Jack Steadman

Help Refugees: open call for Northern France funding applications

Help Refugees is announcing the Northern France Fund: an open call for grant applications for aid organisations working in Calais and Dunkirk.

Since our work began in Calais in 2015 we’ve seen the situation in France change drastically.

Given the changing needs of the communities we support and organisational changes to our partners in Calais, we are adapting the way we work in Northern France. More information about those changes can be found here.

As a result, we are opening a call for project proposals from organisations supporting refugees and displaced people in Northern France.

Our priorities for funding in Northern France are:

  • The provision of material aid (essential and dignity centric clothing distribution, tents, sleeping bags, shoes etc)
  • Firewood distribution
  • Psychosocial support, legal advocacy, child protection and safeguarding support to unaccompanied minors
  • Psychosocial support and material aid for women and families
  • Monitoring, data collection and analysis of human rights violations

We are accepting calls from:

  • Existing organisations that are operating from the Calais warehouse
  • All other organisations delivering work in this sector, specifically to meet the needs of displaced communities in Northern France
  • Groups of individuals wishing to form associations or groups to meet these needs. This is a change to put forward plans and activities for growth
  • Existing partner organisations of Help Refugees who are currently not working in Northern France who wish to set up operations to meet need in Calais or Grande-Synthe

The focus of our funding for projects in Northern France will be to support homeless displaced people and applications supporting this vulnerable group will be our priority. Applications that are supporting people in full time accommodation may not be considered for this grant on that basis.

Full details:
Northern France Fund Information Pack (PDF, 87kb)

How to apply:

Northern France Fund Proposal Form (PDF, 72kb)

Please download and fill out the above form, then send it to us via email at projects@helprefugees.org with the title ‘Northern France Fund Application’.

The deadline is Friday 7​th ​ June (Midnight BST).

Help Refugees annonce le Northern France Fund : un appel à candidatures ouvert pour demandes de subventions pour les organisations humanitaires qui opèrent à Calais et Dunkerque.

Notre travail a commencé ici, à Calais, en 2015, et a évolué au cours des quatre dernières années afin d’être adaptatif à un environnement en changement constant, en offrant des services humanitaires essentiels à des milliers de personnes déplacées. Prenant en considération les besoins changeants des communautés que l’on supporte, et des changements organisationnels au sein de nos partenaires opérationnel, nous changeons notre modèle de travail afin qu’il s’adapte au contexte actuel. Plus d’information sur ces changements peut être trouvé ici.

Par conséquent, nous offrons un appel ouvert aux organisations qui soutiennent les réfugiés et les personnes déplacées dans le Nord de la France.

Nos priorités globales en matière de subvention dans le Nord de la France sont:

  • La provision d’aide matérielle (distribution de vêtements essentiels qui offrent la dignité, de tentes, de sacs de couchage, de souliers, etc.)
  • Distribution de bois de chauffage
  • Soutien psychosocial, aide légale, protection des enfants et des mineurs non-accompagnés
  • Soutien psychosocial et aide matérielle pour les femmes et les familles
  • Surveillance, collection de données et analyse des violations des droits de l’homme

Nous acceptons les applications:

  • D’organisations existantes qui opèrent à partir de l’entrepôt de Calais
  • De toute autres organisations qui travaillent dans le secteur, particulièrement dans le but de rencontrer les besoins des communautés déplacées dans le Nord de la France
  • De groupes d’individus désirant à former une association ou un groupe pour répondre à ces besoins
  • Des partenaires existants de Help Refugees qui n’opèrent pas présentement dans le Nord de la France qui souhaitent mettre en place des opérations pour rencontrer les besoins à Calais ou Grande-Synthe

Le focus de notre subvention pour les projets dans le Nord de la France sera de soutenir les personnes déplacées sans-abris, et les applications visant à soutenir ce groupe vulnérable auront priorité. Par ce fait, des applications qui visent à soutenir des gens ayant accès à un logement à temps plein pourraient ne pas être considérées pour cette subvention.

Plus de détails sur le Northern France Fund:

FR Northern France Fund Information Pack

FR Northern France Fund Application Form

Comment postuler:

Veuillez télécharger et remplir ce formulaire, puis envoyer un e-mail à projects@helprefugees.org avec l’objet “Application pour le Northern France Fund”.

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Update on Help Refugees’ Northern France operations

Since our work began in Calais in 2015 we’ve seen the situation in France change drastically.

After the dismantling of ‘The Jungle’, we’ve continued to help displaced people across the region and currently still support over 1000 men, women, children and families across Calais and Dunkirk. Without ’The Jungle’ camp making headlines, the situation here is less visible, but for the people living here is in many ways worse.

 

What we’re doing now

We currently work in partnership with, and financially support, seven incredible organisations in Calais who work out of a shared warehouse space in Calais

This grassroots collective provide everything from hot food, clothes, tents, firewood, child protection services, legal information, wifi, phone charging, specialist provision for women and children and education projects.

 

How this will change

We want to be as reactive as possible to the changing realities facing the displaced communities we support in Calais and want always to be open to improving our operations – to see change as a positive step in the direction of helping people in a better more effective way.

Our warehouse has been a hub of humanity that has seen tens of thousands of people volunteering and choosing love – an enormous feat of civil society. But this a movement that is bigger than any space and we remain committed to supporting all displaced people in Northern France.

As long as the rights of refugees and migrants are being let down and ignored by the British and French governments, we will be here. Volunteers, grassroots groups, people who care: are all essential parts of our plan for our continued work here.

Instead of a central warehouse space, we want to encourage pro-migration, pro-refugee civil society groups to continue to grow and meet the needs of the refugee populations here in a dynamic way. We aim to continue the essential work we currently do by financially supporting and facilitating partner associations, grassroots start-ups, groups of friends who want to help – any who want to be on the right side of history and could use our help in being there.

For that reason, we have announced the Northern France Fund, opening a call for funding applications from organisations supporting refugees and displaced people in Calais and Dunkirk.

More information: Northern France Fund details.

Help Refugees est résolu à aider les personnes déplacées dans le Nord de la France. Notre travail a commencé ici, à Calais, en 2015, et a évolué au cours des quatre dernières années afin d’être adaptatif à un environnement en changement constant, en offrant des services humanitaires essentiels à des milliers de personnes déplacées.

Prenant en considération les besoins changeants des communautés que l’on supporte, et des changements organisationnels au sein de nos partenaires opérationnel, nous visons à changer notre modèle de travail afin qu’il s’adapte au contexte actuel.

Help Refugees travaille présentement en partenariat avec sept organisations oeuvrant dans un entrepôt dans le Nord de la France, en plus de les appuyer financièrement. À partir de cet entrepôt, nous fournissons présentement, avec nos partenaires, des services à plus de 1000 personnes déplacées habitant entre Calais et Grande-Synthe. Ces services incluent de l’aide matérielle (produits non alimentaires), des repas chauds, du bois de chauffage, des services de protection de l’enfance, de l’information juridique, du wifi, des services de recharge pour téléphones, des services de spécialistes pour les femmes et enfants et des projets d’éducation.

L’obtention de ressources financières, le soutien des ressources humaines et la coordination de plusieurs groupes partenaires constituent nos plus grandes forces.

Ailleurs en Europe et au Moyen-Orient, nous travaillons comme bailleurs de fonds et facilitateurs pour des organisations locales. Nous reconnaissons que le contexte est différent dans le Nord de la France et nous avons réfléchi à l’espace que nous occupons présentement et à comment nous pourrions créer de l’espace pour d’autres organisations.

En août 2019, le bail actuel pour l’entrepôt partagé se termine. Help Refugees ne cherchera pas à s’établir dans un autre espace partagé. Nous chercherons à transférer certains des rôles que nous tenons dans l’espace actuel, tel que la distribution des produits non-alimentaires et du bois de chauffage.

Par conséquent, nous avons annoncé le Northern France Fund, un appel à candidatures ouvert pour demandes de subventions pour les organisations qui soutiennent les réfugiés et personnes déplacées à Calais et Dunkerque. Vous pouvez obtenir plus d’information à propos du Northern France Fund, incluant comment appliquer, en cliquant ici.

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Applications for Duty Manager in Calais now closed

UPDATE MAY 11th 2019: applications for this role are now closed!

Help Refugees is recruiting a Duty Manager in Calais. Alongside our partners, Help Refugees runs the biggest aid operation in northern France.

We’re currently in a transition period in our Calais operations. In hoping to improve our support of the current population of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Calais and Grande-Synthe, we aim to restructure over the next 6-9 months into a more sustainable, effective model.

There are still 1,000 people - including 200+ unaccompanied minors - sleeping on the streets and in the forests of Northern France

There are still 1,000 people – including 200+ unaccompanied minors – sleeping on the streets and in the forests of Northern France

To do this, we need to increase our capacity to coordinate volunteers and ensure that vital services are still available to the up to 1000 people we are currently the main aid distributor for. We are creating a number of temporary roles to support our present activities, help in this transition, and be part of designing and building the next phase of the civil society response to Britain and France’s refugee crisis at the border.

You will be working from our Calais warehouse, alongside our partners L’Auberge des Migrants, Refugee Youth Service, Refugee Community Kitchen, Utopia56 and Refugee Info Bus, Refugee Women and Children’s Centre and School Bus Project.

Despite the eviction of the Calais ‘Jungle’ in October 2016 and the Dunkirk/Grande Synthe camp burning down in April 2017, there are still around 1,000 refugees sleeping rough in the forests in northern France. The youngest unaccompanied minor in Calais is currently just nine years old.

We welcome applications from all persons regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, belief, or age. But, as members of ethnic minority groups, refugee backgrounds and disabled people are currently under-represented in this sector, we would encourage applicants from members of these groups. Interviews and role offers will be based on merit alone.

Please note! Applications for this role are now closed.


Help Refugees is also recruiting volunteers to fill crucial roles for our operation in Calais. More information about those roles can be found here.

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We are recruiting in Calais: apply now!

Help Refugees is recruiting volunteers to fill crucial roles for our operation in Calais. Alongside our partners, Help Refugees runs the biggest aid operation in northern France.

These roles offer applicants a chance to gain experience working as part of humanitarian response to the worsening situation refugees face in Calais & across Northern France.

Living conditions at the border in Calais

There are more than 1,500 people sleeping rough in northern France – including 200+ unaccompanied minors

You will be working from our Calais warehouse, alongside our partners L’Auberge des Migrants, Refugee Youth Service, Refugee Community Kitchen, Utopia56 and Refugee Info Bus, Refugee Women and Children’s Centre and School Bus Project.

Despite the eviction of the Calais ‘Jungle’ in October 2016 and the Dunkirk/Grande Synthe camp burning down in April 2017, there are still around 1,500 refugees sleeping rough in the forests in northern France. The youngest unaccompanied minor in Calais is currently just nine years old.

We welcome applications from all persons regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, belief, or age. But, as members of ethnic minority groups, refugee backgrounds and disabled people are currently under-represented at this level, we would encourage applicants from members of these groups. Interviews and role offers will be based on merit alone.

We are currently seeking applicants for the below positions in Calais. Click the link for more information about each role:

Welcome Volunteer

Warehouse Manager

Donations Coordinator

Distribution Team Member

Communications Intern

If you have any questions, please read the FAQs on our Volunteer in Calais page first.

***TO APPLY: once you have read the role description, you can apply for a role by applying to volunteer through this link. We will reach out to the most suitable candidates as soon as we can. If we don’t reply, it’s because of the high number of applicants – but we still need your help, so please still come and volunteer!***

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Three years ago, a Calais eviction left 129 children unaccounted for. Where are they now?

On the last day of February in 2016, the eviction of the southern half of the Calais “Jungle” began and residents were evicted. Authorities had said that there were only 800-1,000 people living in the south, so that’s how many accommodation spaces were made available.

Our team on the ground knew that in reality the number was much higher. Two weeks earlier, Help Refugees volunteers had counted 5,497 people, including 651 children – 423 of whom were unaccompanied – in the camp. Over half of these were in the south.

Associations in Calais warned authorities that children would go missing in an eviction without adequate safeguarding measures. In the census after the eviction, volunteers found that 129 unaccompanied minors were unaccounted for.

In the months that followed some of these minors returned to northern France, and our partners were able to track a small number of them down and offer their support. For the most part, though, we don’t know what happened. Many of them will have been at huge risk of exploitation and trafficking. Many will have joined the reported 10,000 missing unaccompanied children in Europe.

Today there are more than 150 unaccompanied minors in northern France, living in flimsy tents, on the streets, under bridges and in forests. They wait for the UK government to provide the legal routes it promised them. Instead of legal routes, they have been given more walls, fences and barbed wire.

Slow, inefficient and unfair

Under the Dubs Amendment, many of these kids have been eligible for transfer to the UK for nearly three years. If proper systems of support had been put in place by the French and UK governments, those children could now be living in safety.

An incomprehensibly slow, inefficient and unfair asylum system has left thousands of children living in limbo. In the time it’s taken for the Home Office to start the process of filling the 480 spaces it has committed to,  hundreds more have gone missing.

As February temperatures hit new highs in the UK, it’s easy to forget about the threatening cold of a winter’s night. It is still winter, though, and children are still homeless and ignored. We can’t let another year go by while they remain in this condition.


What can you do to help?

If you have one minute you can write to your MP:

To ask them to ensure the spaces available to unaccompanied minors under the Dubs scheme in their constituency are filled as soon as possible. You can use our template here – it only takes 30 seconds!

If you have one day you can arrange a meeting with your MP:

To speak face-to-face with your representative regarding the situation in Calais and the conditions these children are living in. Ask them to confirm their commitment to bringing them to the UK and to offering spaces in their constituency, as well as to bringing up the issue in Parliament.

If you have one week (or longer) you can head to Calais to volunteer:

While they are waiting to be offered the protection to which they are legally entitled, these kids – as well as the many adults sleeping rough in and around Calais – need support from people like you. Head over to the volunteering section of our website or drop us an email via contact@helprefugees.org to find out more about how you can help.

Photo: Beatrice Lily Lorigan/ Refugee Info Bus

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We’re hiring! Apply to join Help Refugees as a Programmes Officer

Help Refugees is looking for a Programmes Officer to join its London team on a full-time basis. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience working for one of the fastest-growing charities in the UK. You’ll operate within a small, dynamic and hard-working team, with the chance to make a real, tangible impact on the lives of thousands of displaced people across the world.

We are looking for someone who is excellent at prioritising and multitasking to support the Help Refugees Programmes team. You will be excellent at building systems and working with the team to ensure the smoothest process for grant administration. You will have the ability to prioritise according to the changing needs in the context and the team, whilst ensuring that the everyday tasks are complete to the highest standard. You will use your initiative when faced with new or complex problems. You will use your positive attitude to work out a way to move forward, and you will also know when to check in with the team.

The Programmes Officer will be line managed by COO and Head of Programmes, based alongside our other core team members in our East London office.

Role and responsibilities

  • Travel arrangements and diary management for Head of Programmes and COO
  • Additional admin support for Head of Programmes and COO including inbox management, meeting preparation and expenses management
  • Writing reports on programmes for donors
  • Writing social media content based on programmes reports
  • Preparing grant proposals and budgets for potential donors
  • Grant administration
  • Providing regular updates to the team based on policy and geo-political changes
  • Minute-taking at meetings
  • Internal communication across Advocacy and Communications teams
  • Field new enquiries to Help Refugees Programmes team
  • Supporting Help Refugees’ field team in Calais and Greece with ad-hoc needs
  • Assisting Head of Programmes and COO with due diligence and compliance for new grants


Essential skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with the team as well as external contacts in a confident and professional manner
  • Highly IT literate with an ability to learn new software quickly; excellent understanding of Microsoft Office and G Suite (Google apps)
  • Excellent administrative and time management skills
  • Meticulous with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Highly organised and structured, but also willing and able to adapt to changing priorities and different team members’ needs
  • Interest in migration and refugee issues, with a passion in supporting effective grassroots organisations and long-term solutions
  • Enthusiastic and positive attitude, flexible and adaptable
  • Collaborative team player who is willing to support whatever the greatest needs are in the Help Refugees team
  • Ability to use own initiative to ensure all tasks are met

 

Desired

  • Experience writing grant proposals
  • Experience with programme budgeting
  • Language skills
  • Experience using a CRM system e.g. Salesforce

 

We are committed to providing equality and fairness for all and not discriminating on grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, mental health, religion or age. We encourage and celebrate the different qualities that our colleagues, and others we work with, bring to our work. And we believe that seeing things from a wide range of different perspectives helps us to resolve problems, adapt our approaches and develop as an organisation. We want to bring greater diversity to our team and we are keen to receive applications from people who believe they would do this.

 

To apply for this position please send your CV and brief cover letter to projects@helprefugees.org with the subject line “Programmes Officer Application”.

Applications close on 28th February 2019

Start date – ASAP

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Choose Love, the store that sells products for refugees, is back for 2018

The charity pop up store that took London by storm last year is back with more ways to help displaced people this Christmas. The Help Refugees ‘Choose Love’ store will open simultaneously in London and New York offering a totally unique take on the traditional shopping experience.

Choose Love invites visitors to ‘shop your heart out, leave with nothing, and feel the love’. From new items like solar lamps and women’s services to emergency blankets and school bags, every purchase goes towards a similar item for a refugee, distributed by Help Refugees and their partners across Europe and the Middle East. In addition, this year the store will also be offering sleeping bags and support for homeless groups both in the UK and the US.

Each store invites visitors to interact with the items and discover why they’re needed. Split into three sections, each area explores a different stage of a refugee’s journey, from “Survival” (emergency blankets, warm clothing and food) to “Shelter” (tents, sleeping bags and hygiene packs) all the way to the “Future” (educational materials, a dictionary and keys to a home).

New for this year will be the addition of ‘bundles’ of items, which are offered to help people with specific needs, such as the mother and baby bundle, and a collection of services for vulnerable women.

This year, we’re adding ‘bundles’ of items so that shoppers can equip families like this with essential items

There will also be new products on show to support people; like family reunion, which will pay for a lawyer for a refugee separated from their family and a solar lamp, which will allow customers to buy energy and power for people in refugee camps.

Last year, the London store and its online equivalent raised £750,000, helping provide refugees with:

  • 800,000 nutritious meals
  • 3,556 nights of accommodation
  • 25,000 essential winter items for adults, which included 5,000 blankets and 11,000 items of clothing
  • 100,000 essentials for babies and children including 77,000 packs of nappies

Josie Naughton CEO of Help Refugees says, “Last Christmas, the shop became a beacon of compassion in the heart of central London. Choose Love helped people from all walks of life feel empathy for refugees – and do something practical to help.”

“This year, as displaced people attempt to survive another freezing winter in tents and makeshift shelters, we’ll be inviting people to Choose Love once again and support refugees and homeless populations across the globe.”

The store has been carefully designed to create an uplifting yet meaningful retail experience – a striking space where people can learn about refugees while doing something practical to help. In London, Choose Love now covers two floors with the ground floor elegantly showcasing the items and merchandise, and the 1st floor acting as a space to host events, workshops and talks.

Help Refugees volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions and take donations in both London and New York. For those not able to get to the store, www.choose.love offers a seamless online shopping experience. Browse the items, read the stories of the people you will help and pop them in your cart.

All images, stories and items in store come straight from the frontline of the refugee crisis, where the charity works. The concept and design of the store was created by creative collective Glimpse, whose mission is to use creativity for good.

The items on sale will include emergency blankets, children’s shoes, warm gloves, mobile phone credit and more. Costs will range from £4.99 to £499: an option to ‘buy the store’.

LISTING DETAILS:

CHOOSE LOVE LONDON:
Opening: 23 November 2018 Closing: 24 December
Address: 30-32 Fouberts Place, Carnaby, London, W1F 7PS
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 – 6 pm, Sunday 12 – 6 pm

 

CHOOSE LOVE NEW YORK:
Opening: 27 November 2018
Address: 456 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012, USA

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Job: apply now to be Product Coordinator at Code Your Future

Code Your Future is the UK’s first coding school for refugees and asylum seekers. We are looking for a Product Coordinator to grow the user-base for an exciting new project: a service directory for refugees and asylum seekers, built by refugees and asylum seekers.

We are seeking an enthusiastic, organised individual to join the Code Your Future team for four months as we look to onboard users before our nationwide launch next year.

You will be working alongside the Project Manager and developers to run the user testing, prioritise new features, reach out to potential partner organisations and bring the product to market.

Main responsibilities:

– Expand the service to at least two cities outside London
– Conduct outreach to refugee and migrant support organisations to expand the user base of the service directory to hundreds of active users
– Collate feedback from testers and users; define key problem areas and prioritise areas of improvement for the service directory
– Oversee the inputs from designers to ensure it is aligned with users’ expectations and needs
– Organise testing online and face-to-face sessions to identify new pain points of the service
– Reviewing app reviews & managing customer support emails

The successful candidate will be have an interest in software and a passion for ‘tech for good’ projects, with good attention to detail and strong communication skills. They will have the ability to work both in teams and on their own.

The successful candidate will be have an interest in software and a passion for ‘tech for good’ projects, with good attention to detail and strong communication skills. They will have the ability to work both in teams and on their own.

We would especially like to encourage people from minority, migrant and refugee backgrounds to apply.

ABOUT THE ROLE

Contract details: Fixed term four month contract
Salary & time commitment negotiable (minimum 3 days a week)
Reporting directly to Project Manager
Based in London

Required skills

-Management / coordination experience
-Organisational skills
-Interest in technology as a force for good
-A passion for refugee and migrant rights
-Strong verbal and written communication skills
-Willingness to follow leads over phone and email
-Proficient in web-based software services (Google Suite, Trello)

Desirable skills

-Experience working with refugees, asylum seekers or migrants
-Project management experience
-Some experience in web development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)

ABOUT CODE YOUR FUTURE

Code Your Future are a non-profit organisation supporting refugees with the dream of becoming developers. With projects in London, Manchester and Glasgow, we are the UK’s first coding school for refugees.

Deadline: Monday October 29th 2018, 11.30pm

Salary: London Living Wage

HOW TO APPLY

Send your CV, along with a cover letter, to with the email title ‘Product Coordinator application’, to directoryapplicants@codeyourfuture.io

The successful applicant will have the chance to join the team at an exciting time, as we get ready to launch the product

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Home Office unlawfully detained asylum seekers under Dublin III regulation, rules court

A landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal has found that the British government has unlawfully detained dozens – and potentially hundreds – of asylum seekers under Dublin III regulation.

The test case, which was brought by five asylum seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan who were detained between January 2014 and March 2017, challenged the provisions of the regulation.

Dublin III states that asylum seekers must claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in. Under the regulation, if someone arrives in the UK and claims asylum having first passed through another safe country, the Home Office can deport them back to that country.

The five asylum seekers who had brought the case were all detained under Dublin III’s  “significant risk of absconding”.

While discussions between the British government and that safe country have taken place, the Home Office has been detaining said asylum seeker indefinitely. Under Dublin III, states can detain people if there is “significant risk of absconding”.

Stephanie Tonmi (R), a former detainee at Yarl's Wood tells Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot about her time in detention. Photo: Getty

Stephanie Tonmi (R), a former detainee at Yarl’s Wood tells Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot about her time in detention. Photo: Getty

However, there had been no stated criteria for “risk of absconding” under UK law at the time these five asylum seekers were detained, and as a result, judges ruled that this practice was illegal.

The judgment means that anybody detained under Dublin III regulations from 1 January 2014 until 15 March 2017 were unlawfully detained, and may now be able to claim damages from the government for false imprisonment.

The law states that the government can detain people being assessed under the regulation if they are at “significant risk of absconding”.

“This landmark judgment has huge implications for those who were detained under the provision in the Dublin regulation [Dublin III],” said Krisha Prathepan, of Duncan Lewis Solicitors, who represented the five claimants.

 

“It is deeply concerning that the Home Office’s unlawful conduct may have led to the detention of so many people without any lawful basis. In effect, the Home Office has unlawfully detained hundreds or even thousands of individuals seeking international protection.”
– Krisha Prathepan, Duncan Lewis Solicitors

The ruling comes just one day after the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Office had acted unlawfully in not giving reasons to children refused entry to Britain under the Dubs Amendment.

The UK is the only country in Europe in which indefinite immigration detention is legal.

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Government broke the law by not giving reasons for Dubs children rejections, court finds

The Court of Appeal has ruled today (3 October 2018) that the government acted unlawfully in not giving reasons to children refused entry to Britain under the Dubs Amendment.

The judgement is the result of a two-year-long legal action taken by charity Help Refugees, represented by Leigh Day, to ensure that children considered for transfer under the Dubs scheme are treated fairly.

Lord Alf Dubs, who had originally put forward the amendment to the Immigration Act, said after the ruling: “For two years, we have fought tooth and nail for the rights of these vulnerable children. Today, I’m relieved to say that it was worth it.

“Every unaccompanied child we have turned away deserves an explanation and a chance to appeal the decision, and we’re delighted to courts have agreed with us on that.

“The decision gives some hope to thousands of vulnerable child refugees in Europe.”

Help Refugees argued that children being considered for relocation had been denied fundamental procedural safeguards. Children were given no written decisions and no detailed reasons for the grounds of their refusal. As a result, there was no review mechanism by which children could challenge decisions they believed were wrong.

With “patently inadequate” reasons for refusals, accessing the courts of England and Wales was made effectively impossible for lone refugee children.

At an earlier stage in court proceedings, the Home Office argued that it could not give each child reasons for their refusal because this would take too long. But evidence emerged in the Court of Appeal that the Home Office had, in fact, internally decided not to convey fuller reasons for fear that children refused would bring legal challenges.

Help Refugees also argued that the government’s consultation with local authorities concerning the number of spaces available for children was wholly inadequate. The Court of Appeal dismissed this part of the claim, upholding the lawfulness of the consultation. This means the number of children eligible for the Dubs scheme will remain capped at 480.

Josie Naughton, CEO and Co-founder of Help Refugees, said:

“Today’s judgement rightly forces the government to recognise that every child must be given reasons for refusal under the Dubs scheme. For two years, vulnerable children have been rejected without any explanation. Children who received these decisions are now missing; for them it is too late. These spaces, that still remain unfilled, could have saved their lives. Instead, children have been left in mental anguish, at risk of exploitation and abuse.

“We’re saddened that there will be no further consultation, but remain committed to hold the government to account to ensure all 480 spaces are filled. Winter is fast approaching and we have a responsibility to keep these children safe.”

You can join Help Refugees in calling for #DubsNow by writing to your MP with this template letter.

Rosa Curling, solicitor from Leigh Day, added: “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has ruled that unaccompanied refugee children must given reasons if refused transfer to the UK under the Dubs Amendment.  These are potentially life-altering decisions for a particularly vulnerable group of children. It is essential that children know why they are refused and have the possibility effectively to challenge decisions they believe to be unlawful.”

Under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, otherwise known as the Dubs Amendment, the Home Office was required, as soon as possible after the passing of the Immigration Act 2016, to make arrangements to relocate to the UK and support a “specified number” of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe. That number was to be determined in consultation with local authorities.

The initial number was set at 350, but following investigations by Help Refugees’ legal team, the Home Office was compelled to admit that 130 places had been overlooked and the “specified number”  was accordingly increased to 480.

The Help Refugees litigation also compelled the Home Office to consent to a declaration that the “specified number” of children to be transferred under the Dubs Amendment was exclusive of any children transferred under the UK’s pre-existing EU law obligations (the Dublin III Regulation). The Home Office had initially sought to argue that it could meet its obligations under the Dubs Amendment principally by transferring children to the UK, which it was already required to transfer by the Dublin III Regulation. Transfers of children under the Dublin Amendment itself began only after Help Refugees brought its legal challenge.


This could be the third winter that many Dubs children spend living on the streets and in the refugee camps in Greece, France and Italy. Together, we can make sure that the government fills all 480 Dubs spaces by the end of the year. Write to your MP using our template today, and call for #DubsNow.

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