Blog

Gracie Bradley Aug 17, 2016
We hear a lot about vulnerable migrants. We hear a lot less about what actually makes a migrant vulnerable. Can you only be vulnerable if you’re a woman, or a child, or the survivor of a traumatic experience? Is vulnerable something that only certain kinds of migrant can be?
Alan Anstead Aug 15, 2016
One immediate outcome of the EU referendum result was a significant increase in incidents of hate crime, principally racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate incidents. The police state around 6,200 such incidents in England and Wales were reported to them in the month of July, over twice last year’s July figure. Even celebrities like the BBC’s Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain have said they have been subjected to racial abuse.
There has been much speculation over the cause of this spike in hate crime and hate speech. Was it closet racists who thought the referendum result legitimised their views and made it acceptable to tell those they considered ‘foreign’ to ‘go home’? Was it the result of the political campaigning around the referendum and the anti-migrant/anti-free movement of labour stance taken by the campaigning groups? Was it pent up frustration from years of austerity measures that erupted into some people blaming anyone who appeared to come from another country, a distinction based on skin colour, looks or language spoken? Probably a mixture of all these and more causes.
Don Flynn Aug 15, 2016
One year on from the shock of images of the death of a Syrian child refugee. We have to go back on the streets to protest against policies which undermine the right to asylum, both in the UK and the rest of Europe.
                The first anniversary of the death of the three year-old Syrian Kurdish refugee, Aylan Kurdi, is coming up fast.  Even people who were shocked by the appalling image of the Turkish police officer cradling the drowned infant might be forgiven for thinking that things have got better for the refugees who were fleeing conflict in the Middle East and North African region. The news reports describing the hundreds of boats arriving on the Greek islands during that period and the images of thousands of despite people queuing at the European borders which had been so hastily thrown up to bar their admittance are no longer making the headlines.
Don Flynn Aug 8, 2016
Views on what will replace free movement are still scattered and diffuse. Important economic interests are only beginning to set out their concerns about the future. If we are going to influence what comes after Brexit we need a clearer sense of the interests and rights that will need to be protected.
If a week is a long time in politics then the six-and-a-bit weeks since the vote for Brexit on 23 June are beginning to feel like an eternity. The whole country is waiting to see even a sketchy outline of what the government feels can be done to deliver on the issue that seems to have persuaded most people that a punt on the ‘Leave’ option was worth taking.  That something is of course immigration.
Don Flynn Aug 1, 2016
What else could Byron’s have done? The social media world was awash with attempted defences of the hamburger chain after it collaborated in the arrest of 35 of its migrant workers earlier in July. Our answer is they didn’t have to go along with the shabby act of entrapment of its staff, and they could have done so much more to push back against punitive, anti-worker rules.
                      The operation directed against migrant employees of the fast food chain, Byron Hamburgers by Home Office Border enforcement officials on the evening of 4th July has sparked a lively discussion about the extent to which employers should be held to any sort of standard why it comes to a duty of care towards its workers. 
Don Flynn Jul 25, 2016
We set out the three areas where we have to formulate actions and policies to protect the rights of EU migrants and young people.
                  A month ought to have been long enough to assemble thoughts on what Brexit is going to mean for immigration policy, but the truth is the great puzzle over what life will look like outside the EU is going to be perplexing us for a long time to come. The imminent end of free movement, at least in the form that it has taken during the 43 years the UK has been a full member of the European Community/Union, will bring to the forefront of the thinking of many people the huge benefits that have come from this way of managing migration over this time.
Alan Ali Jul 16, 2016
Reports of racial abuse and attacks in the wake of the referendum result have spiked. The hostile atmosphere generated by the ‘debate’ about immigration during the campaign is damaging social cohesion. No wonder people feel scared and insecure.
      Eighty years after the Battle of Cable Street in which the East End Jewish community and anti-fascists stopped Moseley’s Blackshirts marching through a migrant community, there are reports of a rise in anti-migrant feeling, abuse and attacks following the narrow pro-Brexit vote on 23 June.  
Alan Ali Jul 11, 2016
Immigration raids appear to be on the rise. And certainly in London new evidence of increased numbers of raids targeting largely migrant communities has emerged. But is all this activity staying strictly inside the law, as it should be?
Thanks to the valiant efforts of a journalist and his smart use of the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that there were almost 11 immigration raids a day in London between 2010 and 2015. We also know that areas with sizeable migrant populations in east and south east London were the chief targets for these raids.
Alan Anstead Jul 4, 2016
A small majority of UK voters said that the UK should leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June. UKREN’s Alan Anstead looks at some of the main human rights implications of the UK government invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and starting the countdown to leaving the EU.
Charter of Fundamental Rights The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights covers political, social and economic rights: dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights and justice. Although the Charter is consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, many see it as a more modern codification because includes such rights as data protection, which was not an issue when the European Convention on Human Rights was passed in 1950. On leaving the EU, this would no longer apply to the UK.     European Convention on Human Rights
Alan Ali Jul 3, 2016
These are troubling times in the UK for EU migrants and anyone else with a migrant heritage. And if Theresa May becomes PM, EU nationals could find themselves being used as bargaining chips in some grand diplomatic game while the UK tries to cut its European Union ties.
Don Flynn Jun 24, 2016
We respond to the outcome of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
The vote to leave the European Union has thrown politics into a massive period of uncertainty. It is clear that deep public concern about immigration has been one of the most important factors encouraging 52% of voters to take the drastic action of the probable severing of the connection with the largest economic market in the world. The perceived need to ‘regain control of our borders’ has been a potent message which summed up the feeling that many people have about a country that has changed so much in recent decades. Immigration, as many have said, has functioned as a proxy for the misgivings about living in a world where markets have taken the place of democracy in determining the quality of public life.
Don Flynn Jun 20, 2016
Amidst the harsh facts there is energy and zeal to change the way refugees are treated in the world today. Refugee Week is a great chance to add momentum to this movement.
  Today is UN World Refugee Day and in Britain it marks the start of our annual Refugee Week. As the UNHCR reminds us, it kicks off this year with a record high level of displacement of vulnerable and persecuted people. One in every 122 human across the face of the planet is now believed to be a refugee shockingly half of them being children.
Don Flynn Jun 20, 2016
The week opens with the shock of the brutal murder of Jo Cox still pervasive. Think about this during the final days of the referendum campaign.
    Baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s judgment of the tone of the referendum debate this morning is worth quoting at length. She said: “This kind of nudge-nudge, wink-wink xenophobic racist campaign may be politically savvy or politically useful in the short term, but it causes long-term damage to communities. “The vision that me and other Brexiters who have been involved right from the outset, who had a positive outward-looking vision of what a Brexit vote might mean, unfortunately those voices have now been stifled and what we see is the divisive campaign which has resulted in people like me and others who are deeply Euro sceptic and want to see a reformed relationship feel that they now have to leave.”
Alan Ali Jun 20, 2016
Is the UK in the grip of a crime wave as a result of EU migration? Will we need more prisons to lock up a wave of Euro-Crims? The evidence suggests it’s not.
    The EU referendum campaign hit yet another low with claims by one politician that seven more prisons will be needed by 2030 to house all the new criminals that will arrive if the UK votes to stay in Europe. While another long-term Brexiter found himself facing criticism for suggesting the risks of sex attacks on women would rise if voters decide to stay.  
Don Flynn Jun 13, 2016
In the world we live in today immigration is not a tap you can turn on or off at will. We look at a new book that helps us understand how it fits in with emergence of global labour markets, and won’t be easily banished by any easily-applied anti-immigrant measure.
Right throughout the current debate on around the in/out referendum there is one question that is being asked incessantly by the millions who are trying to decide how to cast their vote, and it is perhaps the one that the supporters of a positive case from immigration have found hardest to answer: just how did we manage to become a country of large-scale inward migration anyway? The answer most frequently touted is that is has come about as the result of incompetence and poor judgement on the part of national politicians.  According to this version of events at some point in the 1990s or thereabouts, someone in some ministry or another decided that that immigration was the simplest and most direct way to continue to grow the economy and went for it hell for leather.