The Nationality and Borders Bill continues to make its way through Parliament. We’ve been focusing on Clause 9: the Government’s attempt to widen their deprivation of citizenship powers so that they are no longer obliged to notify someone before making a deprivation order (you can read more about the issue, and our work to oppose Clause 9, here). But there are lots of other deeply troubling aspects to the Bill, and lots of organisations doing great work to campaign against it. We wanted to highlight some of this work, so we’re handing over the rest of this article to Maya Esslemont from After Exploitation and Josephine Whitaker-Yilmaz from Praxis.
Maya Esslemont, Director, After Exploitation
Modern slavery NGO, After Exploitation, has joined forces with migration and anti slavery charities to stand against Part 5 of the Nationality and Borders Bill. Part 5 is a cluster of changes which would make support for survivors of modern slavery much harder to access.
About Part 5
Unless removed by the Lords, Part 5 of the Nationality and Borders Bill will see many survivors’ support cut due to the creation of ‘trauma deadlines’. These measures would remove support for survivors who do not share details of their abuse ‘quickly enough’ (clauses 57 and 58). The Bill also includes concerning clauses which would see survivors subjected to greater risk of rejection earlier in their recovery journey (Clause 59) and blocked from accessing help if they have a conviction of 12 months or more (Clause 62). The latter move would disproportionately hit those who have been forced to commit a crime (such as marijuana cultivation or pick pocketing) by their trafficker.
How to support
Josephine Whitaker-Yilmaz, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Praxis
At Praxis, we’re really concerned about the potential impacts of Clause 11 on the rights of refugees. It introduces the idea of ‘differential treatment’, according to which refugees are divided into two classes based on how they arrived in the UK. Anyone arriving in the UK by a so-called irregular route (which, in reality, will be most refugees) will have fewer rights than others. They will be given permission to stay in the UK on an insecure, temporary basis only, subject to renewals every 30 months; they’ll have to wait ten years before they get permission to stay permanently; and they’ll have no access to any kind of safety net for the duration. Based on almost 40 years of experience, including with thousands of people denied the right to access a safety net and forced to live in limbo for a decade or more, we know that these measures run a very real risk of enforcing precarity, poverty and destitution on refugees.
How to support
Click here to read more of February’s newsletter including: how to apply to be a Migrants’ Aspiration Programme mentor, our #WordsMatter campaign, and recent sector vacancies! And do keep an eye on our Twitter feed (@migrants_rights) for all the latest developments.