RightsNI is delighted to welcome this guest post by Liz Griffith, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refugee Action Group invites all Rights NI readers to a ‘Stop Deportations’ workshop on the afternoon of Friday 14th June.
Deportation gives rise to so many human rights issues that it is hard to know where to start. In theory, the UK cannot lawfully deport someone to a country where there is a risk of serious harm, torture or death. In practice, however, the asylum process is as such that some protection issues remain unheard, unresolved or ignored. Deportation also tears individuals and their children away from their friends, schools and communities. We must also remember that deportation is a lucrative business for private security companies and that there are substantiated accounts of harm (and indeed death) of deportees while ‘under escort’ (E.g. Medical Justice, ‘Outsourcing abuse: the use and misuse of state-sanctioned force during the detention and removal of asylum seekers’ (2008) http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/images/stories/reports/outsourcing%20abuse.pdf See also news reports following the death of Jimmy Mubenga in 2010).
Of course, deportation often goes hand in hand with immigration detention. The number of detention beds in the UK now tops 4000 and is rising. About 30,000 people are detained each year- for days, weeks, months or years (See briefing papers posted regularly here: http://www.aviddetention.org.uk/). Just a fortnight ago, the UN Committee against Torture criticised the UK for its detention policy; specifically, it highlighted the fact that there is no time limit on immigration incarceration, which amounts to de facto indefinite detention. (It also rebuked the UK for its attempts to deport Sri Lankan Tamils despite evidence of torture) (Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom, adopted by the Committee at its fiftieth session (6-31 May 2013) documents at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats50.htm).
For these reasons, and many others aside, Refugee Action Group hopes as many people as possible will come and learn skills in campaigning against deportation.
The workshop is delivered by Lisa and Michael from the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC). NCADC supports community campaigns for justice in the immigration and asylum systems and supports people fighting for their right to remain in the UK. Lisa and Michael are coming to Belfast to share their vast experience of successful anti-deportation campaigns. Underpinning their work are principles of human rights, peace and human dignity.
The workshop is very interactive and packed full with useful tips and ideas. It is free, however, please commit to attending the full afternoon session.
Everyone is welcome: refugees, students, asylum seekers, human rights activists, migrants, concerned residents… and anyone else!
Where: LORAG/Shaftesbury Community & Rec. Centre, 97 Balfour Ave, Belfast
When: Friday 14th June 2013
Join us for lunch at 1pm. Workshop takes place 1.30 – 4.30pm
RSVP: Let us know you are coming by Tuesday 11th June and tell us of any access or dietary requirements: email@example.com
Find out more here: www.ncadc.org.uk …and read the NCADC toolkit too!