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Sorry is Not Enough -Compensation is A start Change is a Must

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SOMETIMES SORRY IS NOT ENOUGH:-

COMPENSATION IS A START BUT CHANGE IS A MUST

Sometimes an apology is simply not enough. There are thousands of people effected by adverse unreasonable Home Office decisions and policies. It has now come to light that in 2010 , the Home Office actually destroyed the Landing Cards of many of the Migrants that came from the Caribbean in 1940s. The Landing Card recorded the names of the passenger, date of birth, country of departure and details of dependent children arriving in the United Kingdom. This Landing Card was obviously an all round important document and the decision to destroy it , alongside many other adverse changes in the Immigration Rules were made under David Camerons leadership in his bid to reduce immigration figures. However, the Conservative Government in its haste to make it difficult for illegal migrants, failed to adequately involve and consult experts or the diaspora communities at its heart. Neither did they consider the basic fact that not all Undocumented Migrants are Illegal migrants.

In 2010 there was a bid by the Tory Party to reduce illegal immigration and make it difficult for undocumented migrants to live and work in the UK. There was also drastic change in the Law to make it easier to remove foreign criminals from the United Kingdom at the conclusion of their sentences. This was because many convicts were using their Rights to Private Family Life Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights to challenge decisions to remove them. At the time Theresa May was the Secretary of State for the Home Department, she had felt embarrassment after the delayed deportation of Abu Hamzah. Mrs May vowed to change things to make it easier to deport nationals and ensured anyone sentenced to more that 12 months faced automatic deportation. Mrs May had also been criticised for what were considered high migration figures and was trying to respond to the rise of ill feeling from the public about the growth in Migration. There Governments record keeping by the UK Boarder and Immigration Agency was exposed as woeful. It became apparent that records of numbers entering the UK were being maintained but not of those leaving.Therefore overstayers from student and visiting visas were clearly not being monitored. Officially the number of illegal migrants.

The official unlawful population in the UK in my personal experience is at least 2 million, made up of overtayers illegal entrants and those who are not aware of their status and do not know they are without status for example children. Migration watch quoted that ‘a former Head of Immigration Enforcement, David Wood, and a former speechwriter to the then Home Secretary (Theresa May) Alisdair Palmer claimed that the Home Office were of the opinion that each year as many as 150,000-250,000 foreign nationals fail to return home when they should or enter illegally, thus adding still further to the illegal migrant population. Up to 82% of people wanted to see stronger enforcement efforts. Plus migration figures did officially increase due to the increase in workers from the European Union and expansion of EU accession countries. At the time migrants were being blamed for the lack of jobs in the UK economy and stagnation of wages. This ill feeling grew and gave rise to the growth of UKIP and other Right Wing groups. David Cameron felt pressure to quell the shift of potential Tory voters further to these right wing factions and had to be seen to be driving down immigration.

As Theresa May was the SSHD , head of the Home Office at this time, some say the responsibility for this atrocious treatment of Windrush Generation British citizens falls squarely at her feet. The new revelation that the the Home Office ‘destroyed the Landing Cards of migrants’ from the Windrush generation may be shocking for some, but not a real surprise for experienced Immigration Lawyers that have first hand experience of Home Office Blunders. Applicants documents are lost and in the past there have been allegations of corruption. Mat Hancock, the Culture Secretary confirmed the Home Office made this decision to destroy the Landing cards was ‘for Data Protection’. Such an erroneous decision must have been made by a Senior figures which in itself calls into question competency of those working at the Home Office. It is unclear why such important items were not scanned. One can conclude from the information that this decision to destroy such key documents was wither a Mistake, Negligence as the decision maker did not appreciate the consequence or Deliberate – either way it was negligent possibly Malfeasance.

Another excuse that was mentioned by the Culture Secretary was that UK Immigration and Boarders Agency was not part of the Home Office and within the Governments effort to improve and gain control of UKBA , the Home Office took over control of administration of UKBA including, old files, clearly destroyed documents and even brought in contractors (many were not experts in immigration). The Government also went further by reforming Immigration Law and repealing many of the routes to settlement that were available for undocumented migrants and their children. This was also coupled with increased fees and notifications to third parties . Many of these notifications were erroneous for example some sent to the DVLA notifying them that individual has no right to be in the country, access NHS treatment or Benefits. 

People reading and that have never had to deal with the Home Office may find it hard to understand why so many migrants did not sort themselves out after being here for so many years , in some cases Centuries. However people need to understand that the Windrush migrants were told they were British. Many other undocumented migrants became vulnerable, fell out with family and became isolated lacked the means and resources to secure their status. Others were unfortunately misinformed about 2012 there was a major change to the Immigration Rules and many migrants were unaware. There was not much publicity and many did not know the requirements and need to urgently secure documentation to confirm their status. Undocumented migrants still have series of barriers to proving their status. Many first had to deal with disbelief, then shock, loss of employment, embarrassment, stress, financial stress barrier to accessing benefits and on top of all of that find and afford an experienced Lawyer able to make representations to the Home Office. Also afford to bring a claim against the Home Office for Errors.

Due to the reduction in Legal Aid and the fact that ‘Settlement’ within Legal Aid immigration is not within the funding scope in other words it is not covered. This meant most migrants facing challenges had to pay for Expert Immigration Advice if they were not claiming Asylum or Humanitarian Protection under the Human Rights Act. This left many migrants vulnerable and caused a growth in opportunists who pretended to be solicitors and experienced advisers and unfortunately many ran off with people money and even worse with peoples documents. In addition due to the historic nature of the cases many applicants had a lack of documentation due to moving, passage of time and the assertion that they were already British or at least presumed they would be recognised as settled having lived and contributed to their communities. It is hard to explain to people that have been in the United kingdom for centuries, with National Insurance numbers, children and grand children that they were not considered British, settled and that they were even being asked to leave the United Kingdom. The factual history of many cases meant parents or people that initially brought them into the UK were no longer here. There were also missing documents (which we now know some of which were destroyed), changes at the Home Office and delays in assisting. There was even difficulty in obtaining Subject Access from the Home Office (copy of the individual Home Office file). Subject Access was also restricted, it costs 10 GBP and you need to have photographic identification or the form needed to be signed by a solicitor that knew you.

Unfortunately, the conservative government went even further and the real knife that cut away rights and access to fair treatment for undocumented migrants was in 2014, when government removed protective legislation that was available under the Immigration Rules for those who came during the 1960s and 70. The rules also adversely effected illegal immigrants that had been in the UK for more than 10 years , young adults under 25 unless they had spent half of their life in the UK and children even those here for over 7 years would need to be removed unless they could show barriers to reintegration in their countries of origin. In addition the fees were dramatically increased and fees were also put in appeals. The Government did not do a detailed assessment on the impact of these massive immigration policy changes on the the ethnic communities that would be most affected. Many NGOs and Lawyers like myself did report concerns at the adverse effects these changes would have. These concerns that were expressed clearly fell on deaf ears. The Home Office closed an organisation that advised people facing problems called ‘Choices’ and it funded its own hand selected Community Representatives and Leads and also put money into Voluntary return schemes. The Voluntary Return Schemes unlike Choices did not give advice to migrants. The Government were more concerned about removing people than the adverse impact immigration policy was having.

The fact is these changes in immigration policy meant many people could not afford to challenge decisions as the burden of proof in Immigration is on the applicant. This balance of the legal burden was not shifted despite the fact that the Home Office knew, especially in the case of the Windrush applicants, that they had destroyed the evidence that these people needed to win their cases. When you cannot prove your entitlement to an immigration status you can be served with an IS96 document and notice requiring you to live at an address and report to an Immigration Officer. If you feel you are being treated unfairly or it is wrong you can complain, send a Letter Before Action and follow Protocol before applying to the High Court for a Judicial Review of the unfair decision – within 3 months of it being made. However this is expensive and can cost thousands of pounds and if you happen to be detained at the time or not able to work it means you may not have the means to make this challenge. If you give in the most you can try to do is make an application to regularise your status £1033 PLUS an NHS surcharge fee of £500. Alternatively they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) which is £2,297 but if you do not meet the set criteria discretion can be applied however you will need to show exceptional circumstances and it again is not guaranteed. AND if these applications are refused you can appeal with a fee of £140 to an Immigration Judge. The Judge will look at what was submitted with the application and usually will not look at new material. All of the fees apply equally to children. There are fee waivers available for the homeless and vulnerable but it must be stressed that the waivers are not automatic and are sometime refused.

This means many people cannot afford help and simply give up especially after being detained. Condition’s in detention are deplorable. Many have died trying to prevent themselves from being deported and sadly some of those that died due to excessive force were actually being deported in Error. The UK stopped detaining families in 2012 (children under 16years stopped 2013), but currently many people are still are wrongfully detained due to administrative errors , those with mental health and other issues treated badly. Detained applicants cannot make new bail applications for 28 days if one is refused. Cases are delayed for probation reports lack of Home Office Presenting officers lack of judges and even lack of court time. Applications should be processed within 6-8 weeks. But standard letters ask you not to contact then within 6 months. Some applications take over 18 months to consider. I have seen applications take over 4 years! During 2016 it was taking a year from an Appeal being lodged to getting an Appeal being heard. Currently it could take up to a year to also get a decision. So you can imagine after paying for an application and paying for an appeal you can be waiting for over 4 years through no fault of your own for justice and in that time not allowed to work.

It should be appreciated that children that went into care of the local authority or with parents that were not documented become easily disenfranchised from society. Many were excluded from accessing higher Education even when granted limited leave and discretionary to remain until Justice4Kids supported Beaurish Tigere. On 29 July 2015, the Supreme Court issued a judgment compelling student fiance to grant her and other young persons with discretionary fiance to access Higher Education. But many families cannot afford the high immigration application fees talk less of legal challenged. Many families with the new increased fee charges simply cannot not make applications to remain because it is beyond their reach. This is leading to many illegal status, becoming disenfranchised from society and also joining gangs and ISIS. The governments immigration policy has excluded so many from accessing resources in society and ultimately justice. Those students that are subject to immigration  control are of high risk of poverty and vulnerability, that can lead to challenging behaviour in school. Unfortunately once they are removed from main stream schooling or that fall into the care system, they can become targets of groomers for sexual exploitation and also gang activity. A recent case in the UK has sough to use Modern Day Slavery legislation to prosecute gang leaders who held vulnerable young people and made them sell drugs.

Often because of increased Enforcement and Immigration checks these young people and adults are moved out of London, held captive or made to work for pittance to survive. Others that get caught and arrested an sentenced to periods longer than 12 months face automatic Deportation (even when they have indefinite leave to remain). Initially it was held that Deportation Appeals could be heard once the individual had left /been removed from the United Kingdom. This meant you had to leave and appeal from your country of origin and for many the trauma, lack of facilities and ability to communicate with lawyers and cost made it impossible for them to have a fair hearing. Again things only changed when the Supreme Court recently overturned this so that most deportation appeal hearings where the Appellant has family life an exceptional circumstances, are now heard in country.

It should be noted that when the Government/home office looses at the Upper tribunal and upwards ie High Court, Court of Appeal , Supreme Court and European Court of Justice they have to pay costs. But, it is not in all cases they have to pay compensation this usually has to come under a separate civil claim for damages. The Home Office also has a Parliamentary Ombudsman Scheme and people are encouraged to apply to them for compensation but the whole compensation process is slow and needs to be dealt with diligently by an expert because of the assessment of liability causation and quantum.

The Brexit campaign further turned the Immigration into a dirty word. Immigration was labeled again for Britain’s poor Economic performance. Migrants blamed for lack of housing , lack of funding in the NHS and every other problems across the board. UKIP fulled the Migrant argument. The vote to leave the EU in 2016 made the government feel its hard stance on immigration was justified. Despite the loss of workers to the NHS , farming and across the service industry, the false narrative about immigration did not change. Government only wanted to be able to present reduced immigration figures to satisfy the public. If they had carried out a proper exercise of assessing the administrative, social welfare impact of these legislative changes they would have realised they were removing access to fair consideration to thousands of people. It is important to understand that the Government did consult lawyers and allegedly discussed with member of the Ethnic communities. However the Government did not listen to the advice from NGOs and Lawyers about the negative impact of the legislation. Neither did they take action despite having complaints from individuals, cases coming to the press of wrongful detentions or the wave of applicants or large number of appeals generated by adverse and unfair decisions. Some feel they did not have the case worker to deal with issues as they were dealing with the deluge of EEA settlement applications. Also it is clearly wrong for the Government to hand pick representatives from the Ethnic communities to discuss these hand picked individuals are not always objective or best experienced to advise them on adverse effects. The Government has announced a the launch of a Hot Line and are investigating close to 50 cases with more coming forward. The Home Secretary Amber Rudd also announced that there will be an Amnesty for victims of the Windrush fiasco but it is not enough as so many more Migrants are effected by adverse immigration policy and decisions. Further, the terms of this suggested Amnesty have not been spelt out.

The Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot is taking action and is holding meeting in the communities effected. David Lammy, MP for Tottenham gave a monumental speech in the House of Commons on the issue and failing of the home office calling for urgent action and leading to an apology from the current Home Secretary Amber Rudd. However the current Home secretary refused to confirm who gave the instructions to destroy the landing cards when asked, she has however promised urgent action. Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities has been asking for assurance that there will be detailed consultation in the impact of government legislation on Ethnic Minorities going forward.

I have personally discussed with Ms Butler my concerns about Equality legislation post Brexit because of the cases that we have been presented with. Also historically complained to many members of Government and the home office about the unfair treatment of Migrants and established AFFIRM Human Rights referral service for those who need help. www.affirmhumanrights.org

As a result of the adverse changes to immigration legislation, thousands of people living here in United Kingdom here with Citizenship that has been revoked or threatened with deportation, Settled, Awaiting decisions and Appealing decisions have on occasion wrongly been stripped of their rights. These rights at times include their right to liberty, to work , access benefits and even to drive. Many others migrants suffered delay stress and Trauma. If you are affected by unfair delay, wrongful detention or adverse immigration policy, let Obaseki Solicitors help you. It is not just the Windrush Generation that have been effected by adverse Home Office decisions but many others. Our experts are able to:-

1.  Give Expert Immigration Advice and Representation

2.  Advise on Malfeasance, Negligence Wrongful Detention and Breach of Duty by Public Body or third party.

3. Bring claims for compensation for delay on applications/assessments, negligence/malfeasance, wrongful detention and inhumane treatment. If effected you should get resolve and ask for compensation. So many have suffered delays in Home Office decision making and should complain.

Everyone whether documented or not is entitled to fair treatment and if you or your family have been mistreated, disenfranchised and wrongly excluded from society and resources, we can help you get justice. The apology from the Home Secretary is important but does not cover losses or compensate for stress. It is very little very very late.

Everyone whether documented or not is entitled to fair treatment and if you or your family have been mistreated, disenfranchised and wrongly excluded from society and resources, we can help you get justice. The apology from the Home Secretary is important but does not cover losses or compensate for stress. It is very little very very late.  – If affected inbox me or email info@obasekisolicitors.com or call 02077397549 or 07956414488 www.obasekisolicitors.com

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www.obasekisolicitors.com

Not to be used or disseminated without prior permission

By Jennifer Ariowa Obaseki Copywrite©JenniferObaseki

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Sign Petitions for the reduction of Home Office fees

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Thank you 


Austerity x Covid19 ÷ Stress = Death

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Austerity x Covid19 ÷ Stress = Death

Much more is needed for migrants & the vulnerable! Boris imagine if you did not have more than £16k stashed away and needed to apply for universal credit. If manage to log on to the. Gov. Portal, set up an account, make a universal credit claim and can wait till it is processed will you might just be alright. But, if not you can call friends & family for help. If they cant assist and in the same boat as you then you may need to get help from the bank. But branches are closed so if you have used the last money on your oyster to check family or bank branches well sorry. Food banks are closed too so i hope you have stocked up some food. You can call the bank and ask for an overdraft. However the average call waiting time maybe over 1 hour. Social services may help. If you still have credit on your phone, call them. After listening to the councils automated message, they may ask you to apply for help online and if you still have data, then fine, till you need to top up again. Sadly, if you run out of electricity, data, credit or food till you get your Universal payment processed, you will realise we are not all in this together. Many are marginalised and suffering. Rethink your policies otherwise more will die of hunger as, austerity x Covid = DEATH!


Affirm Human Rights-NEWSLETTER June 2018

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Affirm Human Rights -NEWSLETTER June 2018

Subscribe : http://www.affirmhumanrights.org/

So far 2018 has highlighted many human rights issues that many parts of the world, particularly the United Kingdom, have to deal with. With the Windrush Generation and unsettling problems to do with Brexit, the UK’s current immigration issues seem to be never-ending. The move of the US embassy to Jerusalem and the continuous attacks in Gaza is causing an increase in volume of unjust treatment of human rights.

Event 12 September 2018 Alternatives to the Hostile Environment

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/alternatives-to-the-hostile-immigration-environment-part-3-the-publics-submissions-to-the-government-tickets-48798918880

AFFIRM HUMAN RIGHTS- Alternatives to the Hostile Environment back on at House of Commons 12th September 2018 @pm reserve your place and receive our questionnaire on what immigration policy changes you want the government to make – Jennifer Obaseki

The Ongoing Issue Windrush Generation

People who had arrived in the UK from 1948 to 1971 from Caribbean colonies have now been labelled the Windrush Generation. Named after MV Empire Windrush which was the ship which landed in Tilbury Docks in Essex on the 22nd of June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean colonies as a response to post-war labour shortages in the UK. The ship carried 492 passengers and many of them were children who were undocumented, so it is unknown how many people actually belong to the generation. Currently there are 500,000 people resident in the UK who were born in Commonwealth countries, who arrived before 1971. According to the estimates by The Oxford University’s Migration Observation, this also includes Windrush arrivals.

Due to the fact that most of the Windrush generation were mostly children and never applied for travel documents once in the UK, most people aged 47 to 70, do not have to valid documents to provide evidence of permission to continue working, receiving treatment from the NHS and even staying in the UK. The changes in the Immigration laws in 2012, which now require people to have documentation to work, access benefits and rent, has now left several of the Windrush generation fearful of their future today. Many people now from the Generation have been detained or have been threatened to be deported. The Home Office has not been careful or given any good advice to those who could face deportation. The Windrush Generation has worked and lived in this country since they were able to do so, so why is it a problem now? The Government has many people afraid of their future life, especially with finalized Brexit deals starting to arise, the fate the many thousands of Windrush Generation lies in the hands of the Government. Many people who belong to the generation have built their lives and now have family in the UK. Now they fear that their lives which, have being built for so many years, will come to an end. With the 70th Anniversary fast approaching, the relationship between Britain and its once colony Jamaica is now strained due to the treatment of those who travelled on 22nd June 1948 and afterwards.

BUT Sorry is Not Enough – Compensation is a start change is a Must #Fair Immigration Policy

Windrush highlighted the number of unfair issues Migrants are facing such as ,High home office fees, delays, unreasonable restrictions (driving/ renting and opening bank accounts), family separation and even prevention from accessing the NHS treatment! Many of these issues are highlighted in the editors detailed Article:-https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sorry-enough-compensation-start-change-must-obaseki-solicitors/

The move of the US Embassy in Israel

Towards the end of 2017, the US President Donald Trump ordered the immediate move of the US Embassy in Israel from the capital city Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This indicates that the US believes that Jerusalem to be  the Israeli capital. Whether this was for peace or whether it was due to the President’s and his government religious influence, the announcement on December 6th created uproar between the Israelis and Palestinian. The move supports the Israelis as they believe that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel while the Palestinians believe that East Jerusalem should be the capital of their future state. The move creates religious conflict. Although the US President said the move would encourage other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem and create peace, it had an opposite effect. The opening of the new Jerusalem-based embassy was on  14th May and included many guest like President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. The move and opening ceremony caused Palestinian protests to take place and ended up with the fatal shooting of seven Palestinian.

Gaza Attacks Although many people may have not know the full details about the Gaza- Israeli issue although the problem itself had started in 2006. The current attacks between Israeli Troops and Palestinian resistance protesters are relentless.  

The rates of death are increasing by the day. The amount of innocent people dying over conflict between two states can never be justified. On the 15th May 2018 Gaza faced so some of its deadliest violence unrest since February. With 58 people killed by Israeli force amid protests and over 2,700 people were injured in the violence and the following day, the day the funeral, a further two deaths were reported.

The protests and deaths were on the 70th Anniversary of the creation of Israel and was also the day of the ‘historic’ move of the US embassy but also  the day that the Palestinians call ‘Nakba’ or ‘catastrophe’ which commentates the over 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in the war which followed their foundation. The only way of stopping the violence and stopping the killing and death is to work to settle the conflict, but that doesn’t seem like it will happened.  Jeremy Corbyn has been under fire by Jewish leaders and the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netayahu. There has been on going criticism due to anti-Jewish rhetoric and Labour redefining antisemitisim away from the global definition. Leaders actions the row is threatening to engulf the labour party. Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for not taking sufficient action against party members alleged to have stirred up hatred with anti-Jewish rhetoric and also being criticised for his actions in 2014 laying a wreath at a ceremony for Palestinian fighters and victims from Israel’s aggression. Tensions remain high but Jeremy Corbyn  stressed that both sides in the conflict have committed horrible acts and dialogue needs to be encouraged.   

BREXIT PROGRESS !

 Easy EEA applications and Fast Lane for UK passport holders  Theresa May announces there will be smooth online application processes for the EEA Nationals wanting to remain in the UK post BREXIT.  Mrs May also recently confirmed that UK passport holders will have an express lane at Uk immigration boarder posts.

This will come as some comfort as recently Heathrow were critices as queuing time at boarder control reached 2.5 hours https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45165222

Global Toughening of Immigration Law and Growth of the far right from Europe to Australia!

There has been growth of far right political groups and success and election ballots in countries across Europe. Recently there has been toughening of immigration policies globally  America has restricted migrants from a number of countries from entering the USA. There was world wide condemnation of Trump after he directed that children of illegal immigrants be separated and detained. The policy was nothing less that child abuse and footage of children in cages went viral. Over 1500 children remain separated from their parents. Italian, Malta and Spain all refused a ship with over 200 migrants to dock in their ports. Eventually France accepted the migrants. Now Australia known for Camping asylum seekers in Islands off the coast of the country had a senator make an outlandish comment suggesting an immigration debate including an issue in banning Muslims. He goes on to make other outlandish statements such as Australia is the best example o multiculturalism in the world.

Many of these nations where there is this anti muslim or racial tentions tend to not accurately analyses the history of the indigenous people or oppressions that the migrants[OS1]  have faced 

Fundraiser by Jennifer Ariowa Obaseki : TPS- GO HOME with Dignity

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Gang Violence is a form of GBV- BUT – What is the Solution?

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By Jennifer Obaseki August 2018

Deaths from gang violence across the United Kingdom is increasing at an alarming rate. In Northern cities of Birmingham and Leeds there has been a decrease in activity however, in Manchester and London Gang activity and feuds have seen a high rise in the number of deaths. Gang activity has also spilled out from London into suburbs into commuter towns due to competition, resettlement of members and the United Kingdom’s populations consistent appetite for drugs.

Much of the stabbings and shootings as a result of Gang activity has not just killed Gang members but sadly many innocent members of the public. Lives have been lost as a result of mistaken identity or simply being caught in the crossfire. But in London gang activity has been brought to the forefront.

Within this article I will analyse some reasons why people join gangs, factors that have fuelled the growth of London Gangs, how they are resourced and possible solutions. As I was making notes about this article there was a stabbing outside my office, the second that week! Having grown up, lived and worked as lawyer off what was and still is called, ‘Murder Miles’, (Elephant& castle straight down to Enfield town), I do have direct knowledge and experience in order to comment. 

“As I was making notes about this article there was a stabbing outside my office, the second that week!”

 Why is Gang Violence a form of GBV?

Gender Based Violence GBV is not a term exclusively used to define crimes perpetrated against females. Acronyms VAW violence against women and GBV are often used interchangeably whereas the Gang Violence we are seeing currently in London is a form of GBV as it is a form of violence including physical abuse and trafficking by a dominant controlling party and it is targeted at majority males and in the case of London ‘Black Males’. However, because it is mainly Black on Black violence people have criticised the poor nature of response from police and government. Cities like New York managed to significantly reduce gang violence when it was deemed a health issue. Given the awful death rates in London and the wider adverse effect gangs have had on communities, it is questionable why Gang crime in London has not been classified as an emergency GBV health issue. Only when gang crime is properly classified will proper state wide initiatives be constructed to deal with the issue. Community groups and social initiatives are not having the necessary significant effect in deterring membership and reducing use of weapons, reduce trafficking, reduce he specific targeting of minors and deaths. 

The statistics show that black males make an average of 13% of the local population in the South East yet make up more than 50% of the victims and perpetrators of Gang violence. This means it is an attack or get attacked culture in some areas. 

Most commonly GBV is inflicted by men on women and girls, so many people especially women’s rights activists would object to gang crime being put under the same umbrella. However, the dynamics of gangs in inner city London has changed so dramatically that it should be.

Factors leading to gangs growth and influence

Most GBV is inflicted by men on women and girls but the dynamics of gangs in inner city London has changed significantly from the 1990s with female gangs and female gang leaders, influx of migrants from Africa central Europe and Asia as a result of global conflicts legitimate migration meant by 2000s there was a solid divergence of gang culture. The British families lived alongside new arrivals eventually mixing and creating a cross demographic within inner cities.

Each gang members were once and innocent child so the factors that lead to gang membership and growth need to be accurately analysed. But when you focus on the psychology of London gang member and the social economic and political factors that have persisted in the last 20 years it is clear that London Gang Violence is not a shocking phenomenon but an inevitable consequence of failed government specifically welfare, education, social, immigration, policing policies. The families of gang members (that have not joined for protection or influence) all tend to have similar social backgrounds and problems lack of household income as a result of government cutbacks and had to deal with Austerity ((1) 2006). Then the few that were just surviving were further crushed by the Recession and massive job losses robbing of pension funds 2008When a parent is out looking for work or working as many hours as they can and there are no childcare or youth clubs the streets and the internet can be a fertile ground to influence young minds for band and for good but where the child will gravitate and what will impact the child’s mind is simple, it is subjective influences, objective influences and need.

 Growth of Gangs and their influence on Youth

London Gangs have changed from the feisty cuffs, occasional shootings and racially divided groups of the 60s. There has been an evolution due to factors such as migration, female equality and the internet. Female gangs and female gang leaders, influx of migrants from Africa, central Europe and Asia as a result of global conflicts legitimate migration meant by 2000s there was a solid divergence of gang culture. Most recently the Australian far right senator spoke of banning migrants from Australia blaming, them for increased gang activity. In Europe we have seen the growth of political parties and again blaming groups/ gangs of migrants for criminal activities. However, many of these political factions fail to accurately analyses history, usually missing out periods of oppression, discrimination and failures in government policy. The fact is if you any group of people, but especially vulnerable migrants in an area without ensuring it does not become deprived (with poor housing and lack of social economic resources) and then discriminate against directly or indirectly, they are likely to congregate and retaliate in various ways.

The evolution of London Gangs has been from the 60s. British families lived alongside new arrivals despite barriers there has been a fusion of culture and cohesion of diaspora communities, creating a cross demographic within inner cities. It is important to remember each gang member was once and innocent child. Factors that lead that child into gang membership and the growth of gangs needs to be accurately analysed. It is therefore important to focus on the psychology of the average London gang member (currently aged 12years to mid-30s) is increasing! Meaning members are staying or committed for longer period. The social economic and political factors that have persisted in that individual’s life in their formidable 20 is key to forming their character. It is clear that London Gang Violence is not a shocking phenomenon but on analysis it is an inevitable consequence of failed government specifically welfare, education, social, immigration, policing policies.

Those gang members that are, ‘Average’ tend to come from more influential households not reliant on state schooling or support in anyway. Therefore, these individuals join gangs for protection influence or alternatively because of the aims and ideology of the group, (Religion, Music). The families of average gang members (that have not joined for protection or influence) tend to have similar ‘social’ backgrounds not limited but including common problems lack of household income as a result of government cutbacks, had to deal with Austerity in the 2000s. During this time families that were just surviving in this period were later crushed by the recession in 2008 and the massive job losses that followed. But other social ills were seen as depletion of pension funds 2008, bank crashes and fat cats simply getting fatter which demonstrated to the youth of the day that hard work does not necessity pay.

When a parent is out looking for work or working as many hours as they can without affordable childcare or have local youth clubs closed, then the streets and the internet can become fertile grounds to influence their children’s young minds either for band and for good. What will impact the child’s mind and actions is very simple, it is the subjective influences, objective influences and the child’s needs. The economic recession in United Kingdom and continued growth of the poverty gap means we had a generation of highly vulnerable children with extensive needs. The disconnect and in fact omission by politicians, front line workers coupled with the lack of training meant the growth of gangs happened before their very eyes. Children in these families either pulled through or realised, living on the edge they could always not rely on the state.

The UKs climb out of the recession was assisted by a combination of factors including growth of the underground economy, sustenance of EU workers as well as government fiscal measures. But then as more jobs and employment opportunity grew it was restricted by hesitation in investment and lack of stability and need for automation in the digital age. This lead to the birth of the gig economy, zero hours and work instability. More importantly the youth now young adults no longer had grants like their parents to go to university and could also see that a job is no longer for life and hard work and honesty did not always pay. 

 Children from ethnic families were more vulnerable and susceptible to gangs and radicalisation in this period. Alongside the economic barriers being experienced by all, ethnic families also continued to face discrimination, institutional racism and abuse so some gangs did grow specifically with racial divides. Different ethnic groups that were once divided 9 Jamaican, West African, East African, North African Turkish, Kurdish, Greek, Irish eastern, European and Russian AND Romanian, YOUTH began sympathising with each other, collaborating for common causes and ultimately gangs working strategically along parts of their operations together to secure results and profits. These factors are exactly why, at the same time there was a growth of radicalisation.

The economic recession in United Kingdom and continued growth of the poverty gap meant we had a generation of vulnerable children with needs. The disconnect between politicians front line workers (social workers police and lack of training and funding) and families living on the edge made people feel they could not rely on the state. So we had few families and individuals that managed to survive the main stream and those that did not  

 The UKs climb out of the recession was assisted by a combination of factors including growth of the underground economy, sustenance of EU workers as well as government fiscal measures. But then as more jobs and employment opportunity grew it was restricted by hesitation in investment and lack of stability and need for automation in the digital age. This lead to the birth of the gig economy, zero hours and work instability. More importantly the youth now young adults no longer had grants like their parents to go to university and could also see that a job is no longer for life and hard work and honesty did not always pay. 

Children from ethnic families were more vulnerable and susceptible to gangs and radicalisation. This is due to the fact that alongside the economic barriers being experienced by all, ethnic families also continued to face discrimination, institutional racism and abuse. Different ethnic groups that were once divided began sympathising with each other, collaborating for common causes and ultimately gangs working together to secure profits. These factors are exactly why at the same time there was a growth of radicalisation.

 The factors that lead to growth in gangs and extremist organisations and radicalisation are very similarThe psychology of the any adult gang members today has come from a generation that has seen the government wage War against counties based on false information with no repercussions, seen unfairness delayed enquiries, discrimination, gentrification and lack of social justice, witnessing deaths in police, custody abuse of police power, stop and search topped off with austerity recession. Meaning the generation growing up seeing their parents struggling with these issues not just opted out of the rat race but were already disenfranchised from mainstream society.

 By the time these children had become young adults they had lost faith in the state and had a level of reliability security from the gangs and therefor a level of allegiance. These Gangs were not just a place to hang out but also provided a listening ear, a pack mentality so instantly made them as individuals more confident and stronger. Also the members had common issues and in some cases had like mines that shared their more radical views. Hence the Group /Gang /Cell starts catering for their NEEDS and they did not feel disenfranchised. These notions and justifications for affiliating with gangs was fuelled when there was implementation of tougher immigration 2012 rules and continuation of austerity and then growth of gentrification by the state making many inner city homes unaffordable meant the states negative actions were personal and in their homes.

The state as a result is seen by some gang members as the common enemy, the perpetrator of the groups’, leading to increased rebellion against the state. Fusion of ethnic groups and digital technology has also propelled the growth of gangs. The sheer lack of understanding and underestimation of the reach and power of gangs has meant they have grown into organised entities with significant control not just on estates, local streets and boroughs but in actual sectors of the mainstream and underground economies.

 Factors leading to Gang membership

The risk of losing their lives, being arrested and even deported has not deterred the rapid growth in gang membership. Gang membership is not always an independent wilful choice. Sometimes memberships subscribe to due protection, poverty and duress. But the growth in the poverty gap has a meant many gang members have it as the only option in situations of poverty. The Historical hierarchy of gangs and gang structures specifically in the UK has changed. Gone are the days that Mediterranean and middle eastern gangs stuck to import and distribution of drugs and people. Irish and English gangs clearing and dividing dictating distribution channels and Asian and black gangs owning territories. Many gangs are no longer divided along ethnic or borough lines meaning the police have not limited intelligence among foot soldiers. Informants now so valuable that they have the power over officers leaving the police constantly on the back foot on key illegal activities of trafficking, prostitution drug distribution and robberies.

Difference between Radicalisation and criminalisation

Distinctions between radical groups and gangs are not so obvious. Is a gang a radicalised group are radicalised groups gangs? They do have many common traits, but the aims and ideology between the groups is sometimes the only distinction. Harmful extremist views are reflected in both criminal gangs, religious extremist groups and racists groups. All have common traits. But is the aims and objectives of the group that distinguish the groups but vulnerability, membership pack mentality illegal activity are all common traits of. 

Power and influence amongst gangs is now fused, it is about equal opportunity and bring in profits no matter your ethnicity or your sex. In addition, the growth of the digital age has brought gang activity profits and notoriety to the public domain with many members flaunting cash and jewellery on social media as an advertising tool for recruitment. The fact is many of the low level foot soldiers are astute, skilled digitally and want more so want to rise fast within the ranks to gain respect and authority. Way you rise are activities which includes committing crimes including murder but also money laundering and innovation because gangs have graduated and realised cash is king.

 If effected by any issues or for more information email: solicitors@legalpaal.com


Affirm Human Rights- Summer 2018

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June 2018

Subscribe: http://www.affirmhumanrights.org/

So far 2018 has highlighted many human rights issues that many parts of the world, particularly the United Kingdom, have to deal with. With the Windrush Generation and unsettling problems to do with Brexit, the UK’s current immigration issues seem to be never-ending. The move of the US embassy to Jerusalem and the continuous attacks in Gaza is causing an increase in volume of unjust treatment of human rights.

Event 12 September 2018 Alternatives to the Hostile Environment

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/alternatives-to-the-hostile-immigration-environment-part-3-the-publics-submissions-to-the-government-tickets-48798918880

AFFIRM HUMAN RIGHTS- Alternatives to the Hostile Environment back on at House of Commons 12th September 2018 @pm reserve your place and receive our questionnaire on what immigration policy changes you want the government to make – Jennifer Obaseki

The Ongoing Issue Windrush Generation

People who had arrived in the UK from 1948 to 1971 from Caribbean colonies have now been labelled the Windrush Generation. Named after MV Empire Windrush which was the ship which landed in Tilbury Docks in Essex on the 22nd of June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean colonies as a response to post-war labour shortages in the UK. The ship carried 492 passengers and many of them were children who were undocumented, so it is unknown how many people actually belong to the generation. Currently there are 500,000 people resident in the UK who were born in Commonwealth countries, who arrived before 1971. According to the estimates by The Oxford University’s Migration Observation, this also includes Windrush arrivals

Due to the fact that most of the Windrush generation were mostly children and never applied for travel documents once in the UK, most people aged 47 to 70, do not have to valid documents to provide evidence of permission to continue working, receiving treatment from the NHS and even staying in the UK. The changes in the Immigration laws in 2012, which now require people to have documentation to work, access benefits and rent, has now left several of the Windrush generation fearful of their future today. Many people now from the Generation have been detained or have been threatened to be deported. The Home Office has not been careful or given any good advice to those who could face deportation. The Windrush Generation has worked and lived in this country since they were able to do so, so why is it a problem now? The Government has many people afraid of their future life, especially with finalized Brexit deals starting to arise, the fate the many thousands of Windrush Generation lies in the hands of the Government. Many people who belong to the generation have built their lives and now have family in the UK. Now they fear that their lives which, have being built for so many years, will come to an end. With the 70th Anniversary fast approaching, the relationship between Britain and its once colony Jamaica is now strained due to the treatment of those who travelled on 22nd June 1948 and afterwards.

BUT Sorry is Not Enough – Compensation is a start change is a Must #Fair Immigration Policy

Windrush highlighted the number of unfair issues Migrants are facing such as, high home office fees, delays, unreasonable restrictions (driving/ renting and opening bank accounts), family separation and even prevention from accessing the NHS treatment! Many of these issues are highlighted in the editors detailed Article:-https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sorry-enough-compensation-start-change-must-obaseki-solicitors/

The move of the US Embassy in Israel

Towards the end of 2017, the US President Donald Trump ordered the immediate move of the US Embassy in Israel from the capital city Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This indicates that the US believes that Jerusalem to be the Israeli capital. Whether this was for peace or whether it was due to the President’s and his government religious influence, the announcement on December 6th created uproar between the Israelis and Palestinian. The move supports the Israelis as they believe that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel while the Palestinians believe that East Jerusalem should be the capital of their future state. The move creates religious conflict. Although the US President said the move would encourage other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem and create peace, it had an opposite effect. The opening of the new Jerusalem-based embassy was on 14th May and included many guest like President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. The move and opening ceremony caused Palestinian protests to take place and ended up with the fatal shooting of seven Palestinian.

Gaza Attacks

Although many people may have not known the full details about the Gaza- Israeli issue although the problem itself had started in 2006. The current attacks between Israeli Troops and Palestinian resistance protesters are relentless. he rates of death are increasing by the day. The amount of innocent people dying over conflict between two states can never be justified. On the 15th May 2018 Gaza faced so some of its deadliest violence unrest since February. With 58 people killed by Israeli force amid protests and over 2,700 people were injured in the violence and the following day, the day the funeral, a further two deaths were reported.

The protests and deaths were on the 70th Anniversary of the creation of Israel and was also the day of the ‘historic’ move of the US embassy but also the day that the Palestinians call ‘Nakba’ or ‘catastrophe’ which commentates the over 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in the war which followed their foundation. The only way of stopping the violence and stopping the killing and death is to work to settle the conflict, but that doesn’t seem like it will happen. Jeremy Corbyn has been under fire by Jewish leaders and the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. There has been on going criticism due to anti-Jewish rhetoric and Labour redefining anti-Semitism away from the global definition. Leaders actions the row is threatening to engulf the labour party. Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for not taking sufficient action against party members alleged to have stirred up hatred with anti-Jewish rhetoric and also being criticised for his actions in 2014 laying a wreath at a ceremony for Palestinian fighters and victims from Israel’s aggression. Tensions remain high but Jeremy Corbyn stressed that both sides in the conflict have committed horrible acts and dialogue needs to be encouraged.  

BREXIT PROGRESS!

Easy EEA applications and Fast Lane for UK passport holders  

Theresa May announces there will be smooth online application processes for the EEA Nationals wanting to remain in the UK post BREXIT. Mrs May also recently confirmed that UK passport holders will have an express lane at UK immigration border posts. This will come as some comfort as recently Heathrow were critics as queuing time at boarder control reached 2.5 hours

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45165222

Global Toughening of Immigration Law and Growth of the far right from Europe to Australia!

There has been growth of far right political groups and success and election ballots in countries across Europe. Recently there has been toughening of immigration policies globally; America has restricted migrants from a number of countries from entering the USA. There was worldwide condemnation of Trump after he directed that children of illegal immigrants be separated and detained. The policy was nothing less that child abuse and footage of children in cages went viral. Over 1500 children remain separated from their parents. Italian, Malta and Spain all refused a ship with over 200 migrants to dock in their ports. Eventually France accepted the migrants. Now Australia known for Camping asylum seekers in Islands off the coast of the country had a senator make an outlandish comment suggesting an immigration debate including an issue in banning Muslims. He goes on to make other outlandish statements such as Australia is the best example of multiculturalism in the world. Many of these nations where there is this anti-Muslim or racial tensions tend to not accurately analyses the history of the indigenous people or oppressions that the migrants have faced 

Fundraiser by Jennifer Ariowa Obaseki : TPS- GO HOME with Dignity

We Need Your Donations

Please Click the Link below Donate and Share:

https://uk.gofundme.com/AFFIRMHumanRightsTPS

If effected by any issues or for more information email: solicitors@legalpaal.com


London Gang Crime- A Health Emergency & form of GBV

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Gang Crime a Health Emergency & form of Gender Based Violence

Knife crime has rapidly increased but the fact is the explosion of gang activity means children and young adults are now at risk of extreme violence including gun crime, acts from initiations sexual violence , trafficking and murder. How this links to gender based violence is through the Statistics and the very characteristics especially abuse and trafficking. 58% of the perpetrators of gang crime are black, ethnic minority teenage boys. CUTS in budgets for local authorities, organisations running extra curricular activites, schools, NHS and community groups means children from vulnerable families are most at risk. But the expanse of county lines means even children from middle and upper class families are at risk and have equally been groomed. The consequence of the cuts and lack of understanding of causational factors by police and front line workers at grass roots levels means it is difficult for young people to get support from the government and authorities which has directly lead to an increase in grooming, attacks, anxiety, mental health and young people falling into gangs.

This was explored deeper in my article published in August 2018 https://www.linkedin.com/…/gang-violence-form-gbv-jenny-ob…/

As at the time I was drafting this article , the list of those killed in London was:

1. January 1 – Steve Frank Navarez-Jara, 20

2. January 3 – Elizabeta Lacatusu, 44

3. January 8 – Daniel Frederick, 34

4. January 9 – Dami Odeyingbo, 18

5. January 11 – Harry Uzoka, 25

6. January 28 – Yaya Mbye, 26, Newington

7. January 29 – Juan Olmos Saca, 39

8. January 31 – Khader Saleh, 25

9. February 3 – Hassan Ozcan, 19

10. February 3 – Kwabena Nelson

11. February 8 – Hannah Leonard, 55

12. February 11 – Sabri Chibani, 19

13. February 13 – Saeeda Hussain, 54

14. February 14 – Lord Promise Nkenda, 17

15. February 18 – Lewis Blackman, 19

16. February 19 – Rotimi Oshibanjo, 26

17. February 20 – Sadiq Mohammed, 20

18. February 20 – Abdikarim Hassan, 17

19. February 25 – Michael Boyle, 44

20. March 1 – Christopher Beaumont, 42

21. March 5 – Laura Figueira, 47

22. March 5 – Kelva Smith, 20

23. March 14 – Lyndon Davis, 18

24. March 16 – Naomi Hersi, 36

25. March 17 – Russell Jones, 23

26. March 18 – Tyrone Silcot, 41

27. March 19 – Balbir Johal, 48

28. March 20 – Beniamin Pieknyi, 21

29. March 26 – David Potter, 50

30. March 29 – Reece Tshoma, 23

Now the number of those killed has mushroomed see the awful Statistics especially their ages:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/…/london-stabbings-knife-crime-st…/

We must treat this as a Gender Based Violence issue and Health emergency as I have been advocating – RIP. Dont let it be that insufficient action is taken and hundreds more young people die