Monthly Archives: October 2020

Afghan refugee turned author shares views on Doha Peace Talks | Mancunian Matters

And Gulwali Passarlay, a Manchester based author and campaigner for refugee rights, thinks talks can only be successful in putting an end to twenty years of fighting if both sides recognise each other. 

He said: “Negotiations, dialogue and discussion is always better than violence but there has been an increase in violence in Afghanistan. 

“Overall I am happy that negotiations are happening but not happy that it’s happening in Doha. 

“I wanted this to happen in Afghanistan and for both sides to recognise each other, but they can’t even agree a code of conduct.

“I remain hopeful but the way the talks have been going it’s very disappointing that they can’t even agree on a framework.”

War has displaced millions of Afghans, many fled to neighbouring Pakistan and some continued their journey from there.
— Read on



Two amazing books written by our fantastic Trustees Gulwali Passarlay (The Lightless Sky) and Alan and Katherine Strang, (Tastes & Tales) THE LIGHTLESS SKY     Signed by Author paperback  A gripping, inspiring, and eye-opening memoir of fortitude and survival—of a twelve-year-old boy’s traumatic flight from Afgha
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Briefing: Safe and Legal Routes to the UK | Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Over the course of August 2020, media coverage of Channel crossings has increased significantly, drawing attention to the plight of those seeking refuge in the UK. In response to the number of crossings, Ministers have proposed measures aimed at making the route “unviable” and restricting the ability of asylum-seekers to exercise their legal right to apply for asylum in the UK.

The government has instructed the use of the Navy and of RAF planes to carry out surveillance and rescue in the Channel. While we do not object to the use of the Navy to conduct search and rescue missions, it is vital that the Navy is not used to interfere in the asylum process and are not asked to breach international refugee or maritime law by ‘pushing back’ boats seeking to reach our shores. The deployment is a temporary and costly fix which will not decrease the risk of dangerous crossings.

Over the last 5 years, civil society has warned that attempts to make the route “unviable,” including the closure of refugee camps in Calais and increasingly restricted routes of entry to the UK, would lead to an increase in dangerous journeys and an increased reliance on traffickers and people smugglers. In 2019, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee warned that “a policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups.” We are disappointed that the UK Government is continuing to pursue this failed approach despite copious evidence, and despite advice presented by the Select Committee and a host of civil society organisations. 

We note that this pattern of ignoring expert advice, failing to engage with civil society and branding migrants as “criminal” regardless of their legal rights is the same set of conditions which led to the Windrush scandal. A key recommendation from the Windrush Lessons Learned Review urged government to implement policies based on evidence and transparent decision-making. 

It is clear that there are far more pragmatic solutions which would allow the Government to bring an end to dangerous crossings, whilst also protecting the rights of those seeking asylum.
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The New Humanitarian | EU’s Joint Way Forward migration deal prioritises returns over durable solutions for Afghan refugees

Opinion: Focusing on returns is shortsighted. Instead, let’s help the countries that host the vast majority of Afghan refugees and migrants.
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Ellesmere College visit and talk

The talk was truly eye-opening for students, and some fantastic questions were asked by the students. He concluded his talk by explaining how he hopes to end the negative stigma associated with refugees and asylum seekers, and hopes to use his passion towards social change in order to inspire young people into having a more engaged participation in politics and policy-making. He also encouraged students to be kind and never to pass judgement as ultimately, you never know what somebody has been through.

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