The death of a young man in immigration detention last month raises questions about the purpose the British government’s detention policy. Who is detained and why?
Work-in-progress archive of old blog posts and selected journalism.
Reflections on 2015 and what’s next
Chuffed to be on the shortlist for the Georgina Henry women in journalism prize. Georgina Henry launched the Guardian’s hugely successful Comment is Free website and set up Women in Journalism back in 1995. She died of cancer in 2014 aged just 54. I recommend Alan Rusbridger’s tribute if you haven’t read already: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/feb/07/georgina-henry The idea I pitched to the judges was for a podcast. A collection of outtakes you might say, from all the interviews I do for my articles. It’s something I’ve been thinking about and working towards for some time, but I’ve never had the money or…
My work shortlisted for prize
In many ways Birmingham Community Law Centre resembles the very first law centre in North Kensington in West London back in 1970. In 1949 the Legal Aid and Advice Act established for the first time a legal aid scheme for both criminal and civil advice.
Telling stories is important, but change takes time. For things to change, there must be enough people asking why bother, and deciding to act.
“It is not enough to talk about sexual violence in conflict. Sexual crimes against women, girls, and sometimes men, are a continual violence happening in every country, every single day,” says American Nobel laureate Jody Williams.
Illegal migrants, failed asylum seekers, even refugees; all of these labels are inadequate catch-all terms that can only dehumanise, and rarely capture the range of human experience you find at the ports of France, on the streets of Athens and London.
Why are black people with mental health problems still more likely than whites to be heavily medicated, restrained and detained against their will?
The government’s punitive measures have made it harder to get out of poverty. And austerity is making it worse.
In three decades a social welfare advisor has not seen the levels of poverty that are routine today.
Greenham women began the 1980s imagining a molten world victim to the posturing of the men who ruled it. In this nightmare, only their children survived, swollen and deformed by a nuclear winter, while they stood in silent horror, helpless. What they did next would transform their lives, and thirty years on the legacy of their protest is still keenly felt.
A woman held at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre made a tearful plea by phone to a crowd of protestors outside the Home Office in London one evening in February. The crowd fell silent as her wavering voice echoed from a mobile phone connected to a speaker: “Can I talk please?”
On hearing about the deaths off the Italian island of Lampedusa last month, I was struck by the prescience of these words. Yasin, who made the comment, was Eritrean, like many of those who died. He made the same journey and survived.
In Britain the term “illegal immigrant” is used to describe people who break immigration laws, but in popular culture and action it is a catchall phrase often denoting poor migrants, stateless people, and refugees.
Political rhetoric and featherweight policy solutions disguise the fact that single parents are among the biggest losers of the recession. The Women’s Budget Group found that single parents will lose 15.1 per cent of their disposable income to austerity policies.
When Jen Smith’s employer went bust she lost control of a life she had spent 20 years building. It took only a few years for life to unravel. In three years Jen got just four interviews and no job. Soon she had to remortgage the one-bedroom flat she shares with her daughter.
Originally posted on London Migrant Hub:
Photo by Mike Licht There are some great migrant blogs out there but they’re not always easy to find. So, for those on the hunt for migrant voices, someone to explain new immigration policy, or just an interesting take on global migration, here are some of our favourites: 1. The Diary of a Refugee Mother Blogging as ‘Helen’, this mother of three came to the UK from Ethiopia nine years ago after having been imprisoned for political activities. She blogs, (with the help of someone from Women for Refugee Women), about the brutal realities…
Originally posted on Do right, fear no-one!:
Connor Johnston considers how a slave would have fared under the government’s proposed legal aid residence test. The House of Commons last week debated some of the issues raised by the Government’s consultation on “Transforming Legal Aid”. The consultation – which will be considered by the Ministry of Justice over the summer recess – proposes significant further cuts to legal aid. The proposals were announced mere days after the last round of legal aid cuts came into effect. The debate is an important one. The fact that the proposals are to be implemented…
A question for the European politicians thrashing out a plan to provide “assistance” to Syria: if a bedraggled Syrian escapes the war, if he escapes the chaos of the refugee camps in Iraq or Jordan or Turkey, if he arrives tired but hopeful on your doorstep, what will happen to him?