Migration and Asylum


25 March 2014
Reuters
Asylum seekers in Europe reach two-decade high

 Nearly half a million people sought asylum in Europe last year, the most in two decades, with the largest number coming from Syrians fleeing civil war, the European Union said on Monday.

 

In total, 434,160 people sought refuge in the EU's 28 member states in 2013, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics office. That was an increase of nearly 30 percent from the 335,000 requests in 2012.

more...

21 March 2014
University World News
New legislation to help foreign postgraduates stay on by Jan Petter Myklebust

On 1 July this year, new legislation will come into force in Sweden that includes measures which will make it considerably easier for foreign doctoral candidates and students to stay and work in the country after graduating.

An agreement between the outgoing Alliance government and the Swedish Green party will secure a majority vote for the proposal in the parliament.

more...

14 March 2014
The Independent
Refugee crisis: Syrians are scattered but united by the same dream

It started with a trickle, a few thousand families moving across a badly demarcated border. In the summer of 2011, there were 5,000 refugees in Lebanon. Most had moved in with family members, some were staying in mosques or abandoned schools. That their stay would be temporary was unquestionable at the time. But it was not to be.

more...

08 March 2014
The Guardian
Meet the professional refugees lucky to get the minimum wage in the UK by Amelia Gentleman

They were professionals in their own countries – lawyers, doctors, academics. Now, having fled and sought asylum in the UK, they're lucky if they can get a minimum-wage job. We meet six refugees adjusting to a very different way of life

more...

18 February 2014
Al-Monitor
Jordan struggles to manage Syrian refugee crisis by Ranal Jaabari

Amman, the calmest of Arab capitals in the region, is busy receiving Syrian refugees. Despite the confusion of official statements about Syria and leaks reporting that Saudi intelligence agencies were managing the Syrian crisis in the north of Jordan, and despite that the Syrian government forces insinuated they knew what was going on, Jordan has tried to balance its official positions regarding the Syrian crisis. The Hashemite Kingdom kept silent and limited its role to only providing a “shelter" for people.

more...

18 February 2014
Al-Monitor
Lebanese border town overwhelmed by Syrian war, refugees by Maya Gebeily James Haines-Young

The once sleepy little town of Arsal lies in the far east of the arid Bekaa Valley, along the Lebanese-Syrian border. With its unpaved roads and half-finished stone buildings, Arsal had been a typical dusty and isolated border town, but since the beginning of the uprising in neighboring Syria, it has taken on a much larger role: It is now host to a Syrian refugee population that is more than double the size of the town’s Lebanese residents. Arsal is cracking under the pressure.

more...

17 February 2014
The Guardian
'I saw terrible things in Syria, but the first time I cried was in Lewes prison' by Diane Taylor

The government has finally agreed to accept a few hundred Syrian refugees into the UK. Soon, they will start arriving in the glare of intense media publicity. But a much larger group of Syrians fleeing the conflict are already here and are attracting far less publicity. Chikho is one of 3,500 who have claimed asylum here since the Syrian conflict started in 2011. The Home Office says that between 2011 and 2012, 1,100 Syrians were granted leave to remain here.

more...

12 February 2014
AlJazeera
Malaysia's stranded Syrian refugees by Kate Mayberry

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees says nearly 2.5 million people are now "persons of concern" as a result of the conflict in Syria. The overwhelming majority have sought refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries in the Middle East. But others - especially those with some money behind them - have found their way further afield.

more...

29 January 2014
BBC News
UK to take in 'hundreds' of Syrian refugees

Some of the "most vulnerable" Syrian refugees will be temporarily resettled in the UK, Deputy PM Nick Clegg says.

He said girls and women who had been victims of or were at risk of sexual violence, torture victims, and elderly and disabled people would get priority.

This meant the coalition was ensuring Britain's "long and proud tradition of providing refuge" lived on, he said.

more...

23 January 2014
University World News
UK universities suffer first fall in foreign students since records began by David Jobbins

Evidence of the impact on higher education of ambiguous signals from a British government determined to cut net immigration has emerged in the form of the first recorded decline in enrolment of international students from outside the European Union.

more...

07 January 2014
The Telegraph
UK accepts 1,500 asylum seekers from Syria by Steven Swinford

Britain has accepted 1,500 asylum seekers from Syria in the past year, the Deputy Prime Minister has disclosed.

more...

21 November 2013
News Shopper
Syrian refugee's new life in New Cross as struggling artist after torture and prison by Sarah Trotter

A lecturer who fled imprisonment and torture in Syria has found sanctuary in New Cross. SARAH TROTTER finds out about the refugee's new life as a struggling artist in Lewisham.

more...

04 September 2012
Guardian
Academic refugees: 'My hope is to contribute to this country - if I'm given the opportunity' by Latefa Guemar, CARA Grantee

Algerian refugee academic and CARA Grantee Latefa Guemar describes how the pursuit of knowledge has helped her and her family integrate into UK society despite facing racism and culture shock.

more...

15 July 2012
Guardian
Removing Barriers to Oxbridge by Nicholas Sagovsky, CARA Council member

What a wonderful gift from Michael Moritz, and what an irony that, if his father fled to Britain today, he might well – if your report is accurate – be excluded from his son's generosity (Tycoon gives £75m for Oxford's poorest students, 12 July).

more...

13 July 2011
Guardian
Legal aid cuts are leaving migrants lost in a maze by Steve Medley

Earlier this week came the news that the largest specialist immigration advice charity – the Immigration Advisory Service – had entered administration. This comes just one year after the collapse of another specialist immigration and asylum charity, Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ).  Around 10,000 clients are now without a representative to guide them through the maze of complex immigration rules, and the notoriously poor decision-making of the UK Border Agency.

more...

02 June 2011
Guardian
Letters: Access to university and asylum seekers by Emma Williams, Student Action for Refugees (STAR)

Harriet Swain's article on the new policy of charging international fees to young people with discretionary leave to remain highlights the latest blow to young asylum seekers' chances of getting to university (Barred from university, Education, 31 May).
Young people who are still waiting for their asylum claim to be resolved have been in this position for many years. They are expected to go to school like everyone else and yet, if they work hard and get a place at university, they suddenly find themselves separated from their classmates, called international students and charged huge fees to take up that place. With no access to loans or bursaries, higher education has become a hopeless dream rather than a reality for the educationally high-achieving asylum seeker.
This policy is not supported by students. More than 5,000 university students at 35 universities have joined the Student Action for Refugees campaign to ask vice-chancellors to charge home fees and grant bursaries to their asylum-seeking classmates. The campaign is gaining the support of university staff who agree that access to university should be based on academic achievement, not whether the Home Office has managed to assess an asylum claim.

more...

31 May 2011
Guardian
Asylum seekers barred from university by Harriet Swain

Campaigners say new rules forcing asylum seekers to pay higher student fees with no access to grants or loans are 'deeply regressive'.

more...

01 February 2011
Guardian
Refugee services to take a heavy hit due to 62% funding cuts by Amelia Hill

The Refugee Council is to have its government funding cut by almost 62% with cuts to frontline services beginning "almost immediately" and fully implemented in three months' time.

more...

17 October 2010
Institute of Race Relations
Driven to Desperate Measures 2006-2010 by Harmit Athwal

The IRR has catalogued a roll-call of death of the 77 asylum seekers and migrants who have died either in the UK or attempting to reach the UK in the past five years as a consequence of direct racism or indirect racism stemming from policies.

more...

16 October 2010
Guardian
Letters: Nobel Immigrants by Anne Lonsdale, Council for Assisting Refugee Academics

It is a wonderful vindication of the tradition of academic hospitality in Britain that three out of the four Nobel prizes associated with the UK this year went to academic immigrants (Education, 12 October). They join the many others welcomed who went on to become Nobel winners. CARA has since the 1930s supported 18 who fled from fascism and later attained this distinction. What a magnificent return for Britain's welcome!

more...

12 October 2010
Guardian
Immigration cap will drive away academic talent by Anthea Lipsett

Cabinet ministers will this week consider controversial plans to cap the number of skilled workers coming to the UK. University heads warn that the restrictions, which come in the wake of steep funding cuts, will create a damaging "perfect storm" for British higher education.

more...

07 October 2010
Guardian
Nobel laureates urge rethink over immigration cap

The Government's cap on immigration threatens the UK's position as a centre of scientific excellence, eight Nobel prize-winning academics warn today.  The researchers, including the two Russians migrants who won the prize for physics on Tuesday, said that the best talent would be potentially barred from the UK by new restrictions to visa applications.

more...

30 June 2010
Guardian
More immigration advice providers could close by Legal Action Group

More organisations providing immigration and asylum advice could face closure as only 252 out of over 400 applicants were successful in their bids for contracts from the Legal Service Commission.

more...

30 May 2010
Guardian
Funding crisis over legal aid threatens UK asylum chaos, ministers are warned by Jamie Doward

The government has been warned of impending chaos in the asylum system if a body representing the rights of people fleeing persecution and violence is forced to close due to changes in the way legal aid is paid.

more...

16 March 2010
Guardian
Artists and academics regularly refused UK entry, say campaigners by Owen Bowcott

Artists, authors and academics from overseas are regularly being refused permission to enter the UK under the government's points-based visa system, according to a dossier of cases to be presented to Downing Street tomorrow.

more...

23 February 2010
Human Rights Watch
Fast-Tracked Unfairness: Detention and Denial of Women Asylum Seekers in the UK by Gauri van Gulik

This report focuses on the [Detained Fast Track system's] particular shortcomings as regards women, especially when it comes to assessing complex gender related claims.

more...

14 October 2009
Guardian
Thousands of overseas students unable to enter UK by Rachel Williams and Jessica Shepherd

Thousands of university places could be left unfilled and institutions millions of pounds out of pocket, because high fee-paying international students are being blocked from starting degrees under a new visa system, vice-chancellors warned yesterday.

more...

01 September 2009
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Still Destitute: a worsening problem for failed asylum seekers by Hannah Lewis

It is no pleasure to publish this, the third survey, in which we report that there has been no improvement and that the voluntary agencies who deal with destitute asylum seekers struggle to meet their needs and are close to breaking point.

more...

02 August 2009
Guardian
Home Office to unveil points system for immigrants seeking British citizenship by Gaby Hinsliff

UK nationality will no longer be an automatic right after five years as government introduces passport points scheme in response to recession.

more...

19 June 2009
Guardian
Britain must do more to help refugees by Rebecca Collard

Contrary to the impression given by media, 80% of refugees seek asylum in the world's poorest nations, putting an incredible burden on countries already struggling to care for their citizens.

more...

18 May 2009
Guardian
Genuine overseas students 'denied entry to UK' by Anthea Lipsett

The enforcement of complicated new visa laws is deterring overseas students who bring billions of pounds to the UK economy, business school leaders have warned.

more...

09 January 2009
UPI.Com
Emerging Threats: Refugee population up in Iraq, Somalia

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The number of internally displaced persons in the world topped 22 million and refugee numbers passed 11 million, mostly in Iraq and Somalia, the U.N. said.

more...

11 September 2008
The Guardian
Letters; Migration rules are a recipe for problems in key sectors by Professor John Akker

Without us accepting those who fled in the 1930s from Nazi Germany we would be very much the poorer (Welcome to Britain - so long that as you're an engineer, maths teacher or sheep shearer, September 10).

more...

27 September 2007
Refugee wins by sharing the load

Matthew Foster believed he had something to offer doctors coming here as refugees. He was right - as Abdul Karim Atefi can attest

more...

09 August 2007
The Guardian
Skilled migrant rules unfair to 49,000 in UK, say MPs by Alan Travis

Immigration rule changes that have left 49,000 highly skilled migrants who have settled in Britain facing the possibility of deportation are "unfair and unlawful" and should be dropped immediately, according to a report from MPs and peers published today.

more...

26 September 2006
Guardian Unlimited
Academic asylum by Natasha Gilbert

Funds to get refugee academics back on track

more...

15 September 2006
Times Higher Educational Supplement - Letter
Give refugees a hand by John Akker, CARA Executive Secretary

'Don't waste our talents' (Opinion, September 8) is a considerable indictment of the way that academics who flee from regimes such as the Taliban are treated. It is far too common that such academics face huge problems and difficulties when they come to the UK. The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (Cara) is determined that such appalling waste and personal frustration is brought to an end. That is why we provide grants to help them build on their existing skills and academic interests. Many who have received our support now work in universities, the health service and in other occupations. But universities and their staff have a major contribution to make. This is why we have launched a scheme to assist universities to set up structures to help refugee academics. This is jointly supported by the Scholars at Risk Network based in the US. Applications are now invited for the Pathfinder University Grants Scheme funded by the Sigrid Rausing Trust (more information can be obtained from info.cara@lsbu.ac.uk). We would also encourage universities to join the UK Universities Network, which has been created to assist such academics.

08 September 2006
Times Higher Educational Supplement
Don't waste our talents, we're not illiterate idiots by Haroon Amirzada

From delivering lectures in Kabul to delivering pizzas in London, academic refugee Haroon Amirzada's woes did not end when he escaped the Taleban.

more...

21 June 2006
Financial Times
Asylum claim disbelief 'costs millions' by Andrew Taylor (Employment Correspondent)

A "culture of disbelief" of asylum seeker claims at the Home Office and a reluctance to accept foreign qualifications is costing taxpayers millions of pounds, a report claims today

more...

21 March 2006
The Guardian
Welcome players by Donald MacLeod

A new drive to help refugee scholars will benefit not only them but also the cause of academic freedom, writes Donald MacLeod

more...

11 November 2005
The Time Higher Education Supplement
Plea for UK academic sector to give safe haven to colleagues by Olga Wojtas

UK Universities must pool their resources at home and abroad to offer support to academic refugees forced to flee their homelands

more...

20 June 2005
Financial Times
Migrants get aid to improve working skills by Andrew Taylor

A scheme to help refugees and migrants develop their talents to make them better suited to fill skill shortages was launched yesterday by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education

more...

01 June 2005
The Londoner
The waste of refugee skills is a 'scandal'

Highly skilled refugees are being denied the chance to work resulting in a 'scandalous waste' of skills that could benefit vital areas of the economy, a report has warned. The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics says the potential of thousands of engineers, doctors and professionals who could work in areas hit by skills shortages is being ignored. The charity estimates that few of the 1,500 doctors, dentists and other health workers living as refugees in Britain are employed in their chosen field. Council for Assisting Refugee Academics executive secretary John Akker, said: 'It is a scandal that more is not done. We often receive applications for support from people with skills in areas where we are crying out for key workers.We urgently need greater resources and guidance for refugees to stop pools of talent remaining untapped.' Some of the UK's most successful former refugees include BBC programmes director Alan Yentob, Portsmouth footballer Lomana Tresor Lua Lua and columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

23 April 2005
The Guardian
Refugees are wasting skills by Nick Pandya

Thousands of academics and professionals forced to take menial jobs in UK

more...

14 March 2005
The Times Higher Educational Supplement
Asylum Assistance

Today the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics publishes a handbook to help refugees update their skills and gain qualifications. Donald MacLeod reports on those the organisation is helping

more...

14 March 2005
Society Guardian
Britain ‘fails to tap skills of highly qualified refugees’ by Rebecca Smithers

Britain is failing to tap into a wealth of expertise which would benefit vital areas of the economy by ignoring the talents of highly qualified refugees and asylum seekers in what has become "a scandal", a leading refugee charity warns

more...

14 March 2005
The Guardian
Britain 'fails to tap skills of highly qualified refugees' by Rebecca Smithers Education Editor

more...

14 March 2005
The Telegraph
Britain not using 'vital skills' of refugees

more...

14 March 2005
BBC News
Britain 'wasting' refugee skills

Highly qualified refugees are being ignored for jobs in their chosen professions, resulting in a "scandalous waste" of skills, a report has warned

more...

14 March 2005
Financial Times
Expertise of highly qualified refugees ignored by Andrew Taylor

more...

14 March 2005
The Independent
Refugees could cut skills shortages and pay £100m tax by Maxine Frith, Social Affairs Correspondent

Report: Allowing asylum-seekers to work would boost economy

more...

14 March 2005
Sky News
'Scandal' Of Refugee Jobs

more...

14 March 2005
The Herald
'Scandal' of the refugees with talents that are going to waste Thousands of professionals under-employed by Eleanor Cowie

QUALIFIED refugees are being ignored for jobs in their own profession in the UK, resulting in a "scandalous waste" of their skills, it is claimed today.

more...

14 March 2005
The Journal
Skills of refugees and asylum seekers go to waste by Rebekah Ashby

more...

14 March 2005
Northern Business Daily/The Journal
Thousands with top skills wasted by Rebekah Ashby

more...

14 March 2005
IC Brimingham
Time to stop the 'scandal' of ignoring immigrants for key jobs by John Revill

more...

24 June 2004
BBC News
Refugee scholars 'benefit the UK'

The government is being far too negative in its treatment of refugees, an ex-chief government scientist says

more...

08 April 2002
The Guardian - Letter
Taking the politics out of asylum policy

The BMA is to be congratulated on identifying the pool of refugee doctors living in Britain (Report, April 4). As a charity that provides grants to doctors, particularly involved in academic medicine, we can state that often very small amounts of money can enable a refugee doctor to retrain. We have made grants for as little as £3,000 that have made all the difference. Apart from the economic and social gain to the UK, what price their dignity and self-esteem? Perhaps the chancellor should reflect on this. Where else could such an advantage be obtained for such a little cost?
John Akker
Executive secretary, Council for Assisting Refugee Academics

29 January 2002
The Guardian
Fighting Talk by Donald MacLoed

Donald MacLeod talks to a professor who faces possible imprisonment in his native Ethiopia because he supports free speech

more...

09 October 2001
The Guardian
How we survived by Donald MacLeod

Abdul Lalzad, married with six children, had a good life. Then war came, his university was closed and he had to get out fast. Donald MacLeod picks up the story of one of Afghanistan's leading academics

more...

08 October 2001
The Guardian
Afghan professor escapes Taliban terror by Donald MacLeod

Barely a week before American and British missiles started raining down on Afghanistan, Abdul Lalzad was at last reunited with his family at Heathrow airport

more...

13 February 2001
The Guardian
But what now?

Abdul Lalzad is an Afghan professor who, like many academic refugees, has found safety in Britain. Under Jack Straw's new strategy, says Donald MacLeod, he might not have got this far

more...

08 February 2001
The Guardian - Letter
Mr Straw's flawed idea

The government's plan to toughen the rules for asylum seekers by restricting their claim to asylum to the first "safe country" they reach ('Asylum seekers to be 'sent back', February 6) may appear an easy way out but it is fraught with difficulties. Just one example from our files illustrates this. It concerns a professor at Kabul University who sought refuge in the UK, having travelled via Pakistan after threats were made to his life in Afghanistan. He was only allowed into the UK after very intensive questioning at the point of entry - Heathrow. Is it now being suggested that he should have remained in that region? The Guardian reported some months ago that academics and writers who had fled from the Taliban to Pakistan were now being attacked following pressure from the authorities in Afghanistan and those in Pakistan who support the Taliban's extreme religious beliefs. One had been shot and another forced to return, while countless others live in fear of their lives. How can "safety" be accurately assessed? What kind of society are we becoming?
John Akker
Executive Secretary

05 July 2000
The Guardian
Cyril Offord by W K Hayman

Master mathematician with a world view of justice

more...