Of the 433 people who said they needed medical attention while in Border Patrol custody, 86% reported they were denied that care.
    Source: Reuters, 21 September 2011

United Nations

  • UNHCR / REPORT / Migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing recent events in North Africa

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report on 1 September 2011 on “the situation of migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing recent events in North Africa”.  This report was conducted following a request from the Human Rights Council for the UNHCHR to report on this issue. The report concludes that since the flow of migrants coming from Northern Africa is “mixed” as it consists of people with various motivations and protection profiles, the protection sensitive responses taken by the authorities must reflect the diversity of the flow. The High Commissioner then puts forward key recommendations to States to tackle the issue including: increasing efforts to prevent deaths at sea, making efforts to ensure that adequate border procedures are implemented to clarify individual protection, considering granting temporary permits on humanitarian grounds, ensuring protection from arbitrary detention, avoiding the detention of migrant children, establishing international cooperation, solidarity and responsibility-sharing mechanisms, support legislative and institution reform to protect rights of all migrant including those in an irregular situation. This report is currently only available in English.
    Source: OHCHR Human Rights Council , 1 September 2011

European Policy Developments

  • COUNCIL OF EUROPE / Hearing on undocumented children

    In a second hearing on 4 October 2011 on the occasion of the discussion of the report entitled ‘Undocumented migrant children in an irregular situation: a real cause for concern’ at the PACE plenary session of the Council of Europe, PICUM and partners presented European and national level input and experiences on the issue. The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) debated the report and it also voted on a draft recommendation on 7 October 2011. Michele Levoy, PICUM Director said, “It is vital to take account of the child’s best interest and not to discriminate against him or her in any way” During the hearing, examples and testimonies were given by PICUM partners on health care, housing, detention and education.
    Source: PACE, 4 October 2011; Migrant Rights Network, 7 October 2011

  • COUNCIL OF EUROPE / ITALY / Lampedusa port declared unsafe for the reception of irregular migrants

    The Italian port of Lampedusa, which has been the key arrival point for many irregular migrants coming from Northern Africa since early 2011, has been declared ‘unsafe’ by Italian authorities. The Italian authorities justify their decision on the overcrowded detention conditions with the arrival of over 55,000 migrants since February 2011. A PACE report was published on 30 September 2011 based on a visit by a delegation from the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to Lampedusa in May 2011. PACE declared that Lampedusa Island is unable to provide the necessary and appropriate facilities to deal with the reception of irregular migrants. PACE calls on Italian authorities to increase Lampedusa’s reception capacities as soon as possible and guarantee the rapid transfer of new arrivals to reception centres elsewhere in Italy and to carefully consider the situation of unaccompanied minors who must not be detained nor accommodated in adult facilities. On 1 October 2011, in a joint statement by  UNHRCR, IOM and Save the Children, part of the Praesidium project, warned of that this decision would endanger rescue operations with coast guards unable to dock in Lampedusa requiring them to travel further to bring those rescued.
    Source: Malta Today, 25 September 2011; Migrants at Sea; 1 October 2011; PACE, 3 October 2011

  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION / “An effective and humane return policy”

    The EU Return Directive that entered into force in 2008 and which sets common standards and procedures on the removal of irregular migrants has yet to be transposed into national laws in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands. On 29 September 2011, the Commission urged the aforementioned states to comply with its Directive as they previously failed to notify the Commission of respective national implementation measures that would meet the minimum standards required by the Directive. Non-compliance with the directive undermines the effectiveness of a common coordinated EU migration policy and if the states concerned are unsuccessful once again in providing a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice and demand to impose financial sanctions on states in question. Click here to read more on the Return Directive.
    Source: European Commission Press Release, 29 September 2011; Financial, 5 October 2011; NU.nl, 29 September 2011


    Frontex Risk Analysis Unit (RAU) released its second Quarterly covering analysis from April to June 2011. Key points that emerged from the analysis of indicators of irregular migration to the EU included: an overall increase in irregular entries into Europe with indicators showing a relative increase compared to the previous quarter; the two main routes were via the Greek-Turkish land border and via the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa, particularly to the Italian mainland, Sicily and Malta, despite detections of Afghan migrants falling by a third compared to last year, they were still the most common nationality detected; all the other highly-ranked nationalities (Tunisians, Nigerians, Pakistanis, Ghanaians) increased massively relative to the same period last year and in total there were over 40,000 detections of irregular border-crossings, a 50% increase compared to same period in 2010.
    Source: Frontex, 4 October 2011; Migrants at Sea, 5 October 2011

National Developments

  • FRANCE / Six undocumented migrants die in a fire

    In Seine-Saint-Denis, six undocumented migrants were killed on 28 September 2011 following a fire in a building where they had sought shelter along with around thirty irregular migrants coming from Tunisia and Libya. Whilst the Minister of Interior sees it as a sign of the increasing criminality linked to migration, the Socialist President of the Council of Seine-Saint-Denis states that this is yet another dramatic accident which occurs because of the lack of emergency shelters in the area.  He deplores the lack solidarity in a country based on democracy. Mr Rodolphe Nettier, spokesman of SOS-Soutien aux sans-papiers denounced the harassment by the police towards the irregular migrants to disappear forcing them to seek refuge where they could and in this case it was a building which did not mean the standards and was due to be demolished.
    Source: AFP, 29 September 2011

  • NETHERLANDS / Stricter Dutch immigration policy

    The Dutch Minister of Immigration, Gerd Leers, presented plans for a new asylum and immigration policy on 16 September 2011. The Minister aims to be tougher on asylum seekers that have been in the country for less than three years and have committed crimes by immediately repatriating them to their home countries. He also plans to install a stricter policy for family reunification by limiting the concept of ‘family’ and introducing a waiting period for foreign spouses. Irregular stay could lead to a maximum of 4 months of detention or a fine of up to €3800.
    Source: de Volkskrant, 15 Septembre 2011

  • SWITZERLAND / EVENT / ”Nobody is illegal”

    A demonstration organized by the Movement Suisse des sans-papiers (Swiss movement for undocumented migrants) brought together more than 5,000 people in the streets of Berne on 1 October 2011. The movement advocates for the regularization of undocumented migrants who live, work and contribute to the Swiss economy but whose fundamental rights are denied. The movement has also initiated a petition which will be presented to the Federal Council mid-October 2011. To find out more about the petition, click here.
    Source: Mouvement pour les sans-papiers

  • USA / Anti-Immigrant law in Alabama stays mostly intact after review from a federal judge

    A federal judge refused to block key parts of the Alabama anti-immigrant legislation which now makes the law stricter than similar laws passed in Arizona, Utah, Indiana and Georgia. Measures included in the law allow police to hold suspected irregular migrants without bond; bar state courts from enforcing contracts involving irregular migrants; make it a felony for an irregular migrant to do business with the state for basic things like obtaining drivers licenses; and make it a misdemeanour for an irregular resident not to have immigration papers. There are three separate lawsuits against the Alabama law, the main challenge being from the Obama administration. As well, a coalition of civil rights organizations that were involved in the first class-action challenge to the law have filed a notice of appeal and an emergency request that the district court temporarily block several provisions. Besides in Alabama, the Obama administration is reviewing new anti-immigrant state statues in other states to determine whether the federal government will take the step of challenging the measures in court.
    Source: NILC, 29 September 2011; Washington Post, 29 September 2011

Health Care

  • DENMARK / Clinic for undocumented migrants has opened in Denmark

    In partnership between the Danish Refugee Council, the Danish Medical Association and the Red Cross in Denmark, a health clinic has been opened to provide services to undocumented migrants. The idea of the clinic was inspired by the examples that already exist in Sweden and Norway. After consulting with the health minister in Denmark, who told the Red Cross that Danish legislation did not forbid the treatment of undocumented migrants, they decided to set up the clinic. Currently, only one doctor and two nurses staff the clinic during its opening hours, though another doctor will take up residence in the second consultation room within a few weeks. A third room will eventually house either a dentist or a physiotherapist. Organizers of the clinic hope to build a network of doctors across the country to respond to the need of accessing care. In a study that looked at health care practitioners in Denmark and the accessibility for undocumented migrants, it was found that undocumented migrants experienced unequal access to primary care facilities and that health professionals were uncertain how they were supposed to respond to such situations, such as in involving the police.
    Source: The Copenhagen Post, 1 September 2011; The Copenhagen Post, 12 August 2011; BMC Health Service Research, 28 June 2011

  • FINLAND / The Finnish Medical Association position paper on the treatment of undocumented migrants

    The Finnish Medical Association states in a recent position paper that society should not refuse to grant undocumented migrants the right to receive adequate care and should not intervene in a physician’s obligation to treat patients based on clinical need. Economic reasons should not be an obstacle for the appropriate treatment of people in irregular situation. The association emphasizes that treating undocumented migrants is in the interest of the society as a whole. According to the association a physician should never be obliged to take part in punishing undocumented migrants or in any legal process against them. Nor should undocumented persons be subjected to any examinations or treatments that are not based on medical reasons. For example physicians should not feel obliged to give sedative medication to render the deportation of people easier.
    Source: The Finnish Medical Association, 27 September 2011

  • FINLAND / Getting an abortion difficult for undocumented women

    According to the Finnish Free Movement Network, undocumented women are often denied the right to have an abortion in Finnish public hospitals as only urgent medical care is guaranteed for them. The women in irregular situation rarely have the money needed for an abortion in private clinics and some clinics have also refused to perform an abortion on undocumented women. Undocumented pregnant women are also left without a regular follow-up during the pregnancy and hospitals receive them only to give birth.
    Source: Helsingin Sanomat, 27 September 2011

  • NORWAY / Red Cross and church aid group run health center for undocumented migrants in Oslo

    Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on 10 October 2011 that an increasing number of undocumented migrants were seeking health care support. The Red Cross and Kirkens Bymisjon have been working together and operating a health center for undocumented migrants in Oslo and have reported receiving migrants from all over the country. When the clinic opened in October 2009, the issue was very controversial but since then, undocumented migrants have been granted access in the center.  A range of services are offered that allow undocumented migrants to consult with a nurse, doctor, psychologist or physiotherapist. The health center is open every Tuesday and every first Thursday of the month. The organization promotes that the persons working there are health professional and have taken a pledge of confidentiality, therefore will not reveal visitors personal details to be shared with the police or immigration authorities.
    Source: Norway International Network, 10 October 2011

  • UK / New restrictions on health care: MRN’s letter and MDM’s petition

    Migrants Rights Network is urging supporters to write to the Public Health Minister in the UK and voice concerns about the public health impact of new immigration restrictions which will deny migrants with an NHS debt further permission to enter or remain in the UK. A template for a draft letter to the Public Health Minister is available on MRN’s website. Doctors of the World have started a petition which calls on the UK government to uphold the right of vulnerable migrants to access healthcare regardless of their ability to pay. If the petition receives at least 100,000 signatures, it will be eligible for debate in the House of Commons. All are encouraged to sign the e-petition (link below on the HM Government website) and it is open until September 2012.
    Source: HM Government, e-petition

  • UK / EVENT / Upcoming conference to address the health of vulnerable migrants

    The Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) annual conference will be on “Diversity in Practice” and look at the many different ways GPs practice and the many diverse communities in which they deliver healthcare services. The conference will be on 20-22 October 2011 in Liverpool. The Refugee Health Network has organized a session titled “A denial of care? Primary healthcare for vulnerable migrants” on the 21 October 2011 during the conference. The workshop aims to assist GPs in delivering care to and addressing the particular health and access needs of vulnerable migrants including refugees, refused asylum seekers and victims of trafficking among others.
    Source: Refugee Health Network, October 2011; Royal College of Practitioners, October 2011

  • FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY / REPORT / Publication of report on right to health care for irregular migrants

    The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) released its report entitled “Migrants in an irregular situation: access to healthcare in 10 European Union Member States”. This report is one of the three outputs planned under the Fundamental Rights Situation of Irregular Migrants in the European Union (FRIM) project to which PICUM was a key contributor and acted with ICMPD as research coordinator. The report looks specifically at migrants in an irregular situation and was carried out in 21 cities of EU Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden by 10 researchers. The report is based on a legal review of the situation of the right to access health and interviews with 221 participants, including irregular migrants, policy makers, health professionals and NGOs working in the field of health care. The main results were that all ten countries reviewed provide emergency health care to irregular migrants but in only five is this service free, only 4 Member states provide access to health care beyond emergency care, and an overall deterrence effect of denunciation policy. The FRA offers key avenues about how to move forward including denunciation should not be requested from health care authorities, raising awareness about the rights of irregular migrants in the health care sector, and support should be given to NGOs working in the field as they play an important role in providing health care to irregular migrants. Click here to watch interview with FRA Programme Manager, Ludovica Banfi. To download the report, click here.
    Source: FRA, 11 October 2011

Undocumented Women

  • USA / Coalition of activists speak out to raise the visibility of immigrant women

    A civil society coalition, We Belong Together, went to Atlanta, Georgia, on 28 and 29 September 2011 to examine the impact of immigration enforcement on undocumented women, children and families. The aim of the action was to raise the visibility of immigrant women as workers and community members and to highlight the situation of undocumented women in a political context where state is encouraging new immigration policies such as the like HB 87 law and the federal “Secure communities” programme, which would give further power to the state to  profile, arrest and detain immigrants arbitrarily.  The delegation noted the choices forced upon women who live in fear of being caught such as staying with an abusive partner and hiding in dread of being detained thus developing and maintaining an overall feeling of fear and anxiety. The action also highlights the impact of increasingly strict immigration laws on protections of labour laws which are pushing women to work in less visible sectors such as domestic work which evades police checks where they often experience mistreatment, get paid poor wages and work overtime. The delegation issues their finding in a common statement. For more information on the delegation to Georgia, click here.
    Source: In These Times, 30 September 2011

  • BELGIUM / PICUM EVENT / International conference on undocumented women

    PICUM will hold an international conference to launch the findings of its Undocumented Migrant Women’s project in Brussels, Belgium on 12 and 13 December 2011. This high-level conference will mark a significant gathering of key policy-makers and field-practitioners to discuss concrete improvements for the protection and promotion of undocumented women’s rights in Europe. The event will also serve as the official launch of PICUM’s report on the strategies used to support and empower undocumented women across the region, highlighting key practices in the fields of labour rights, sexual and reproductive health rights, and protection from gender-based violence. More detailed information about this event and online registration will be available within the coming weeks on the PICUM website but for now save the day in your diaries.

Undocumented Children and Their Families

  • FRANCE / Uncertain fate for three unaccompanied minors

    Three unaccompanied minors, two boys and a girl from Mongolia and Korea who presented themselves at prefecture in Ariège, in the South of France on 27 September 2011, were taken to the local police station in Foix. This new arrival clearly exposes the problem with regards to who is responsible for unaccompanied minors and where they should be accommodated. The public administration have expressed that it is impossible for them to take care of these three unaccompanied minors as existing facilities are full and some are even overcrowded such as the shelter in Loumet. The department of Ariège expressed its concern of its inability to cope with future new arrivals. In the meantime, the three minors are being accommodated at the police station.
    Source: Ladepeche.fr, 28 September 2011

  • NETHERLANDS / Review of Mauro Manuel case

    The Dutch Minister for Immigration, Gerd Leers, has promised, after pressure from members of Parliament, to review the case of 18 year old Mauro Manuel, who was refused a residence permit by Dutch authorities and was ordered to leave the country after turning 18. Mauro Manuel has been living in the Netherlands with a foster family since 2003 when his mother put him on a plane away from Angola. As he has been going to school and grew up in the Netherlands, having lost the ability to speak Portuguese, many political parties consider it unjust to send him back to Angola. Leers however claimed that granting him a permit would send the wrong signal to persons that attract less media attention, which would be arbitrary and inconsistent.
    Source: De Stentor, 29 September 2011

  • NORWAY / Solution sought for over 400 undocumented children

    Jasmin Tunc, a 16-year old undocumented migrant of Lebanese parents born in Germany but raised in Norway, told her story of “her life in limbo” in a newspaper article on 7 October 2011. Jasmin plans to confront the Prime Minister with a replica of a ‘Nansenpass’, a special passport initiated by Fridtjof Nanser, a famous Norwegian explorer and humanitarian. Dag Hareide, principal of the Nansen School, is reviving the concept of the ‘Nansenpass’. The campaign that is backed by 40 organizations is pushing for the government to provide a solution to the estimated 400 undocumented children who have lived as asylum seekers in Norway for more than three years. Many have been rejected but are not able to return to their homelands, leaving them in limbo in Norway. Living in such limbo complicates accessing such things as education and health care. Many children of undocumented migrants such as Jasmin Tunc, are coming forward to claim back their rights and in turn benefit from the support Nansen had advocated for a hundred years earlier.
    Source: Norway International Network, 10 October 2011

  • REPORT / SCEP’s report on age assessment in Europe

    The Age Assessment Thematic Group of the Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP) published a report in May 2011 which reviews current policies and practice in Europe. The report focuses on current laws, policies and practices related to age assessment in 16 European countries collected by SCEP partners between June and November 2010. The report is aimed to serve a dual purpose of providing an overview but also as a tool to promote dialogue and research on the issue of age assessment in Europe. The report will also be used as a basis to develop and advocacy paper. Click here to download the report which is only available in English.

  • SPAIN / REPORT / Irregularities in the age test for unaccompanied children

    Amidst the growing discussions on the issue of age tests in Spain (See PICUM Bulletin 29 August 2011), the organization, Defensor del Pueblo de España (Ombudsman), has published a report entitled “¿Menores o adultos? Procedimiento para la determinación de la edad” (Minors or adults? Procedures to determine age). The report condemns the procedure and its use by Spanish authorities as the procedure is flawed as dental and bone evidence are not reliable to determine the age of someone. Furthermore, the report denounces the lack or total absence of legal support for undocumented migrants which is in contradiction with the law on the Legal Protection of Minors. In order to tackle the issue and avoid that children’s rights are further trampled on the report suggests for an official recognition that dental and bone test are not 100% reliable and that this should be taken into account when the results are presented, as often the margin of error which exists is not mentioned. In the report, the Defensor del Pueblo makes 41 recommendations to the authorities to address effectively this issue.
    Source: El Pais, 29 September 2011

  • SPAIN / Children sleep in communal areas “because of the saturation” at centers

    Centers for unaccompanied minors in Melilla, Spain, are currently overcrowded, which meant they have had to use the common areas as bedrooms to provide enough beds for all the children. Advisor of Social Welfare and Health, Maria Antonia Garbin, reiterated her concern regarding the situation adding that at the moment the “Purísima” centre is hosting “well above” the desired number, as there are 168 unaccompanied migrant minors for a capacity of 160.
    Source: Sur, 27 Septembre 2011

  • USA / The state of Rhode Island allows in-state tuition for undocumented students at public colleges

    Rhode Island joins another 13 states that offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. The Rhode Island State Board of Governors for Higher Education approved granting in state tuition to undocumented students who attend public colleges and universities. To be eligible, students must attend school in the state for three years, graduate from one of the state’s high schools and sign and affidavit confirming that they are seeking legal status. Although there are states which allow undocumented students to attend and have the ability to obtain a degree, they still face a major obstacle upon graduating as they have no immediate pathway to a legal status and employers cannot legally hire them.
    Source: Color Lines, 27 September 2011; The Huffington Post, 3 October 2011; The Providence Journal, 28 September 2011

  • USA / EVENT / Protecting children’s rights

    The Center for Human Rights of Children will be holding a workshop entitled “Protecting children’s rights through multidisciplinary forensics”. The event will take place at the Loyola University Chicago, Philip H. Corboy Law Center on 4 November 2011. The aim of the workshop is to raise awareness of the current community needs for professional assessments, and to build the capacity of the professionals to better support children who are victims of discrimination, violence, trauma, and torture, and abuse. Key case studies will be addressed including the issue of asylum and unaccompanied minors in the US. For more information, please visit the event webpage.

Detention and Deportation

  • UK / The European Convention of Human Rights faces some constraints if the Home Secretary is successful in proposed changes

    At the Conservative Party Conference on 4 October 2011, UK Home Secretary, Theresa May announced plans to tighten the immigration rules making it easier to deport foreign nationals who have settled and started families in Britain. She argues that interpretation of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), in particular Article 8, has been overarching and is preventing the deportation of convicted criminals and undocumented migrants. Under Article 8, the right to respect an individual’s private and family life is recognized. The Home Secretary argues that use of this article has been abused by many and would like to change the immigration rules to make it clear that foreign nationals can be deported even if they have started a family. A statement disputed by MRN as only less than one hundred occasions (0.18% of all cases) of deportation cases challenged on the basis of Article 8 were successful.  Also included in the new rules would be removal based on if the individual is not able to support themselves or find a home.
    Source: The Independent, 4 October 2011; BBC News, 4 October 2011

  • UK / Nigerian asylum seeker assaulted in front of her children during deportation process

    Faith, a rejected asylum seeker, was assaulted in front of her three children on a plane leaving the UK and destined for Italy. Faith had been taken to a pre-departure facility at Pease Pottage, West Sussex, with her three children, aged four, six and eight following a raid in their home in Birmingham by uniformed officers at 5.30am on 19 September 2011. This occurred despite a government promise to end the detention of children in the UK, a promise the government should admit they have broken according to Emma Ginn, coordinator of the charity Medical Justice. The incident occurred on 22 September 2011 during the first attempt to deport Faith and her three children back to Italy where she had been living before going to the UK after having faced persecution by her family and local community members. The officers started beating her which resulted in her spitting blood; the pilot ordered the eight escorts to take the family off the plane. Two further attempts were made to deport her to Italy on 20 September but the flight was full and on 26 September 2011 the family lawyer intervened by obtaining a judicial review in the high court citing the pending case about forced removals to Italy. Following the three failed attempts of deportation, the family was freed and returned to their home in Birmingham. The Home Office refused to comment but have confirmed that an investigation for serious misconduct complaint has been initiated.
    Source: The Guardian, 3 October 2011

  • UK / Campsfield House criticized

    A report released in July 2011 by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons following a surprise inspection in May 2011 to Campsfield House immigration removal centre, in Oxfordshire, shows it failed to improve on recommendations made following inspection in 2009. The concerns focused on the centre’s health care and educational facilities which did not meet required standards. Bob Hughes, from the Close Campsfield Campaign, reiterated that the changes would not be enough as the objectives of the facility was to show the ‘toughness’ of the system and that would not change.
    Source: BBC News, 5 October 2011

  • USA / Undocumented migrant dies in custody

    Victor Antonio Ramirez-Reyes, a 56-year undocumented migrant from Ecuador, died whilst in Elizabeth Detention Center, in New Jersey, waiting to be deported. Mr Ramirez-Reyes suffered a cardiac arrest and died in hospital on Monday, 26 September 2011. The exact cause of death is yet to be determined. He had entered the USA on a tourist visa which had expired and his asylum claim was rejected. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stated that Mr. Ramirez-Reyes was the tenth detainee to die in custody since 1 October 2010.
    Source: Nj.com, 27 Septembre 2011

Publications and other Resources

  • SPAIN / GUIDE / Guide for irregular migrants attempts to lessen vulnerability by providing information on rights

    Centro Pueblos Unidos together with the Madrid Bar Association, has produced a guide for irregular migrants with basic information on their legal situation and the rights available in the Spanish context. The guide addresses issues such as what an irregular migrant can expect if brought to the police station; if working with a lawyer, what important information should be shared with them; and what to expect and what rights are available if an undocumented migrant is put in detention.
    Source: Centro Pueblos Unidos, October 2011


  • GLOBAL / Radio1812 renews event in 2011

    December 18 will be hosting its sixth Radio 1812 event to celebrate International Migrants Day on 18 December 2011. The aim of Radio1812 is to bring together and promote the production and broadcasting of programmes which look at key achievements and concerns as to the situation of migrants worldwide. December 18 encourages individuals and organisations to contact them with suggestions and comments as to how they will be organising their own 2011 edition of Radio1812.
    Source: December 18, 30 September 2011

  • USA / Conference to be held focusing on biblical responses to immigration

    A conference that will bring together evangelical leaders in Ohio is hoping to challenge and inspire attendees to respond to the immigration issue in a Biblical manner. The event will take place on 20-22 October 2011 in Cedarville, Ohio and attendees can range from students, church leaders, pastors or lay persons who have an interest in immigration and for serving and caring for the needs of undocumented migrants. The conference organizers hope the event will offer a critical learning step for students and community leaders to move the nation forward in a positive discussion on immigration.
    Source: Undocumented.tv, 11 August 2011

Other News

  • ITALY / FILM / Terraferma contender for the 2012 Best Foreign Film Oscar

    After being awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Venice Film Festival in September 2011, Emanuele Crialese’s film about the fate of African migrants who arrive in Italy by sea is announced as a contender for the 2012 Best Foreign Film Oscar. The final nominees will be announced on 24 January 2011. For further information on film, watch the trailer or visit the film’s Facebook page.
    Source: Migrants at Sea, 29 September 2011

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