Archives For Children

John Calvin by Hans Holbein the Younger

The Court of Appeal has finally grappled with the question of how to apply the best interests of children in an immigration context and given detailed guidance on how judges should approach the exercise. The judgment, in the case of EV (Philippines) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 874, is essential reading for anyone acting in or deciding immigration appeals involving children. To put it another way, in our age of anonymised initials ‘EV’ is one of the relatively rare combinations it is worth learning and remembering. Continue Reading…

Razor wire at Tinsley House

mlp-logoIn the past eighteen months Migrant Legal Project (MLP) has represented a number of Vietnamese minors on remand or serving Detention and Training Orders at Young Offender Institutes. All had been picked up for criminal offences relating to cannabis cultivation. Forced labour for cannabis cultivation is the most common form of child trafficking in the UK and Vietnam is the single largest source country for child victims of trafficking.

We have put together a short survey to assess how widespread the problem of re-trafficking, re-prosecution and removal/deportation of trafficked children is and to explore how legal practitioners currently respond. We are hugely grateful for all responses:

Continue Reading…

Picture of pills

A child referred to in court only as “Maya” is six years old. She has Spina Bifida and is very severely disabled. She also has severe learning difficulties and extremely complex needs. For the last five years she has received highly specialised medical treatment and has attended a special school in Enfield which provides her with a very high level of support. The situation of Maya and her family is a hard one.

It is a situation made all the harder by the twin facts that Maya is Algerian and that the Home Office want to send Maya back there. Continue Reading…

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This jumped out at me from the newspaper the other day:

People who may find it difficult to give their best possible evidence in a courtroom environment and all child victims will be considered in the pilot areas.

This allows them to give evidence and be cross-examined by both prosecution and defence barristers ahead of the trial, in front of a judge, and then it is shown to the jury as part of the trial.

Three crown courts – Leeds, Liverpool and Kingston-upon-Thames – are testing pre-trial cross-examination this year. Continue Reading…

The story of Yashika Bageerathi has touched many. A bright student brought to the UK by her mother with her siblings to escape domestic violence at home in Mauritius, she has a promising future here if allowed to remain. Because she has turned 18 and is no longer a child, though, the Home Office has apparently separated her case from that of her mother and siblings and is trying to enforce her return independently.

I’m seeing some pretty odd reports on Twitter, though, so thought a bit of legal background might be useful. Basically, I can’t see how an airline can refuse to take someone who would be leaving voluntarily, albeit under huge pressure from the immigration authorities. Continue Reading…

Human rights medical treatment expulsion cases are perhaps some of the most stark, most difficult and most challenging cases faced by a human rights lawyer. They concern life itself and will often involve a miserable, painful death if unsuccessful. The claimant and his or her family will be understandably desperate to succeed.

Politicians, civil servants and even judges characterise these cases as ‘health tourism’ and reply that individual cases are very sad but the NHS cannot provide universal health care for the entire world.

Human rights lawyers instructed by those reliant on medical treatment in the UK who resist removal face the difficult task of attempting to achieve a good outcome for the client in a very hostile environment amid some very unhelpful case law.

However, recent developments offer hope to some individuals. Continue Reading…

Child abduction is a criminal offence. It requires covert departure from the UK to another country, and from the abductor’s point of view preferably one that is not in Europe, not a signatory to the Hague Convention and that does not have a bilateral agreement with the UK. The incredibly extensive powers available to the High Court include ‘port stop’ orders for prevention of undetected departure or entry and obtaining various records of the abductor and family members from third parties in order to locate the missing child. All this is intended to and does make child abduction very difficult and very risky.

Some parents, though, have cottoned on to the use of a loophole in immigration laws that allow a very effective form of child abduction without any of the inconvenience. All the cases I have seen or heard of have involved a female foreign spouse. Unlike in forced marriage cases or conventional child abductions, Government officials turn a blind eye. And recent immigration law changes exacerbate the situation for victims, who are not just the stranded spouses but also the children. Continue Reading…