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27 July 2018

UK government indicted in People’s Tribunal – call for evidence

MRN co-organising an evidence Hearing of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (PPT), specifically on the “Violations with Impunity of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples.” The London hearing, which follows similar events in Barcelona, Palermo and Paris, will take place on the 3 and 4 of November at Friends House.

The PPT on Migrant and Refugee Peoples aims to put migrant voices at the heart of a process of claiming social justice. In the process, it aims to strengthen coalitions between migrants, support organisation, campaign groups, academics and legal professionals.

The PPT hearing will involve detailed testimonies of rights violations, and a collective assessment of root causes and responsibilities, with a focus on the corporate and state practices that enforcing dynamics of exclusion, marginalisation, destitution and exploitation. You can find out more about the overarching framework here

The indictment for the London hearing is available to read here. It includes charges levelled against the UK government. These charges focus on the “domestic” violation of migrants’ rights (as opposed to the international policies which increase forced displacements), from the failure to uphold workers’ rights, to the hostile environment’s unfair policies and inhumane consequences. The full list of issues to be addressed can be found below or in the call for evidence.  

As a migrant, union or migrant support organisation, you are encouraged to provide evidence for the PPT hearing, using this form (you can fill the online form out directly, or email). For any questions, you can email [email protected]. Evidence should be submitted by September 21.

You can also simply “sign on” to support the process using this form.

The PPT organising group is seeking evidence from concerned organisations which addresses any aspect of the issues raised in the indictment, summarised as follows:
• Visa policies which severely restrict legal rights to enter and stay in the UK for work;
• Extortionate fees for issue and renewal of documentation;
• Employer sanctions and the requirement for proof of work rights;
• The ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule;
• Immigration rules and policy which treat domestic workers as the property of their employer;
• Denial/ restriction of work for asylum seekers;
• Refusal to grant any form of status to refused asylum seekers who cannot be removed;
• Detention for removal of homeless migrants including EEA migrants;
• Raids on workplaces;
• Criminalising unauthorised work and confiscation of wages;
• Inadequately resourcing the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority’s (GLAA) ability to enforce decent working conditions, and joint raids with immigration enforcement;
• Removal of legal aid for advice, assistance and representation in most immigration and all employment cases;
• Exemption of immigration removal centres from minimum wage legislation;
• The provision of no-choice, often squalid asylum accommodation to asylum seekers;
• The impossibly small weekly allowance provided to asylum seekers;
• The ‘right to rent’ laws requiring landlords to check immigration status before renting out accommodation;
• Rules and policy requiring NHS staff to check immigration status before providing treatment;
• Rules excluding most migrants from free NHS hospital care;
• Restrictive family unity rules for non-EAA (European Economic Area) migrants, resulting in long-term separation;
• Creation of a culture of suspicion against those who do not look or sound British;
• Exposure of children to particular hardship within the control system;
• Contracts for security corporations enabling them to profit from the surveillance, detention and control of migrants.