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Refugee & asylum news round-up, February 2013

In the media 8 February 2013

We thought we’d start February off with a short post on what we’ve been reading. There have been lots of interesting reports published recently on UK refugee & asylum policy, and global conflict and migration trends, and as these issues affect our members and the work we do it’s important to keep our supporters updated:

– The Children’s Society published a report in January 2013 detailing the findings of a parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people. The report focuses on a number of key areas such as destitution, essential living needs, health and well-being, education, worklessness, home life, and social attitudes. It includes a number of recommendations for government policy, including the abolition of voucher support, the introduction of a cash-based system, and re-alignment of asylum support with mainstream benefits. You can read the full report and executive summary here and if you’d like to take action to end child destitution in asylum, email your MP here.

– The Refugee Council published some interesting research in December 2012 and January 2013 on two pressing questions: subsidiary protection and refugee education. Simply put, subsidiary protection is the term used to describe protection extended to individuals who are not eligible for refugee status under the 1951 Geneva Convention, but who cannot return to their home country for humanitarian or other reasons. These two reports detail the problems faced by migrants who become destitute because they cannot return home but are not granted government support, and the difficulties refugees face in accessing mainstream education because of a lack of institutional understanding of immigration rules. You can find them here and here.

– In global refugee news, we’ve been finding out all kinds of fascinating – and sometimes sobering – facts from lots of different places. We’re big fans of the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter, which details the legal and humanitarian landscape for refugees and refugee support providers all over the world – the February issue is here. Human Rights Watch has just issued its World Report 2013, with some great country-by-country analysis of human rights issues around the globe, and the Open Society Foundations have only this month published an incisive account on the CIA’s extraordinary rendition and ‘enhanced interrogation’ programmes.

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