Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about religious literacy training for Home Office immigration caseworkers

PeterboroughFeb2017bOn 3rd April 2019 the Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams of Trafford, repeated a statement made in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, about the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, responded with a follow up question about religious literacy in determining asylum applications:

Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, while grateful for the Statement and the compensation scheme, I have a particular concern to raise with the Minister. We have recently seen publicity about very poor decisions on immigration made in the Home Office, suggesting that decisions are being made by staff who are perhaps too junior or not adequately trained. Can we be assured that there will be enough staff working on this scheme who are of sufficient seniority and adequately trained?

Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about religious literacy training for Home Office immigration caseworkers”

Bishop of Chester asks Government about transition process from asylum seeker to refugee

On 20th March 2019 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the Government “what steps they are taking to prevent destitution among newly recognised refugees in the light of the British Red Cross Report Still an ordeal, published in December 2018.” The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow-up question:

Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks Government about transition process from asylum seeker to refugee”

Bishop of Durham asks Government about arrangements for refugee family reunion after Brexit

On 18th March 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion to Approve the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is striking how small a part asylum and resettlement have played in the conversation about a post-Brexit immigration system. Assuming—and praying—that we do not leave without a deal, I hope that discussion of these vital areas will not be limited to the margins of an already limited engagement with the immigration White Paper and the SIs. I have a series of questions for the Minister.

It might just be me, but I often struggle to see evidence of the Home Office applying the family test in SIs and other areas. Can the Minister assure me that the family test has been applied to these SIs?

Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about arrangements for refugee family reunion after Brexit”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about Asia Bibi, religious freedom in Pakistan, and asylum on religious persecution grounds

On 3rd December 2018 the Bishop of Coventry received written answers to five questions he had tabled to Government on Asia Bibi, religious freedom in Pakistan and applications for asylum from Pakistan on grounds of religious persecution:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the state of freedom of religion or belief in Pakistan.

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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to (1) support religious pluralism, and (2) promote freedom of religion or belief, in Pakistan. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about Asia Bibi, religious freedom in Pakistan, and asylum on religious persecution grounds”

Bishop of St Albans asks if Government will pressure Pakistan on blasphemy laws after Asia Bibi case

On 20th November 2018 Lord Alton asked the Government ‘what response they have made to requests to assist in the (1) safe passage and resettlement of, and (2) granting of asylum to Asia Bibi and her family.’ The Bishop of St Albans asked a follow up question:

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Bishop of Leeds asks about religious literacy in processing asylum claims

Leeds0518cOn 15th October 2018 Baroness Berridge asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what plans they have to improve the assessment by the Home Office of asylum applications made on the grounds of religious or belief based persecution.’ The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:

The Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, before training is rolled out, will some religious leaders in this country be consulted on what sort of training might be appropriate, and the sort of questions that may be asked of asylum seekers? At the moment, I should be hard-pressed to answer some of them. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks about religious literacy in processing asylum claims”

Bishop of Durham asks Government about alternatives to prison detention in immigration removals

On the 15th May 2018 Lord Beecham asked Her Majesty’s Government an urgent (private notice) question, “what measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of asylum seekers during periods of detention in the prison system and during their removal from the United Kingdom”. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question about alternatives to detention:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, would the Minister agree that this case supports why we need to develop alternatives to detention as a matter of priority? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about alternatives to prison detention in immigration removals”

Bishop of Derby asks Government about modern slavery and child trafficking

Bishop of DerbyOn 19th March 2018, Baroness Kennedy of Cradley asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘over the last 10 years, how many children trafficked into the United Kingdom who have subsequently applied for asylum have had their applications approved.’ The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, asked a follow up question:

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Bishop of Durham receives response to written questions on accommodation for asylum seekers

durham-230117-bOn 12th March 2018 the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, received responses to two written questions on accommodation for asylum seekers in the UK:

(i) Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many bedrooms in accommodation allocated to asylum seekers in (1) the North East of England, and (2) Yorkshire, under Home Office COMPASS contracts, are shared by two or more unrelated individuals; and what proportion of the total number of bedrooms available in those areas that figure represents.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about religious literacy of asylum caseworkers

stalbans190117-bOn 9th February 2017 Lord Singh of Wimbledon asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to combat religious extremism and to promote a cohesive society by enhancing religious literacy at all levels of government.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Aolan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, just three weeks ago I spent half a day in an immigration removal centre and so gained an up-to-date insight into some of the complex and sensitive issues that are being dealt with there. Concerns continue to be raised about the level of religious literacy among some of the asylum caseworkers. Is the Minister content with the level of training that they are getting in religious literacy and, if not, what can be done to improve it? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about religious literacy of asylum caseworkers”

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