These loosely grouped links have been added as they have come to our attention. If you have a link to suggest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put web info in the subject box.
New hostile environment policies
Change in use of Derwentside
The Government and Rwanda
Problems with Detention Conditions
Alternatives to Detention
Newly published report on the two pilot projects conducted in Newcastle and Bedford by the UNHCR and the Home Office. Vital reading for all opposed to current detention policies.
Hard hitting high calibre photo journalism project on detention in the UK, the US and other countries. Features Hassockfield/Derwentside
This Human Rights Watch report from November 2021 shows a variety of alternatives to detention taken by six countries. The UK approach, working with young ex offenders, is a tailored one that is effective but not possible to scale up.
An update on how the government is reducing the number of claims.
The government appears have found a way to reduce the number of asylum claims:
With the passing of the Illegal Migration Bill, the government is now facing the challenge of where to house ‘unprocessed migrants’.
The Illegal Migration Bill
On 17th July 2023 the UK government passed a bill that No to Hassockfield opposed from the first inkling of its proposal. Untold malign impacts on women seeking asylum will surely follow.
Court shows scant ignorance of conditions on the ground in its verdict
A court battle to challenge the deportation of an asylum seeker in Derwentside has ended in defeat .
The Independent Monitoring Board Annual Report on Derwentside, 2021-2022
This ha s damning things to say about the IRC. Many statements could have been taken from our own press releases!
All change and no change at Derwentside IRC
A non transparent Home Office procurement process that started in 2021 has finally ended with the contract to manage Derwentside IRC passed on from one giant contractor, Mitie, to another, Serco. Below you will find the bare bones of the signed contract, which is due to be fully implemented in September, and the statement on Serco’s website confirming this.
A Freedom of Information request to view the contract itself has been refused, as being not in thep ublic interest until the Home Office itself decides to publish it. What is extremely disturbing in the information we already know is that the government has set the contract for 9 years minimum.
Here is a profile of Serco. We’ll publish more information as we come by it.
The Illegal Migration Bill House of Lords Amendments debates
Medical Justice has put together an accessible report on thses important debates. It shows just now devastating for asylum seekers and those who work with and for them the Bill would be if passed without the kind of scrutiney it is being given right now. Watch and read what the Lords are opposing.
Day 5 committee stage June 2023.
This clip from Parliament TV records the Bishop of Durham and colleagues, starting with Lord German, attempting to change clauses in the bill referring in particular to detention and the importance of HMIP inspections A cohort of dedicated peers had so far spent five days pulling the bill apart and clearly exposing its bad drafting and inadequacies, one of the most prominent being the Bishop (his speech starts at 19:24:26)
This Hansard extract covers an important section of Day 5 that includes the speeches above.
The text of all parliamentary debates and committees can be accessed via the website theyworkforyou.com
Home Office Admits Asylum Plans in Doubt BBC News 16th June 2023
These two BBC pieces highlight the problems with the backlog of asylum decisions.
The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection across 23 countries. Click here and then on to the UK icon to see clearly presented information on the asylum situation as of 2022. YOu can compare it to other countries and use it as a comparison with whatever will emerge from the 2023 legislation.
This incisive overview of the first 2023 quarterly statistics puts information at your fingertips (source freemovement.org.uk February 2023):
This statement from March 2023 from the head of the UK Statistics Authority underlines the ineffectiveness of the current governmen’s immigration policy:
Recent Home Office data on Immigration Enforcement (deportations and returns) released as an open document with much information redacted but still illuminating:
How and why the asylum backlog is vast is discussed in this article (source BBC November 2022) and the article embedded in it:
This examination of the asylum questionnaire used in a new ‘streamlined’ process indicates one reason for the backlog (source freemovement.org.uk March 2023):
A maj0r reason for overstaying – which leaves women vulnerable to detention in Derwentside – is discussed in the first article (source The Guardian 2nd March 2023).
This article reports on the scrapping of the two tier system disadvantaging migrants arriving by ‘irregular routes’, announced in June 2023. This was only brought in in 2022 and quickly proved unworkable.
A comparison of the Australian offshore policy and the UK’s (source Channel 4 News June 2022):
Discussing the impact of UK asylum policy on people of colour (source The Guardian February 2023):
Home Office policy on the impact of implementing the ‘Compliant Environment’ (Home Office 2023):
A judicial review report on the government’s Rwanda policy from September 2022 :
The rules behind how Derwentside is run:
These two reports by outside bodies on Derwentside give us invaluable information about conditions inside:
This next very important HMIP report highlights many concerns. Open this link in a new tab to access a pdf of the report itself and a revealing survey about the 21 women detained at the time (December 2022):
The following documents come from the summer of 2021 before the Immigration Removal Centre was opened. They are now useful historical documents: