The ever-growing crises that are displacing migrants from their homes

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was written by one of our guest writers, Mr. Aaron Gates-Lincoln, writer for Immigration News. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.


The ever-growing crises that are displacing migrants from their homes are dominating the headlines in the world of immigration. The act of seeking refuge has been turned into the political zeitgeist of our time by governments who either wish to support those in need or decide to shut the gate to keep them out. However, for countries such as the UK, it is arguable that we have a duty to support individuals seeking asylum- simply for the reason that we have the capacity and resources to do so.

However, with the ongoing discussions of Priti Patel’s proposed Nationality and Borders Bill, it appears that the UK is choosing to not follow through with this duty.

Patel’s bill, which is due to undergo its second reading in the House of Commons on the 19th and 20th July 2021, has been claimed to be the key to fixing what has been described as the ‘broken’ immigration system of the UK. It is already known that the current UK approach to immigration has been consistently hostile for near to a decade now, so why would Patel think adding cruel fuel to the already raging fire would be helpful?

The main features of the bill the power to send individuals seeking asylum to overseas territories for processing and an extension of Patel’s signature camp-style accommodation that was controversially introduced in 2020. This is compounded with the lengthening of prison sentences for entry to the UK that is deemed as ‘illegal’ and a clause that redefines the offence of ‘facilitating’ illegal immigration. This clause has most likely been introduced to help curb the increase in ‘illegal’ Channel crossings that have dominated headlines and debate for the past several years. However, the clause is so vague, that legal experts have pointed out that even the Royal National Lifeboat Institution could be criminalised for saving the lives of Channel crossers who face situations of drowning.

Colin Yeo of Free Movement speaking on the Bill, has said that of the new legislation introduced, the majority of it will be “bad for refugees and the public purse”. He also believes that there “is some genuine nastiness included” and that “the Bill will only worsen the problems with the United Kingdom’s current asylum system”. These thoughts were mirrored by Caroline Lucas MP, of the Green Party, as she stated, “it is a mean-spirited, inhumane and possibly illegal response which will criminalise many seeking sanctuary and play into the hands of people traffickers.”

As the UNCHR, the UN’s refugee agency, have argued, the bill “risks breaching commitments under the Refuge Convention that clearly protects the universal right to seek asylum”. However, the government and Home Office has denied such claims, stating that the bill is motivated by humanitarian principles. Priti Patel has yet to distinctly lay out exactly how and where humanitarian principles apply to the bill, meanwhilst experts have explained thoroughly that bill is most likely going to put some of the world’s most vulnerable people in extremely dangerous situations.

One specific anxiety surrounding the bill, touched on by Caroline Lucas MP, is that of the risk to human trafficking for migrants. It is believed that due to the bill’s ignorance of the lived realities of those seeking asylum, it has misunderstood exactly how migrants become exposed to trafficking risks. In most situations, due to hostile immigration systems, individuals in need of asylum are forced to try and take unviable routes to reach their desired destination- such as dinghies or lorries across borders and Channels. It is in these dangerous situations that migrants are exploited. With Patel’s bill, taking these routes would result in criminalisation, pigeon-holing migrants into new, unviable routes that would often be linked to or set up by human traffickers. Therefore, the proposed aim of the bill is immediately subverted, and it acts as a catalyst for increases in the issues it is trying to fix.

Patricia Durr, CEO of ECPAT UK, has highlighted how the bill will also negatively impact on the protection and safeguarding of children. She has stated that, “it will fail to protect those in need of safety, including unaccompanied children who will be at significant risk of dangerous journeys, exploitation and harm”. The bill could also lead to delays in children receiving support from the immigration system and forcing children to disclose trauma as a means of proving their asylum claims. Durr argues that “children must be treated as children first and foremost and our concern with this bill is that it seeks to erode hard fought for rights and protections and leaves some of the most vulnerable children at the greatest risk and holds us to a different standard of care and protection for them”.

Whilst the asylum system certainly needs fixing, the cruel nature of Priti Patel is not the medicine that it so desperately needs. With it being found that 33,000 people in the UK immigration system were waiting over a year for an initial asylum claim in 2020, it is clear that reform needs to focus on improving how the system runs not trying to reduce the numbers of those entering it. The bill is a clear example of creating a new problem to avoid having to address an old one. Going forward, it is imperative for the safety of migrants entering the UK that legislation is put in place that supports entry to the UK and places migrants onto necessary immigration pathways such as indefinite leave to remain and eventually citizenship. The Nationality and Borders Bill must be stopped from being enshrined in law, and campaigning for the rights of migrants must continue to pressure ministers to reject the plans it proposes.

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

Any doubt?

From funders to partners: elevating community expertise to help communities thrive

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

London is becoming the world’s first National Park City

Yemen consultations have started, insists top UN negotiator

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

How data can help mining companies tackle their trust deficit

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

From raised fists at the 1968 Olympics to taking the knee: A history of racial justice protests in sport

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

This is how travel hotspots are fighting back against overtourism

Do all you can to resolve climate change ‘sticking points’ UN chief urges South-East Asian leaders, in Bali

Four lessons from Africa on building effective business ecosystems

Australian homes are turning to solar power in record numbers

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

Meeting the basic needs of our healthcare workers

Mental health: a medical school’s demand

Embracing the diversity in a multicultural city of Romania

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

How the power of sport can bring us together and drive social justice

EU Blue Card: Commission welcomes political agreement on new rules for highly skilled migrant workers

Why building consumer trust is the key to unlocking AI’s true potential

Ukraine’s new political order not accepted in Crimea

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

This is how New York plans to end its car culture

Progress against torture in Afghan detention centres, but Government needs to do more, says UN report

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

Anti-vaccers: does the empty can rattle the most?

The role of public affairs in student NGOs

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

Latin America’s cities are ready to take off. But their infrastructure is failing them

Political power of women suffering ‘serious regression’, General Assembly President warns

7 top things to know about coronavirus today

How global trade can save lives and livelihoods – and help protect the planet

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

COVID-19: Save European culture and values, MEPs tell Commission

Children suffering ‘atrocities’ as number of countries in conflict hits new peak: UNICEF

We need to rethink ESG to ensure access to water and sanitation for all

International Court of Justice orders Pakistan to review death penalty for Indian accused of spying

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

It’s not summer holidays what lead to the bad August of the German economy

How can the world end viral hepatitis by 2030? 5 experts explain

How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines

Failure to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia is a mistake

Myanmar doing too little to ensure displaced Rohingya return: UN refugee agency chief

Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

EU-UK relations: solutions found to help implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland

Statistics show the ugly face of youth training schemes

Croatian Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Media and entertainment in flux: it’s time for the close-up

5 droughts that changed human history

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

European Youth, quo vadis?

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

EU institutions agree on priorities for coming years: A common agenda for our recovery and renewed vitality

Coronavirus Global Response: EIB and Commission pledge additional €4.9 billion

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] The ever-growing crises that are displacing migrants from their homes – The European Sting […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s