News Summary - July (part 2)

UK government's Rwanda policy found to have 'encouraged traffickers' to cincrease pace of moving people across the Channel; WHO presents evidence of worse health outcomes for refugees and migrants; and Amnesty International reports on the dismal situation of women's rights in Afghanistan. More news from July and start of August below ⬇️




Conservative leadership candidate, Liz Truss, has suggested that, if elected, she will open negotiations with the Turkish government in order to send refugees and migrants from the UK to Turkiye. Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanju Bilgiç, has called the claims ‘unfounded’, and the plans ‘out of the question’. - MEMO News


A parliamentary report, titled ‘Channel Crossings, Migration and Asylum’, has found that the government's Rwanda policy has not stemmed the movement of asylum seekers across the Channel. The report suggests that the incoming policy has encouraged traffickers to ‘get on with it’, and move people across the Channel at an increased pace before these stringent regulations are more properly in place. - EasternEye


The WHO has launched its first ‘World report on the health of refugees and migrants’, which presents evidence regarding the health challenges faced by migrants and refugees in their host countries. Dr Tedros, a contributor to the report, found that “experience of migration is a key determinant of health and wellbeing”, with migrants and refugees being “among the most vulnerable and neglected members of many societies”. The report, overall, found worse health outcomes for refugees and migrants, as compared to others living in their host societies. This is in part due to the fact that they often face substandard living and working conditions. - ReliefWeb


Naila, a refugee who fled Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, along with her family, have been stranded in a Kent hotel for 10 months. Whilst also praising the work of the local council, she has raised concerns about living conditions and the difficulties in caring for elderly family members in this type of shared and communal accommodation. She also reports bullying towards her nieces by children from the local secondary school. - KentLive


As the Conservative leadership contest rages on, the two remaining candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, both pledge hardline crackdowns on refugee and immigration policy. Sunak has suggested that he would introduce a cap on the amount of refugees the UK takes each year, as well as withhold aid to countries that do not take back failed asylum seekers. Truss, who is leading in the polling, said she would sign more deals with overseas countries, similar to the Rwanda deal, in order to offshore asylum seekers and refugees. - City A.M.


Bridget Chapman, media lead at the Kent Refugee Action Network, has denounced Sunak and Truss’ planned
immigration policies, and stated that she feels confident that the Rwanda policy will be found illegal by the courts. This comes after the Rwandan government announced that they are only able to take 200 people, after a £120 million payout by the UK government. - KentLive


Amnesty International's report on the horrid state of women's rights in Afghanistan - 'Death in slow motion: Women and girls under Taliban rule' - was released last week. Since the Taliban took over the country last August, girls and women have been stripped of their fundamental right to education, work and free movement. There's also been a 'surge in the rates of child, early and forced marriage' and threats, arrests, torture and forcible disappearances of 'women who peacefully protested against these oppressive rules'. Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: "This suffocating crackdown against Afghanistan’s female population is increasing day by day. The international community must urgently demand that the Taliban respect and protect the rights of women and girls." - Amnesty International


The UK Foreign Office stated it will "not provide false hope" for Afghans who helped the UK prior to the Taliban takeover last August regarding their chances to be resettled in the UK. This year, only 5,000 Afghans joined the 15,000 evacuated from Kabul last year. The UK Foreign Office stated that the reason for the delay in processing cases has been "staffing gaps in some teams for some periods" during the evacuation, and that "the impact of the crisis on staff welfare was significant". -The Guardian


US President Joe Biden has announced that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a US drone strike. Addressing the nation from the White House, Biden declared that "justice has been delivered", as al-Zawahiri has been "deeply involved in 9/11". A senior US administration official added the strike, carried out nearly a year after US troops withdrew from the country, is "a significant blow to al Qaeda and will degrade their ability to operate". - Sky News



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