Blogs

‘Inexcusable’ failures in UK’s response to modern slavery

System puts survivors at risk and plays into the hands of abusers

Who is at the centre of Britain’s Modern Slavery Act?

Read our latest blog on modern day slavery

Theresa May says this snap election is about unity

Jewish experience tells us that unity must mean ensuring rights for the vulnerable

Modern Slavery – ‘Human Writes’ essay competition winners

Read the winning entries and what our judge, Joshua Rozenberg, says about them

Reflections on my internship with René Cassin

‘I became enthralled by the topic, as slavery affects so many millions of people around the world, and I know that it is something I will continue to work on in the future.’ Hannah Richter writes about her three months interning with René Cassin. Find out what she got up to below. If you are […]

Anti-Slavery Laws – and why they do not work

Why don’t anti-slavery laws prevent slavery?

Oppressing the stranger – another death in UK detention

There are community-based alternatives to the fatal inhumanity of immigration detention

‘Lost humanity? Vulnerable Women in Detention’

How immigration detention affects women – and what Jewish teaching can tell us

‘A prison in all but name’

This article is published as part of ‘Unlocking Detention’ – an annual ‘virtual’ tour of the UK’s detention estate, which aims to shine a spotlight on one of the gravest civil liberties issues in Britain today. Michael Goldin is an alumni of the René Cassin Fellowship Programme and previously worked for the JCWI. I first […]

“If they are not counted, they don’t count”

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children are significantly overrepresented in the youth criminal justice system. However, the failure to record GRT children in ethnic monitoring processes means that there is no official data on this. Indeed, the lack of data means that this overrepresentation cannot be addressed. As put plainly by the Traveller Times, “if […]

“I hate injustice” – Ruby

Ruby is generously raising money and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – the 80th anniversary of Cable Street.

“If we’re cut, we all bleed the same.” – James Masters writes about the 80th anniversary of Cable Street. For many the date of October 4 1936 is one that has slipped back into the annals of history. For others, it remains a day which will never be forgotten. Now, 80 years on since the […]

The Story of the ‘Refugee People’ is not over yet…

Kezia Niman writes about the indelible link between Jewish history and the refugee crisis

What have our Work Experience students been up to?

Have a read and find out what our brilliant work experience students Soroh, Jessica and Julia, have been doing with us this Summer…

A light has gone out of this world

Alex Goldberg, René Cassin Trustee remembers a personal encounter with Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, who died on 2 July

Disbelief, Confusion and Apprehension

“In these turbulent and uncertain times, we need to hold firm to the values that bind us together as a society. Human rights laws developed in response to tyranny and genocide.Let’s not allow them to become the victims of political agendas” René Cassin Director, Mia Hasenson-Gross, responds to Brexit with a heartfelt personal plea

Latest statistics out on global modern day slavery

How many slaves are there in the UK? Is the UK better or worse than other countries at dealing with trafficking? What type of slavery is most prevalent in the UK? Recent statistics published by the Global Slavery Index paint an interesting picture. Read Zoe Paskett’s report for more detail. You can download Zoe’s thoughts here

Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On 4 May 2016, René Cassin Trustee Alexander Goldberg spoke at the memorial seminar in honour of Clemens Nathan. Clemens was a long time friend and colleague of Monsieur René Cassin. Alex said: “Borne out of the ashes of the Shoah, Clemens … believed that the Declaration was a global attempt to proclaim the imperative ‘never again’. Never again would there be such inhumanity. Never again would a sovereign state be able to claim that it could deprive a minority of life, liberty and fundamental freedoms on the basis of their religion, ethnicity and other characteristics or be able to claim it had done this under law of the land”

From headlines to homes: media coverage and public perception of Europe’s refugee crisis

The lethal policy of immigration detention, defending the Human Rights Act … and much more – read the latest news from René Cassin – in our supporters’ newsletter, 24 February 2016

Just ‘Banter’…

‘Every instance of an ethnic slur, or a stereotype or any other attempt to discriminate against us and push us ‘back to our caravans’ should be vigorously confronted.’ Rachel Bailey writes about the Six Nations Rugby incident between Joe Marler and Samson Lee, in which Marler called Lee a ‘Gypsy Boy’ and told him to […]

40th anniversary since the death of Monsieur René Cassin

40 years ago this Saturday (20th February) the man our organisation is named after, Monsieur René Cassin passed away. Read Catherine O’Neill’s thoughts on his legacy and what her time as a René Cassin intern has taught her:     You can download her thoughts here    

APPG on Refugees meeting

On February 2, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees held a meeting to discuss the UK’s response to the refugee crisis. The meeting, titled “From Damascus to Dunkirk: Responding humanely to refugees at our border,” was packed with activists and community members, with not a single seat left unfilled. The panel consisted of five members: […]

Mental health and the Human Rights Act

‘For people who suffer from mental health issues, human rights legislation in the UK has proved a critical tool in securing justice and developing safeguards for their protection’ We looked at why the Human Rights Act has been good for those with mental health issues and what the ramifications of scrapping the Act would be […]

Happy Human Rights Day!

On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read our latest blog piece on why, 67 years on, it is as important as ever. Happy Human Rights Day!

Human Rights and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

We consider the ways in which human rights legislation affects Gypsy and Traveller Communities living in England and Wales. It is written in the context of government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. Human Rights legislation protects everyone but especially minorities within society. Any repeal or back-stepping on current protections will leave many groups […]

Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Read our latest update on policy and research developments regarding our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaign area Download the article here:Hope and Despair for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

Detention Debate in Parliament

Today, 10th September 2015, Parliament sat down to debate detention for asylum seekers and refugees. Impassioned pleas were made by over 25 MPs, from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party. All MPs who spoke commended the report and called for radical change to the detention system. There was unanimous support for the […]

#UnlockTheDebate – Alternative debate on detention

In Britain, asylum seekers can be held indefinitely in detention centres. This means that people, who have often escaped unthinkable situations to seek refuge in the UK, will not know when they will walk free once again. After being traumatised by war, imprisonment, religious persecution, torture, rape and sexual abuse, these people are trapped once […]

New Article: Creeping conservatism of UK courts in Article 8 cases

The Human Rights Act is often criticized for affording too many people the right to stay in the UK due to their right to a family life, even if they have committed crimes. Melissa Goldstein analyses recent cases surrounding Article 8 and finds that UK judges are currently interpreting Article 8 in far narrower terms. Download the […]

Religious Leaders on Immigration Detention: A Force to be Reckoned With

Leaders from René Cassin and Tzelem attended the London Church Refugee Network meeting to discuss interfaith campaigning on indefinite detention. Read more here.

From Magna Carta to Harmondsworth

From Magna Carta to Harmondsworth Article on the contradiction of celebrating the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta in an era where the UK is the only country in Europe not to have an upper time limit on detention.

Fear and prejudice here and abroad

Fear and prejudice here and abroad Gay, lesbian and bisexual asylum seekers face discrimination at every step of the process. The already harrowing experience of indefinite detention is worsened when you experience an extra layer of prejudice. The UK must do more to prevent harm coming to people seeking sanctuary on our shores.

Expert panel: How to break the chains of modern slavery?

Breaking the Chains On the 22nd of April, René Cassin was pleased to hear from renowned experts Parosha Chandran and Dr Aidan McQuade to discuss the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the future direction of anti-slavery advocacy. Chaired by Dr Rosa Freedman of Birmingham University and hosted by Berwin Leighton Paisner, the event was a great […]

There’s No Such Thing as Trivial Rights

There’s No Such Thing as Trivial Rights The Conservative Party’s proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), argues that one of the HRAs shortcomings is its failure to distinguish between serious and trivial human rights. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores how this proposed distinction contradicts the contemporary international understanding of the human […]

Protecting Parliamentary Sovereignty: A Justification for Repealing the HRA?

The legislative framework for safeguarding human rights came about because of the need to protect people from the overweening power of the state – as witnessed by Nazi and Soviet atrocities in the 20th century. The UK was one of the first countries to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by enacting the […]

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle

Hidden Detainees: the Secret Struggle There is a significant discord between the number of immigrants detained in the UK and that reflected by the official Home Office figure. This is because government statistics arbitrarily ignore an entire class of immigrant detainees: those held in Prison Service Establishments. This article, by Talina Hurzeler, explores the implications […]