Migration news roundup

Date of issue: 17 January 2022

A selection of stories about migration-related policy, research and statistics from the past week. 

Stories that inspired us this week

We start and close with sport this week! The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation is offering coaching sessions to Afghan refugees in Scarborough. [Source: Scarborough News]

A local feature about Afghan families resettled in Bradford and the story of Zozan, a Kurdish refugee and journalist. [Sources: Telegraph and Argus, Good Housekeeping] 

International news

In Libya, following the closure of the UN refugee support centre in Tripoli due to crowds of migrants who would camp outside hoping for evacuation, hundreds of migrants were detained by Libyan security forces. [Source: the Observers]

A few reflections on 2021 in Europe: it was a year of increased sea migration across all routes to Europe, with the highest number of irregular crossings over the EU border since 2017. [Sources: La Croix – in French and subscription only, Frontex]

UNHCR asked French and Czech presidencies of the EU Council to prioritise protection of refugees during their presidencies this coming year. [Source: Info Migrants] 

UK borders and migration policy

Reportedly, France is now keen for an EU-UK treaty on Channel crossings – it could provide legal means for people to seek asylum in the UK and deter people from crossing the Channel in small boats, while the UK would be able to return some people seeking asylum to the EU again. Meanwhile entry routes may be shifting, with reports that some smugglers are using small aircraft instead of boats. [Sources: the Guardian, Express]

There’s further criticism of the Nationality and Borders Bill, for example on the grounds that clauses added late in the day have not had sufficient parliamentary scrutiny, and that the use of delegated powers in the Bill gives ministers the discretion to amend the legislation at a later date. [Source: The Law Society Gazette]

A government review of the Seasonal Workers Pilot identified welfare issues for employees, with one in 10 reporting that they had no access to a bathroom, kitchen and running water, raising concerns about poor conditions for migrant workers persisting in the agricultural sector. A new briefing on migrants in the UK labour market suggests that employment status, contract type and even shift types can vary according to immigration status. It further finds that in 2020, the unemployment rate was higher for migrants who have been through the asylum process [14%] than for non-EU migrants coming here for work or study [6% in each case]. [Sources: Defra/Home Office, the Guardian, Migration Observatory]

In other news, official population projections based on 2020 estimates were released for the first time since the UK left the EU, COVID-19 and Afghan relocation. It shows that the population of UK is projected to increase by 3.2% between 2020 and 2030, from 67 to 69 million. While natural change [the difference between births and deaths affecting the population total] is expected to be negative, it is projected that net migration will lead to 2.2 million people coming into the UK. An accompanying article outlines the data sources and assumptions for migration projections, warning that migration assumptions are not a forecast but a potential scenario in which future net international migration averages at a certain level. [Source: ONS]

It’s been reported that the Home Office removed at least 1,155 people via charter flights in 2021, nearly three times higher than the number in 2019. [Source: Big Issue]

Specific migrant groups

On asylum and refugees:

On young people, a news report calculates that one unaccompanied asylum seeking child a week goes missing from hotels used as temporary accommodation since July 2021. Meanwhile, there are ongoing concerns about the impact of the Nationality and Borders Bill on unaccompanied children who are at risk of trafficking, with fears that the legislation will make it harder to identify and protect victims. [Sources: Independent – subscription only, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor]

Lots of news on EU nationals this week:

[Sources: Home Office, Independent, ICIBI, Free Movement]

This article describes mixed experiences of new arrivals from Hong Kong with many underemployed and finding it difficult to adjust to British social norms. Meanwhile, rally protests for Hong Kong press freedoms have taken place across the UK including in Leeds. At Migration Yorkshire we’ve launched a learning English survey for new arrivals from Hong Kong to our region to support planning local English language learning provision. [Sources: Ejinsight, Hong Kong Free Press, Migration Yorkshire]

On Windrush, in this podcast we hear parts of Richard Amoah’s story and how the changes in immigration policies impacted his life. The podcast raises an important question relating to compensation: how can ruptures to one’s life – such as separation from family, loss of employment or housing, or damage to self-esteem – ever truly be compensated? And how much are happiness, suffering, stability and peace of mind worth? [Source: the Guardian, 37 minutes]

Cohesion and integration

 A couple of interesting articles from the Conversation this week:

[Source: The Conversation]

‘Sanctuary Strikers’ football team in Reading is promoting integration by bringing together people from different backgrounds, including refugees. [Source: Reading Chronicle]

See also

You can still check out a video collection of the stories from Yorkshire and Humber that inspired us in 2021:

If the viewer above isn't working in your browser, try switching to another browser such as Safari, Chrome or Firefox; or click this link to see this inspiring stories 2021 video directly on Vimeo.


We’ve collated points from stories in the public domain to create this page, it’s a selection and not comprehensive. For more detailed coverage of some policy issues, see our Policy briefings page



Page last updated: 17/01/2022 17:50:11

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