Amnesty International – International Secretariat
Asylum Research Centre (ARC)
Contact persons: Liz Williams and Stephanie Huber
Asylum Research Centre (ARC) provides a country of origin information (COI) research service including country reports to support individual asylum claims for use in representations to refugee decision making bodies. Its case-specific research service is primarily fee-paying, but ARC may be able to undertake pro bono research for NGOs with limited funds who provide free services to refugees.
ARC also provides country specific and thematic COI research for UNHCR, publishes commentaries on UK Home Office Country Policy and Information Notes (CPINS), and on European Asylum Support Office’s (EASO) COI reports. ARC also undertakes research consultancy, project management and training to the asylum, immigration and human rights sector.
ARC further manages the international COI Forum which provides a platform for COI researchers and practitioners to share publications and ideas on COI research and sources. ARC also provides a free bi-monthly COI Update, which contains notifications of new Home Office COI publications as well as recent publications and developments in the top countries of origin of asylum seekers in the UK.
Asylum Support Appeal Project (ASAP)
Tel: +44 (0)2 03 71 60 284
Advice Line number: +44 (0)2 03 71 60 283
Fax: +44 (0)2 03 71 60 272
ASAP is a charity working across the UK with the aim of reducing destitution amongst asylum seekers by protecting their legal rights to food and shelter. ASAP carries out three types of work: (1) Free legal representation and advice to asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers appealing against the Home Office decisions to refuse or withdraw their housing, financial subsistence, or both. (2) Asylum support advice and training to frontline organisations, advice agencies and legal practitioners working with asylum seekers. They provide a range of training options and operate an Advice Line. (3) Policy, lobbying and litigation to improve policies and procedures on asylum support.
Please note that ASAP does not give immigration advice and ASAP is unable to give advice to individual asylum seekers. If you need advice about your immigration status please contact a regulated advisor. To find your nearest regulated immigration adviser please click here. If you are an asylum seeker and need advice about your housing or financial support from the Home Office you should go to your nearest advice agency and ask an adviser to contact them.
Bail for Immigration Detainees
1b Finsbury Park Road, London N4 2LA
Fax: 0203 745 5226
Email for general enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email for bail casework: email@example.com
Detainees can post documents to BID for free using the following address:
FREEPOST RTSU-ZJCB-XCSX Bail for Immigration Detainees, 1b Finsbury Park Road, London N4 2LA
Bail for Immigration Detainees’ vision is of a world in which there is no immigration detention. While it exists it believes it should be judicially sanctioned and time-limited. The organisation provides legal advice and representation to people held in prisons and detention centres under immigration powers to enable them to secure their release from detention and gathers evidence from its research and casework to influence detention policy and practice.
Migrant Children’s Project
The Migrant Children’s Project offers free initial legal advice on all issues affecting migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children, young people and families including: immigration, asylum and nationality law, support and accommodation, age assessment, education, work and training, and health care.
Electronic Immigration Network
EIN is a specialist provider of information on UK immigration and refugee law via the internet. EIN also contains information on immigration/asylum issues and caselaw from the EU and selected documents from other English-speaking jurisdictions. The Public Site contains general resources and links for asylum seekers and immigrants, students, journalists and others with an interest in immigration and asylum.
Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA)
The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) is an advisory body for lawyers representing migrants and refugees in the UK and Europe. The ILPA provides specialist training on asylum and immigration law. The ILPA aims to promote and improve the advising and representing of immigrants.
Legal Aid Agency
A list of firms that provide legal aid can be found on the Legal Aid Agency website.
Medical Justice works predominantly with people being held in detention. They challenge instances of medical evidence produced by qualified medics being ignored by the UK Home office and immigration courts; challenge instances of medical findings by unqualified Home Office officials and immigration judges; and write medical legal reports. Referrals generally come to Medical Justice when all else has failed; the detainee’s legal representative cannot get legal aid funding to progress a case or finance a medical report, or has simply not attempted to get a medical report. They deal with medical abuse in detention, including denial of medication and treatment, access to hospital, testing and test results. They assess detainees’ injuries after an assault by guards in the detention centre, or in transit to other places of detention, or an airport. Medical Justice challenges the almost inevitable and detrimental gap between the negotiated policy change and how immigration detainees are actually treated in practice. The bulk of Medical Justice’s work is getting the Home Office to implement its own policies.
Migrant Legal Action (formerly the Afro-Asian Advisory Service)
The telephone number for general enquires can be called Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00pm.
The Advice Line can be called Monday – Friday from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm where you can discuss your asylum, nationalist and immigration matter with a caseworker.
The organisation usually sees clients Monday – Friday between 9:00 am – 1:00 pm strictly by appointment only.
Migrant Legal Action was formely known as the Afro-Asian Advisory Service as it was established in 1978 to help East-African Asians who arrived to the United Kingdom as evacuees. Since then they have expanded and they help people of all nationalities. They provide services such as: free, independent advice and representation on matters relating to nationality law and immigration directly to members of the public and a support and a referral service to other suitable agencies should an individual require more specialist advice. They have also given advice on matters relating nationality law and immigration for local Members of Parliament for the benefit of their constituents.
REDRESS is a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparations. REDRESS works at multiple levels of intervention, directly with survivors of torture, but also at the grassroots, national and international levels. REDRESS has a double route for getting involved with cases of torture. Firstly, victims, local NGOs or others get in touch directly about specific cases and REDRESS either takes action itself or refers the case to others if deemed necessary. Secondly, REDRESS, through its partnerships with local NGOs in a number of countries (e.g., Peru, DRC, Rwanda, Sudan, AHRC based out of Hong Kong, and Nepal), develops strategies in collaboration with its partners to assist each other with cases of torture and related international crimes.
Refugee Council UK
240-250 Ferndale Road, Brixton, London
Tel: +44 (0)2 07 34 66 700
The Refugee Council offers free advice and information to refugees and asylum seekers. The Refugee Council can advise on entitlements and the meaning of laws, but cannot give legal advice or representation. However, the Refugee Council can refer clients to qualified legal representatives. Special services are offered for children and unaccompanied minors, as are training programmes and resettlement services.
ROOM FOR REFUGEES
This service can make the difference in hundreds of refugees’ lives:
- people affected by the Syrian refugee crisis.
- unacompanied minor refugees.
- refugees seeking asylum in the UK who are in risk of destitution.
- long-term refugees excluded from the society.
To register in Room for Refugees, click on the following link: www.paih.org/host-a-refugee and fill in the online form. Registrations are available in Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Western Europe and the United States. A list of clients is automatically provided and caseworkers get a personal account to contact concrete participants.
All referrals are assessed and those refugees with history of criminality, violence or substance abuse are directly excluded from the program. In turn, controls are also run to refugee hosts. Criminal backgrounds are checked and disclousure certificates are required.
Rainbow Migration (formerly the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group)
The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group is a charity that promotes equality and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who seek asylum in the UK, or who wish to immigrate here to be with their same-sex partner. Its asylum related activities include supporting LGBT asylum seekers by providing support and information via their helpline and in person; referring to solicitors; organising a monthly support meeting; visiting detention centres and running other social support projects. It also provides training and information on LGBT asylum issues to relevant service providers in the refugee and LGBT community, solicitors and other legal advisers, UKBA staff and the judiciary. The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group will ONLY respond to asylum queries of those who are already in the UK. One can attend their monthly asylum legal meetings, where volunteer solicitors will be giving general advice about the asylum process and meet other LGBT asylum seekers as well as speak to the members of their staff in person. Alternatively, one can call their helpline at 020 7922 7811.