"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, 4 April 2014


Today I learned that our friend Francisca's family was picked by the Home Office for a campaign about dividing families. Without her - or the photographer's - permission.

We previously published the family's story - and their marvellous campaign - here :

At the time, Francisca wrote :
'My daughter Millie was born in the UK. She has no understanding of her mum’s (my) home country. Why does she need to be deported too?'

Francisca and Barry.
Millie is the same girl whose likeness someone at the Home Office picked for its ill-advised campaign.

The family was ultimately successful (testament to it being possible for families to campaign - and win - although this is no easy proposition) :

Given what this family has already been through, the actions of the bureaucrats in using the young girl's image - a girl who knows only Scotland as home - constitute a breaktakingly insensitive masterclass in callousness and incompetence - first as tragedy, then as farce.

The original photograph which the Home Office decided to use was published by the Daily Record - 'Girl, 7, spared deportation to Chile as UK Border Agency drop fight to have her kicked out of Britain ' :

The story is, unsurprisingly, making its way around the blogs and Twitter.

Free Movement -  'Home Office picks wrong family photo for campaign ' :

Francisca herself is naturally furious and experessing that fury on her Twitter feed ( https://twitter.com/PanxaUrra ) :

'This is a slap in the face to my family and especially my daughter … we are ever so distressed.'

'I'm a mum and I will fight teeth and nail to protect my family's integrity. I was born a a fighter.'

Update 5/April :As Francisca and others have pointed out, the post with the offending image was removed from the Home Office website.
However, the Web has a long memory and screenshots were taken by several people.


https://twitter.com/HarleyM65 points out :
'For the record, Home Office also removed the photographer's copyright mark in the photo.'

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