In some cases a person who does not qualify for recognition as a refugee may be given permission to stay under provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), now incorporated into the Human Rights Act 1998. They may be given other forms of leave to stay : humanitarian protection and discretionary leave which are time-limited and must be renewed.
Biometric identity cards were introduced in March 2006 (Identity Cards Act 2006). The text was subsequently repealed by the Identity Documents Act 2010.
<http://www.labour-party.org.uk/manifestos/1997/1997-labour-manifesto.shtml/>, accessed July 27, 2011.
Vincent Latour, « Les métamorphoses du multiculturalisme britannique », Revue française de civilisation britannique, Le défi multiculturel en Grande-Bretagne, vol. 14, n°3, 2007, 23-36.
“Citizens should have statutory rights to enforce their human rights in the UK courts. We will by statute incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law to bring these rights home and allow our people access to them in their national courts. The incorporation of the European Convention will establish a floor, not a ceiling, for human rights”, Because Britain Deserves Better, New Labour Manifesto, 1997.
David Blunkett, foreword to the White Paper “Secure Borders, Safe Haven,” February 2002, 5.
Tony Blair, foreword to the White Paper “Controlling our Borders, Making Migration Work for Britain,” February 2005, 7.
There are different types of remedies available when a complaint is upheld: (i) An order declaring the rights of the complainant and respondent in relation to the discriminatory act, (ii) an order requiring compensation to be paid to the complainant by the respondent, (iii) a recommendation that the respondent takes action within a defined period to obviate or reduce the effect on the complainant of a discriminatory act.
See the reports of the Home Affairs Select Committee : House of Commons, Home Affairs Select Committee, The Work of the UK Border Agency (November 2010-March 2011), ninth report, HC929, and House of Commons, Home Affairs Select Committee, The Work of the UK Border Agency (April-July 2011), fifteenth report, HC1497-I.
Memorandum of the Runnymede Trust to the Home Affairs Select Committee, 2009.
Riots in Oldham, Bradford and Birmingham in which Pakistanis and Bangladeshis confronted West Indians. Rivalries between youth gangs, extreme poverty and high unemployment were identified as the most immediate causes.
White Paper, 2002, op. cit., chapter 2, 35.
Citizenship ceremonies were announced in the 2002 Home Office White Paper. David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, recommended abandoning the “low-key and bureaucratic approach which the UK has adopted to the acquisition of British citizenship.” (35) The Home Office document proposed an inclusive version of the concepts of nationality and citizenship, paying particular attention to the rights and duties attached to them. The text insisted on the promotion of citizenship as a means for the newly naturalised to understand their role in the British society, to adhere to common values shared by all Her Majesty’s subjects. It also provided for some slight modifications in the acquisition of British citizenship, a citizenship not completely redefined but updated “to reflect modern thinking about citizenship”. The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 made these ceremonies mandatory, thereby creating a new condition in the acquisition of British citizenship. The first ceremonies were held in January 2004.
Lydia Morris, “Citizenship and Human Rights: Ideals and Actualities,” The British Journal of Sociology, vol. 63, n° 1, 2012, 41.
Among the most intrusive measures are iris-scans at airports (IRIS: Iris Recognition Immigration System implemented since June 2005 at Heathrow), CCTV cameras in public places, enhanced facial recognition capacities (Mandrake system in Newham, South London), and DNA databanks to store genetic information.
David Erdos, “Smoke but no Fire ? The Politics of a ‘British’ Bill of Rights,” The Political Quarterly, vol. 81, n°2, April-June 2010, 189.
Already in 2007 during the annual Conservative Conference David Cameron had promised that his party would stick to Tories’ “core values” such as lower taxes, lower levels of immigration, and the refusal of an ever closer union with the EU... See also Tim Bale, The Conservative Party : From Thatcher to Cameron, Cambridge : Polity Press, 2011.
For example, changes to counter-terrorism powers with a reduction to 14 days of the maximum period of pre-charge detention for terrorist offences. In the initial text, the Terrorism Act 2000 provided for a 7 day detention period, extended to 14 days in 2003 and 28 days in 2006.
See “Clegg’s Freedom Bill is no Magna Carta,” The Guardian, February 14, 2011.
The libertarian or classical liberal perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by “as much liberty as possible” and “as little government as necessary”, <http://www.theihs.org/what-libertarian/>, accessed July 12, 2012.
House of Commons, Hansard, col. 49-50, July 11, 2012.
Consultation paper on the limits on non-EU economic migration launched on the 28th June 2010.
See in particular publications produced by the Institute for Race Relations, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the Immigration Law Practioners Association and the Refugee Council.
Nick Clegg, The Guardian, December 16, 2010.
Mathias Czaika & Hein De Haas, “The Effectiveness of Immigration Policies. A Conceptual Review of Empirical Evidence,” International Migration Institute, University of Oxford, Working Paper 33, April 2011, 6.
Identity Cards Act 2006, Explanatory Notes, 3-4.
Biographical records include the date and place of birth, nationality, gender, immigration status, address, information included at a person’s request. Biometric information relates to an individual’s external characteristics: iris pattern, fingerprints. The identity card system was reformed in 2010 (Identity Documents Act 2010): foreigners still require an ID card for use as a biometric residence permit. The National Identity Register was destroyed in February 2011.
Charles Clarke, Home Secretary, foreword to the White Paper “Controlling our Borders : Making Migration Work for Britain,” February 2005.
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Bulletin Spring 2001, 2.
Andrew Geddes, “Getting the Best of both Worlds. Britain, the EU and Migration Policy,” International Affairs, vol. 81 n° 4, 2005, 723-740.
Examples of opting in :
● participation of British administration in EU programmes that aim at reinforcing border controls (carrier’s obligations for example).
● Britain’s participation in a working group, The Council of the European Union’s Migration and Expulsion Working Party (MEX WP) to increase the rate of removals or the externalisation of British territorial borders with the creation of a special police task force in Calais and in Belgium to improve the controls on people and carriers crossing the Channel.
● Tony Blair’s government also joined in the Eurodac system (Dublin II regulation) which provided for the reception and treatment of asylum seekers, the definition of the refugee status, the fingerprinting of asylum applicants.
Tony Blair, PM Press Conference, October 25, 2004, <http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20061004051823/http://number10.gov.uk/page6480 >, accessed July 12, 2012.
The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (2002) allowed highly skilled people to enter the UK to look for work or self-employment opportunities. They did not need any job offer prior to their entrance. The system was progressively phased out and was replaced by the Points Based System (2006) which created five “tiers” (i.e. five categories of migrant workers able to enter the UK and to work), replacing the former work permits.
Rebecca Tunstall et al., Building the Big Society, London School of Economics, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, Report 67, June 2011.
See the website of the National Council for Voluntary Organisation: <http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/networking-discussions/discussions/bigger-picture/-state-sector-8/>, accessed July 12, 2012.
Home Office, Integration Matters : A National Strategy for Refugee Integration, Marc 2005.
Kathy Evans, “‘Big Society’ in the UK : A Policy Review,” Children & Society, vol. 25, 2011, 164.
Don Flynn, “Supporting the Rights of Migrants in the Regions : Meeting the Challenge of Recession,” Benefits, vol. 17, n°2, 2009, 183-185.
The UK Border Agency which was responsible for immigration and asylum operations was split in February 2012. The UK Border Force is now the section of the UKBA which manages entry to the UK.
The lack of respect of fundamental human rights in these centres has been reported for quite a long time now: see S. Cohen, From the Jews to the Tamils : Britain’s Mistreatment of Refugees, Manchester : South Manchester Law Centre, 1988. Amnesty International, Prisoners without a Voice : Asylum-Seekers Detained in the United Kingdom, London : Amnesty International, 1995. See also the reports of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons which provide an accurate description of the living conditions in immigration detention centres (renamed immigration removal centres). The list of violations includes violence, inhuman and degrading treatment, sanctions and intimidation, racist abuse, violation of private life, intrusive behaviour in private spaces, insufficient help...
Although volunteering can be useful for asylum seekers to improve their English and gain working experience, the distinction between volunteering and engaging in work is sometimes very fine. Some migrants fear they may jeopardise their immigration status and on some occasions it has been found by the Employment Appeal Tribunal that some volunteers were in fact employees. See the following case : Advisory Service v. Chaudri UKEAT/1400/97, <http://www.morton-fraser.com/knowledge-hub/fine-line-between-volunteers-and-employees>, and also refer to the website of Volunteering England <http://www.volunteering.org.uk/>, accessed June 8, 2012.
The Guardian, July, 11, 2011.
Previously solicitors used to receive legal aid for asylum cases based on the number of hours each case took, whereas nowadays there is a fixed fee for each case (£450).
House of Commons, Justice Committee, Government’s proposed reform of legal aid, third report HC681-I, March 2011.
Lydia Morris, op. cit., XX. Sylvie Da Lomba, “Legal Status and Refugee Integration : A UK Perspective”, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 23, n°4, 2010, 415-436.
“We will allow people who have been in Britain without the correct papers for 10 years, but speak English, have a clean record and want to live here long-term to earn their citizenship. This route to citizenship will not apply to people arriving after 2010,” Liberal Democrats Manifesto, 2010.
“Nick Clegg abandons illegal immigrant amnesty proposal,” BBC News, March, 22, 2013.
Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) ex parte Q, EWCA, 2003, quoted by Lydia Morris, “An Emergent Cosmopolitan Paradigm ? Asylum, Welfare and Human Rights,” The British Journal of Sociology, 2009, vol. 60, issue 2, 215-235.
R (on the application of Refugee Action) v SSHD  EWHC 1033 (Admin). See more at: <http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/united-kingdom/overview-main-changes-previous-report-update#sthash.dRTG9W7R.dpuf >, accessed June 2014.
Neil Spicer, “Places of Exclusion and Inclusion. Asylum Seekers and Refugee Experiences of Neighborhoods in the UK,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 34, n°3, 2008, 491-510.
Refugees often have unique health needs due to the traumatic reasons they had for leaving their country. Although access to basic health care is available everywhere in the UK, only specific refugee associations are able to detect particular physical and mental health problems and treat them accordingly. Most of these associations are located in London and other major cities in the UK, see Mind, <www.mind.org.uk>.
“Refugee dispersal will continue,” BBC News, August, 7, 2001.
Ann Singh, “A Cashless Society, the other Side of the Coin,” Institute of Race Relations, December, 22, 2010, <http://www.irr.org.uk/news/a-cashless-society-the-other-side-of-the-coin>, accessed June 2014.
See the report of Asylum Support Partnership (ASP), Your Inflexible Friend : The Cost of Living without Cash, November 2010, <http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/Resources/Refugee%20Council/downloads/researchreports/ASP%20-%20azurecard-v4.pdf>, accessed May 20, 2012.
Asylum seekers can get permission to work if they have been waiting for an initial Home Office’s decision on their asylum claim for 12 months or more since the lodging of their application and if the delay is due to the Home Office’s fault. These two stringent conditions should be viewed in the light of the 2004-2005 Home Office figures on asylum claims. For that year 88 % of the decisions were made within 4 months and a further 91 % within 6 months. While on the one hand this could be considered as a major improvement in the procedure for granting or refusing asylum, it meant that only a tiny minority of asylum seekers effectively enjoyed permission to work.
Satvinder S. Juss, Immigration, Nationality and Citizenship, London : Mansell, 1993, 1.
Claire Worley, “‘It’s not about Race. It’s about the Community’ : New Labour and Community Cohesion,” Critical Social Policy, vol. 25, n°4, 2005, 483-496. Nick Lynn & Susan Lea, “‘A Phantom Menace and the New Apartheid’ : the Social Construction of Asylum Seekers in the United Kingdom”, Discourse & Society, vol. 14, n°4, 2003, 425-452. Roy Grenslade, Seeking Scapegoats : The Coverage of Asylum in the UK Press, Institute for Public Policy Research, May 2005.Haut de page