This newsletter is longer than usual – that’s because René Cassin has been very busy on a number of important fronts. Our campaign to end indefinite immigration detention
was brought into sharp focus last week, with the tragic death of Amir Siman-Tov, a Moroccan Jew, at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. Amir’s death was reported in both the Jewish News
and Jewish Chronicle
and we posted a response
re-iterating our call for a detention time limit as a matter of urgency.
We have also taken our campaign to Parliament:
- Immigration Bill – we encouraged Parliamentarians to support Amendment 218 which proposes a maximum limit of 28 days’ immigration detention – read our joint letter with Tzelem here
- ‘Let the people go’ – we are planning a Pesach event in Parliament on 20 April, where leaders from across the faiths will press MPs and peers to call for a time limit on immigration detention. If you would like to get involved or want help getting your faith community involved in this event, please contact [email protected]
Need to know more about the asylum system?
We’ve been inundated with enquiries about how the UK asylum system works and how to navigate it. In response, we’re running a two-session asylum workshop – on the evenings of Monday 4 and 11 April. Attendance is free, but places are limited – more information here.
Protecting Human Rights in the UK
A government consultation on its plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights is imminent. Last month we invited former Conservative Attorney-General Dominic Grieve MP to discuss the issue with Rabbi Julia Neuberger at an event entitled ‘From the Holocaust to the Human Rights Act’.
Once they are published, René Cassin will carefully analyse the government’s proposals and we will be in touch to encourage you to respond to the consultation.
Other campaigning work
Discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities – we are working to strengthen the voice of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community advocates in Parliament. In May, we will bring together the APPGs (All Party Parliamentary Groups) on Anti-Semitism, and on Race and Community for a joint event with the APPG on Gypsy, Roma and Travellers. The meeting will discuss common threads of discrimination and expose parliamentarians to the often lesser heard policy concerns of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking – although last year’s Modern Slavery Act was a hugely welcome development, the Act failed to close a loop-hole that allows slavery to flourish – Overseas Domestic Workers’ visas which can tie vulnerable individuals to abusive employers. The government commissioned an independent report on the issue, which was published in December.
We want you to help with our campaigns
René Cassin is a small charity, but we are effective because we work in close co-operation with the Jewish Community and NGOs with similar goals. Now we are asking for your ideas, energy and time to boost the effectiveness of our campaigning work, by launching volunteer teams in each of our campaign areas:
- Asylum – indefinite detention of asylum seekers
- Discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
- Modern Day Slavery
- Preventing repeal of the Human Rights Act
If you can help by joining one of these campaign teams, please e-mail [email protected].
Monsieur René Cassin – a significant anniversary
Last Saturday we marked the 40th anniversary of our namesake’s death. The inspirational Monsieur René Cassin co-drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968.
Support our work
Although we are a small charity, we have a great deal of important work to do. We rely on the generosity of our supporters for the funds to continue our vital campaigns. Please support our work by making a donation today, via our website – http://www.renecassin.org/donate/
If you have any comments or questions about René Cassin and our work, I would love to hear from you – please email me at [email protected].