"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Friday 17 May 2013

Friday links

https://twitter.com/emmabmoussa tweets :
Letter from mp today hubbies case last looked at march1st but can not give mp date of completion. Call bk in 3 months that would make it 9!


Happy Norwegian Constitution Day ( http://www.norway.org/ARCHIVE/culture/heritage/nationalday/ ). A party of Norwegians (men in suits with flag lapels, women in national dress) wandered past me on the way to the train station this evening.

 Norway confirms sense of calm and maturity in its handling of Anders Breivik case : http://www.alastaircampbell.org/blog/2012/04/16/norway-confirms-sense-of-calm-and-maturity-in-its-handling-of-anders-breivik-case/


Church community: Learning how to access health care.


Very useful in the current climate - including useful for those British people whose family members or partners are about to join them in the UK.

Despite the right to basic primary care, however, the reality is that many migrants – including many of the St Barnabas congregation, have been unable to consult GPs because they were asked by the GPs office to present their valid passport or visa as a proof of identity. Some individuals did not have a passport, and some who were undocumented were afraid of being reported to UKBA if they showed their ID or address. ‘There is no law requiring you to present your passport or visa in order to register with a GP. If a GP or a staff of the practice contacts UKBA to discuss about your case without your consent, he or she is breaching medical data protection and patient confidentiality, and that’s illegal’, Ms. Qureshi told members of the church.

These tips might be helpful for many others in contacting their GP practices, so I am including them here:

Call your local GP practice before you actually go in, and ask if they are still accepting new patients (you can say that you are calling on behalf of someone) – this is important to do at first so that they cannot tell you that the list is closed after finding out you cannot provide the documentations they ask for.

Ask about documentations for registration and if they ask you for documents that you cannot provide, ask them why they need it and use your knowledge about the laws (e.g. you can explain that there is no law requiring individuals to show a valid passport or visa for registration).

Explain why it is difficult for you to get the documents they request from you and focus more on the medical needs you have.

Acknowledge the difficulty the receptionist may be facing, and ask to speak to practice manager or the GP if the negotiation gets difficult.

It is always important to have the name of the person you are speaking.

“If you do not have any form of proof of identity and address such as a driving licence, utility bills and bank statements, Project London offers to provide a letter to confirm your identity and address, which should be treated as an official documentation”, Ms. Qureshi explained.

Even if a GP still refuses you for registration, they are legally obliged to provide emergency consultation and care for a maximum of 14 days free of charge. It is also important to know that the GP is obliged to provide reasons for refusal in writing. You should always ask for this in the case of refusal as it will be used when challenging unlawful refusals.

“Providing official confirmation of identity and address is something that we can do as church. For members who do not have fixed address, I will be very happy to let them use the vicarage as their corresponding address”, Fr. Saxby told to the attendees. “I want to bring what we learnt into action, share the  information and collect strength to work with others. We have gained great knowledge in order to carry on our ongoing work.”

A church member, who had previously been refused registry with a GP said “the training has given me more confidence to try again - I was rejected twice before. When they asked me for my passport or national insurance number, I could only give up and turn my back. Now I know my rights and that they don’t need those documents. I want to share this information with more friends who are in the same situation.” Another member said “the training was very informative, and I just feel like popping in one of the surgeries and try the strategies we learned today. It’s fulfilling to know that I have rights. We should organise workshop with other members to practice how to negotiate!”


https://twitter.com/migrants_rights tweets :
Residence test for legal aid would have huge impact on justice for migrants.Support the campaign opposing the changes http://www.savelegalaid.co.uk/takeaction

https://twitter.com/BritCits tweets :
Fair talk on #immigration from @UKHouseofLords Will @HouseofCommons pls follow? See Lord Roberts of Llandudno at 839

Lords seem to spk so much sense, unlike many our elected MPs??! Lord Triesman and @EricAvebury amongst our faves


https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
The government is building a network of spies to make immigrants' lives impossible

In the last four years, I have applied for three different types of visas and changed flats four times in the UK. Neither are prospects I ever look forward to. The last time I was searching for a flat was just a few months ago. I saw a cosy flat in Wapping and, walking around the canal and the pretty cobbled streets, decided to put down the "offer money". The landlord refused the offer on the grounds that I was on a student visa (I wasn't – I was on a post-study work visa, but not many people know the difference). I knew at the time that my housing and visa woes were not over.

So when I found another flat that I liked, I explained to the agents that I only had three months left on my current visa but was soon going to apply for a work visa sponsored by my employer. Luckily, I have a permanent job with a well-known employer and the agents accepted my explanation as a convincing one. But it was only that – luck. The agents could have just as easily rejected my explanation.

Every time I have looked for a flat, I have dreaded this situation. I can’t help but think how easily it could get worse if the proposals to make private landlords responsible for checking their tenants’ immigration status are implemented. It is no secret that housing is tight in London and so landlords have a lot more power and decision-making authority than tenants do. It is not unimaginable that if a measure making landlords liable for their tenants’ migrant status is introduced, landlords (and agents) would prefer to not let their properties to migrants at all to avoid "hassle".

... as well as enabling...

Suspected identity thieves posing as UKBA officers chased from family home in Walthamstow.


Calls for evidence for balance of competences reviews.


The Government is carrying out a review of the balance of competences between the EU and the UK. This is an audit of what the EU does and how it affects the UK and will be carried out over four semesters between Autumn 2012 and Autumn 2014.

The Home Office is leading on two reports in the second semester, which runs from Spring 2013 to Winter 2013, in the following areas:

    Asylum and Immigration; and
    Free Movement of Persons

The Free Movement of Persons report is being jointly led with the Department for Work and Pensions.

Calls for Evidence for both reports were launched on 15 May 2013 giving both individuals and interested groups the opportunity to contribute their views. The closing date for evidence is midday on 5 August 2013. For more information, and to find out how to submit evidence, please go to Gov.uk.


Merger of Europe’s human rights and equality bodies is on the agenda: good news or bad for migrants’ rights?


https://www.facebook.com/migrantsrights?fref=ts says :
Human Rights activism is blossoming all over Europe it seems. How do we get this fact into the miserablist political debate currently underway in the UK?

NHS: Poles, paracetamol and the myth of health tourism.

Migrants' cost to the NHS is far smaller proportionally than Britons because they are younger, less likely to be ill or to have started a family. The service is also not quite as good as in Poland, apparently.


Council wrongly classed asylum seeker children as adults.


Via ASIRT ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/59856051718/ ) - 'One 15-year-old Nigerian girl was trafficked to the UK as a domestic slave aged five and escaped when she was 15. Her age was disbelieved and she was told she was 29, the age on her false travel document. She was placed in adult accommodation, sexually abused and became pregnant. A court later ruled that she was 15.'

Hope not Hate are organising meetings around the country.


Local groups : http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/local-groups/

https://twitter.com/19pst tweets :
Beautiful article on memorialising huge tragedies of Holocaust via tiny pavement plaques:

https://twitter.com/19pst tweets :
A Black Nurse, a German Soldier and an Unlikely WWII Romance.

Why was Nigel Farage so rattled on the radio?


https://twitter.com/trillingual tweets :
UKIP councillors refuse to back anti-racism statement because "it pushes forward the chance of multiculturalism"

https://twitter.com/paulbelmontesli tweets :
No, @Nigel_Farage. We love having a large English population in Edinburgh, we also love our Polish community & can't wait for our Romanians


https://twitter.com/LaurieMGayle tweets :
Scotland will not prosecute people brought to UK against their will. Compassionate, victim-focused justice. Well done!!

Home Secretary strips two more people of British citizenship.


The Home Secretary has stripped at least two additional individuals of their British citizenship in recent months, the Bureau has learned.

In February, an investigation by the Bureau and published with the Independent revealed that Theresa May had signed deprivation of citizenship orders for 16 people between the 2010 election and November 2012, including five British-born individuals. That total has now risen to 18 cases. Under the Labour government, five people lost their UK nationality.


UK asylum process painful for lesbians fleeing death threats.


https://www.facebook.com/migrantsrights?fref=ts says :
Good account here of the problems that gay people needing asylum have to encounter when dealing with UK immigration authorities...

https://twitter.com/4refugeewomen tweets :
Meet the new London Refugee Women's Forum - they are amazing!

UK's immigration policy seen as threat to Cambridge University's worldwide reputation.


https://twitter.com/LeeJasper tweets :
Want to oppose Government legislation on immigration? Join this radical campaign that hopes to support migrants... http://fb.me/1MciWYkWW

New campaign supporting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in South London. Oppose the scapegoating of migrants.

The fear that stalks asylum seekers from the Russian Federation.


EU countries are accused of leaving asylum seekers from the Russian Federation vulnerable to the repressive reach of the Russian state...

https://twitter.com/Rebecca_Omonira tweets :
"...UKBA breached the human rights of severely mentally ill individuals on 4 occasions" http://wp.me/pOILh-em 

The UK’s fastest growing tourist group endures the slowest visa process.


The Principality of Sealand.


"E Mare Libertas"!


A prominent Chinese law professor recently revealed in his microblog on popular Twitter-like site Sina Weibo that the Chinese government has imposed a policy on university professors instructing them not to teach seven subjects, including freedom of the press, past mistakes of the communist party, and citizen rights.


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