Category: Human rights

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Outsourcing the asylum system: the Rwanda deportation scheme

Vivienne Griffiths

The government’s Rwandan scheme reveals a worrying outsourcing of the delivery of our entire asylum system to another state. At stake is the proper care of vulnerable refugees, their mental health and an erosion of human rights for us all as the government seeks to enforce a system widely damned as shameful and inhumane.

Redefining refugees and asylum seekers: Leila’s story

Mo Kanjilal

The daughter of political activists who fled from Iran, Leila Zadeh’s story is an inspirational one. Understanding that she was a refugee herself motivated her to seek work with asylum seekers and to fight against prejudice and division. Now in a leading role in a charity supporting LGBTQI+ peoples seeking asylum, Leila told her story to Mo Kanjilal.

A gap year in Franco’s Spain

Claire Hill

Spain under Franco in the 1970s was full of inequalities. Claire Hill spent her gap year in 1971 teaching in Madrid, where she saw at first hand the poverty of ordinary people and met many young people who opposed Franco’s rule – as well as some who supported him.

UPDATED

Let’s ditch the hostile environment: refugees need safe routes

Vivienne Griffiths

Highly bureaucratic and difficult to navigate sums up the process faced by those fleeing to the UK from the war in Ukraine. The Nationality and Borders Bill and plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda are the latest examples of a hostile environment which turns refugees into criminals. Vivienne Griffiths argues that we need safe routes for all refugees.

NEW WRITER

Pride and shame: why I no longer feel proud to be British

Richard Haviland

“It’s some years now since I could say I felt proud to be British.” The British government’s sense of entitlement and lack of humanity towards refugees have changed Richard Haviland’s feelings of pride in being British to shame about what the government is doing: “I don’t hate my country, I just hate what they’ve done to it.”

Marching with Ukraine: ‘Today we tell Putin he will fail’

Tamsin Shasha

Thousands gathered in the capital in a sea of blue and yellow. Tamsin Shasha describes the recent Stand With Ukraine march in London: “Our hearts soar. We are proud to be here. We are proud to challenge this government’s despicable response to the refugee crisis and their insistence on bureaucratic visas.”

NEW WRITER

A cake sale for Ukraine

Claire Hill

Many of us have a sense of helplessness about the war in Ukraine and this has prompted people to give money, offer their homes and contribute help in other ways. New writer Claire Hill describes how a cake sale she organised became a local community event, involving many others in her street.

Lacking humanity – Whitehall’s response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis

Vivienne Griffiths
Sign reading "No visas delivered in Calais", seen on the main information noticeboard at Calais youth hostel where Ukraine refugees are sleeping.

Two weeks into Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, millions are fleeing the country in the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since the second world war. EU countries are welcoming the refugees with open arms, offering automatic protection for up to three years without the need to apply for asylum. But what of the UK – is our government doing enough to help?

Nusrat Ghani’s brave stand opens the lid again on Tory Islamophobia

Mo Kanjilal

Highlighted by MP Nusrat Ghani’s description of the discrimination she has faced, Islamophobia remains deep-rooted within the Conservative Party against a background of supportive media headlines and the implementation of policies that discriminate against people of colour and ‘othered’ faiths. Is the Tory party setting itself up for a fall?

Charity Appeal

This is Christmas for Afghanistan’s forgotten children

Maya Evans

For vulnerable children the situation in Afghanistan is desperate and they need our help, reports Maya Evans, who has had first hand experience in the country and whose charity is helping to buy basic necessities, as well as supporting those secretly educating girls.

Blood on her hands

Ross McNally

Under Home Secretary Priti Patel, what was once the policy of fringe British National Party crackpots is now at the heart of government. Her response to the deaths of 27 refugees at sea is playing politics with people’s lives.

Who will police the police?

Allegra Chapman
Downing Street police guards seen through the railings

Since Sarah Everard was murdered in March by a serving police officer, 81 women have been killed in the UK at the hands of men. How are women supposed to feel safe on our streets if the very people whose primary job is to protect us are instead disregarding, mocking or killing us? Can women trust the police? And perhaps more importantly, should we?

Labour conference buried gem: Land laws reform to stop the “free-for-all”

Rick Dillon
Labour Party Shadow Secretary for Housing Lucy Powell speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Sept 2021

Forget Starmer’s speech, McDonald’s resignation and Rayner’s expletives, says Sussex Bylines writer Rick Dillon, who attended much of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this week. Far more important were the under-reported land laws reform proposals, some put forward by the Hastings & Rye local party and passed enthusiastically by delegates, that would stop the developers’ planning free-for-all and could finally fix our nation’s housing crisis…

The Afghan people that I know…

Maya Evans
Afghan women wearing Burqas and one in a hijab

Peace campaigner and Hastings Councillor Maya Evans, who has been visiting Afghanistan for the past 10 years, gives a first-hand account of life for the Afghans she met and came to know so well. They are, she says, the real left-behind poor, the ones who have already suffered so much in the conflict through no fault of their own. And she explains why now, more than ever, they need – and deserve – the West’s help to rebuild their devastated country and shattered lives…

The unkindest cut – real life stories

Sussex Bylines
Woman looking at the "Keep the lifeline" petition on her smart phone

We invited Sussex Bylines readers to share their personal experiences of how the government’s planned Universal Credit cut will affect them. We have already received some courageous responses that make for sobering – and in some cases, heartbreaking – reading…

Afghan refugees desperately need our help…

Vivienne Griffiths
A line of child refugees in Kabul, Afghanistan

Government bungling together with Priti Patel’s inhumane Borders Bill and disastrous Home Office response have only served to hinder humanitarian efforts, both with the evacuation in Afghanistan and assisting asylum seekers here in the UK. Traumatised Afghan refugees who have barely escaped with their lives deserve kindness, compassion and support, not more hostility. Writer Vivienne Griffiths examines the horrifying events of recent days and offers practical advice for anyone iwanting to help refugees locally…

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge

Sussex Bylines

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we feature this selection of articles published in Sussex Bylines in the run-up to 8 March, along with other pieces about women who have fought for political representation, challenged prejudice, refused to remain invisible, and who have been proud to hold the banner of women’s rights high.

Defending the rights of citizen journalists and campaigners

Rev Susie Courtault

While citizen journalists in the UK work to combat mainstream media bias, other countries arrest and torture the brave voices who speak truth to power. Susie Courtault examines the treatment of two women journalists, in China and Saudi Arabia, and fears for the future of human rights protection in the UK.

A story of workplace bullying

Vivienne Griffiths

Prompted by Boris Johnson’s refusal to sack Priti Patel despite a formal investigation finding evidence of bullying, Vivienne Griffiths recalls her experience of workplace bullying in higher education. Over a five-year period she experienced ongoing bullying from a senior colleague at her university, with significant impact on her professional and personal life.