Civil society statement against the passage of the Illegal Migration Bill, July 2023

22 July 2023

As a coalition of 290 organizations representing human rights, migrants' rights, refugee and asylum, anti-trafficking, disability rights, health, housing, racial justice, criminal justice, faith, access to justice, and other sectors, we condemn the passage of the Illegal Migration Act.

We all deserve to live safely from harm. But this senselessly cruel Act will have a devastating impact on people's lives. It turns our country's back on people seeking safety, blocking them from protection, support, and justice when they need it most.

In abandoning the UK's moral and legal obligations, the Act risks breaching multiple international human rights treaties, including the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights, while shielding the Government from accountability. The UK Government has admitted that it cannot confirm if the Act is compatible with the UK's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Act will force people into situations that threaten their lives – whether by placing children in detention or sending people off to countries where their lives might be at grave risk. Moreover, the Act attacks the very core of human rights, which is the principle that we all have them regardless of who we are or where we are from. In stripping the most basic rights from people seeking safety and a better life, the Act dismantles human rights protections for all of us.

Either all of us have human rights, or none of us do. While the UK Government's plans will harm those seeking safety the most, this is an attack on all of us and the values we hold dear.

The government has rushed through this law despite broad and deep opposition. But our fight is not over. As caring people, we will continue to fight for the right for people to seek safety and a better life without being forced to take dangerous journeys and without being punished for how they enter the UK. We will keep holding those in power to account for upholding the UK's international obligations. We will strive for an asylum and immigration system that treats everyone with dignity and respect. We will stand in solidarity with and fight alongside everyone who makes the UK their home and build a society that treats everyone with compassion.


1. Akiko Hart, Interim Director, Liberty

2. Alexandra Lopoukhine, Interim Executive Director, JCWI

3. Sonya Sceats, Chief Executive, Freedom from Torture

4. Robina Qureshi, Chief Executive, Positive Action in Housing

5. Professor Robert Moore, NWREN

6. Eiri Ohtani, Director, Right to Remain

7. Alison Pickup, Director, Asylum Aid

8. Jess McQuail, Director, Just Fair

9. Julie Bishop, Director, Law Centres Network

10. Kyle Taylor, Founder, Fair Vote UK

11. Kerry Smith, CEO, Helen Bamber Foundation

12. Andrea Simon, Director, End Violence Against Women Coalition

13. Traci Kirkland, Head of Charity, Govan Community Project

14. Amber Bauer, CEO, forRefugees

15. Anna Rudd, Interim Director, ASSIST Sheffield

16. Jim McAuliffe, Chair, Lighthouse Relief

17. Joyce Kallevik, Director, WISH

18. Kayte Cable and Vicki Felgate, Co-founders, Big Leaf Foundation

19. Si\xE2n Summers-Rees, Chief Officer, City of Sanctuary UK

20. Christine Bacon, Co-Artistic Director, Ice and Fire Theatre

21. Mark Goldring, Director, Asylum Welcome

22. Shameem Ahmad, CEO, Public Law Project

23. Marguerite Hunter Blair, CEO, Play Scotland

24. Aderonke Apata, Founder and CEO, African Rainbow Family

25. Sarah Teather, Director, Jesuit Refugee Service UK

26. Amos Schonfield, CEO, Our Second Home

27. Emma Ginn, Director, Medical Justice

28. Mia Hassenson-Gross, Director, Ren\xE9 Cassin

29. Katie Fennell, National Coordinator, KIND UK

30. Dr Shabna Begum and Laurence Jay, Interim Co-CEO's, Runnymede Trust

31. Stephanie Habib, Executive Team, English for Action (EFA) London

32. Anna MacDonald, Co-founder, Play for Progress

33. Dr Helen Taylor, Director, Stories and Supper

34. Anne Fox, CEO, Clinks

35. Liz Fekete, Director, Institute of Race Relations

36. Chris Jones, Director, Statewatch

37. Leila Zadeh, Executive Director, Rainbow Migration

38. Anna Jones, CEO & Co Founder, RefuAid

39. Shoaib M Khan, Partner, SMK Law Solicitors

40. William Gomes, Director, The William Gomes Podcast

41. Alphonsine Kabagabo, Director, Women for Refugee Women

42. Bridget Young, Director, NACCOM (No Accommodation Network)

43. Dr Ruth Allen, Chief Executive, British Association of Social Workers

44. Sebastian Rocca, CEO, Micro Rainbow

45. Anber Raz, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Imkaan

46. Naomi Webb, Executive Director, Good Chance Theatre

47. Zara Mohammed, Secretary-General, Muslim Council of Britain

48. Revd Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church

49. Trustee, Waltham Forest Migrant Action

50. Rosario Guimba-Stewart, CEO, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network (LRMN)

51. Mel Steel, Director, Voices in Exile

52. Lis Murphy, Creative Director, Music Action International

53. Mariko Hayashi, Executive Director, Southeast and East Asian Centre (SEEAC)

54. Zrinka Bralo, CEO, Migrants Organise

55. Fizza Qureshi, CEO, Migrants' Rights Network

56. Robbie de Santos, Director of External Affairs, Stonewall

57. Sally Daghlian OBE, CEO, Praxis

58. Emily Crowley, Chief Executive, Student Action for Refugees (STAR)

59. Peter Marsden, CEO, Concordis International

60. Lara Parizotto & Alex Bulat, Co-Directors, Migrant Democracy Project

61. Tim Naor Hilton, Chief Executive, Refugee Action

62. Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive, Amnesty International UK

63. Anthea Sully, Chief Executive, White Ribbon UK

64. Souad Talsi MBE, Founder and Interim CEO, Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women's Project Ltd

65. Hugh Russell, Chief Executive, Children in Wales - Plant Yng Nghymru

66. Comfort Etim, Director, Refugee Women Connect

67. James Wilson, Director, Detention Action

68. Revd Gill Newton, President of the Methodist Conference

69. Joanne MacInnes, West London Welcome

70. Kerry Scarlett, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

71. Natasha Eeles, CEO & Founder, Bold Voices

72. Dianna Nammi, Executive Director, IKWRO

73. Alison, JURIES

74. Christine Allen, Director, CAFOD

75. Catharine Walston, Chair of Core Committee, Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign

76. Marissa Green, Chair of Trustees, Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group

77. Jayne Butler, CEO, Rape Crisis England and Wales

78. Marchu Belete & Sarah Cutler, Co-directors, Migration Exchange

79. Ak\xE9 Achi, Founding Chief Executive, Migrants At Work

80. Ak\xE9 Achi, CEO, Black Europeans

81. Shaminder Ubhi, Director, Ashiana Network

82. Yasmine Ahmed, UK Director, Human Rights Watch

83. Angie Herrera, Director, Latin American Women's Aid (LAWA)

84. Harriet Wistrich, Director, Centre for Women's Justice

85. Iona Taylor, Advocacy and Campaigns Lead, Positive Action in Housing

86. Emma Hutton, CEO, JustRight Scotland

87. Nick Watts, Director, Together with Migrant Children

88. Ruth Davison, CEO, Refuge

89. Mollin Delve, CEO, PHOEBE

90. Enver Solomon, CEO, Refugee Council

91. Sabrina Qureshi, Founder and Coordinator, Million Women Rise Movement

92. Jo Cobley, CEO, Young Roots

93. Laura Tomson and Rachel Adamson, Co-Directors, Zero Tolerance

94. Steven Smith, CEO, Care4Calais

95. Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Children England

96. Indy Cross, Chief Executive Officer, Agenda Alliance

97. Shari Brown, Partnership and Development Manager, Refugee and Migrant Centre (West Midlands)

98. Kate Roberts, Head of Policy, FLEX

99. Selma Taha, Executive Director, Southall Black Sisters

100. Estelle Du Boulay, Director, Rights of Women

101. Rita Gava, Kalayaan

102. Natalie Collins, CEO, Own My Life

103. Jason Thomas-Fournillier, Senior Administrator, Spectrum Rainbow Community

104. Gisela Valle, Director, LAWRS

105. Catherine Gladwell, Chief Executive, Refugee Education UK

106. Barbara Drozdowicz, CEO, East European Resource Centre

107. Lucy Nabijou, Coordinator, Haringey Welcome

108. Dr David Brown, Chair, Birmingham City of Sanctuary

109. Josie Naughton, CEO, Choose Love

110. Danielle Roberts, Senior Policy and Development Officer, Here NI

111. Khedijah Mohammed-Nur, Cofounder, Network of Eritrean Women-UK

112. Rupert Skilbeck, Director, REDRESS

113. Sophie Neuburg, Director, Medact

114. Sharon Erdman, CEO, RASASC

115. Ghadah Alnasseri, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Hibiscus Initiatives

116. Maddy Crowther, Co-Executive Director, Waging Peace

117. Laura Kyrke-Smith, Executive Director, International Rescue Committee UK

118. Eleanor Brown, CEO, CARAS Jane Lees, CEO, Communityworks

119. Jo Benefield, Campaign Coordinator, Bristol Defend the Asylum Seekers Campaign

120. Nicola David, Founder, One Life to Live

121. Chris Rose, Chair, Craven District of Sanctuary

122. Ben Gilchrist, Chief Executive, Caritas Shrewsbury

123. Skipton Refugee Support Group

124. Ailsa Dunn Secretary to Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for refugees

125. Revd Canon Helen Cameron, Moderator, Free Churches Group

126. Zita Holbourne, BARAC UK

127. Angie Pedley, Treasurer, Settle Area Refugee Support

128. Rosie MacPherson, Artistic Director and Joint CEO, Stand and Be Counted Theatre

129. Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, CEO, Surviving Economic Abuse

130. Astrid Laich, Secretary, Bournville Amnesty

131. Kush Chottera, CEO, Europia

132. Jeremy Thompson, Manager, Restore - a project of Birmingham Churches Together

133. Anna Pincus, Director, Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group

134. Tess Berry-Hart, Director, Citizens of the World Choir

135. Georgina Fletcher, Chief Executive, Regional Refugee Forum North East

136. Zlakha Ahmed, Chief Executive, Apna Haq

137. Refugee and Migrant Partner Lead, Sector 3

138. Mike Wild, Chief Executive, Macc

139. Christopher Desira, Director, Seraphus

140. Amanda Church-Mcfarlane, Co-CEO, Abigail Housing

141. Professor Jenny Phillimore, Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham

142. Revd. Ian Rutherford, City Centre Minister, Methodist Central Hall Manchester

143. District Ecumenical Officer, Greater Manchester Churches Together

144. Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain

145. Martin Drewry, CEO, Health Poverty Action

146. Mick Taylor, Project Coordinator, Support for Wigan Arrivals Project

147. Gail Heath, CEO, Pankhurst Trust

148. Miranda Reilly, Director, AVID

149. Hayley Nelson BEM, Director, Learn for Life Enterprise

150. Vivienne Hayes, CEO, WRC

151. Vicar, St Paul's Church

152. Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy, Humanists UK

153. Jan Foster, Trustee, Doncaster Conversation Club

154. Jo Todd, CEO, Respect

155. Jamie Balfour-Paul, Founder and Performing Magician, Magic for Smiles

156. Sarah Lange, Lead Coordinator, Wyre Forest Supports Asylum Seekers

157. Catherine Mackle, Director, Community Welcome cic

158. Angus Clark, Chief Executive - Herts for Refugees

159. Phil Kerton, Co-Director, Seeking Sanctuary

160. Lisa-Marie Taylor, CEO, FiLiA

161. Warren Elf MBE, Co-Chair, Faith Network for Manchester

162. Sara Alsherif, Migrant Digital Justice Programme Manager, Open Rights group

163. Charlie Zosseder, Director, Samphire

164. Martin Cosarinsky Campos, Managing Director, Breadwinners

165. Tom Cheesman, Trustee, Swansea Asylum Seekers Support

166. Sanchita Hosali, CEO, British Institute of Human Rights

167. Nathan D Ndlovu, Chairman, CARAG

168. Kevin Hanratty, Director, Northern Ireland Human Rights Consortium

169. Ian Hodson, National President, BFAWU

170. Mauricio Silva - Inter-Religious Coordinator, Columbans in Britain

171. Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary, Churches Together in England

172. Joan Hoult, CEO, Walking With in North Tyneside

173. Johannah Dyer, Chair, Bromsgrove and District Asylum Seeker Support

174. Patrick O'Dowd, Director, Caritas Diocese of Salford

175. Dr Pat Bond, Chair, New to the UK, North Shields

176. Barbara Hungin, Chair of Trustees, Justice First

177. Programme Development Director, Railway Children

178. Jabbar Hasan, Director, Iraqi Association

179. Paul Hook, Director, Asylum Matters

180. Revd Jide Macaulay, Founder & CEO House of Rainbow CIC

181. Stephanie Neville, Project Manager

182. Dr Ruvi Ziegler, Chair, New Europeans UK

183. Robert Hooper, Pastor, Oasis church

184. Abigail Martin, Manager, St Chad's Sanctuary

185. Darren Knight, Chief Executive, George House Trust

186. Toni Soni, Centre Director, Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre

187. Imogen McIntosh, Aid Box Community

188. Victoria Marks, Director, Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU)

189. Manuchehr Maleki, Co-Chair, SYMAAG

190. Stuart Crosthwaite, Secretary, SYMAAG

191. The Revd Steve Faber, Moderator, URC West Midlands Synod

192. Misak Ohanian, CEO, Centre for Armenian Information and Advice

193. Stan Bene\x9A, Managing Director, Opora

194. M Fahim, Manager, Afghan community and welfare centre

195. Dr Paul Martin OBE, LGBT Foundation

196. Nazee Akbari, CEO, New Citizens' Gateway

197. Rebecca Stevenson - Read - Centre Manager, St Vincent's Centre Newcastle upon Tyne

198. Zoe Gardner, National Committee, Another Europe is Possible

199. Nicholas Prescott, Project Manager, Fallowfield & Withington Foodbank

200. Seana Roberts, Manager, Merseyside Refugee Support Network

201. Seana Roberts, Administrator, Liverpool City of Sanctuary

202. Rabbi Warren Elf MBE, Rabbi, Southend and District Reform Synagogue

203. Ros Holland, Chief Exec, Boaz Trust

204. Nick Beales, RAMFEL

205. Lara Bundock, CEO, Snowdrop Project

206. Andrea Cleaver, CEO, Welsh Refugee Council

207. Ailsa MacKenzie, Chief Officer, The Pyramid at Anderston

208. Rachel Wing, Treasurer/Co Ordinator, Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project, Stockton on Tees

209. David Weaver, Chair, Operation Black Vote

210. Lee Jasper, Co-founder, Blaksox

211. Efi Stathopoulou, Programmes Manager, Refugee Legal Support

212. Vicar, St Paul's Church Birmingham

213. Kat Lorenz, Director, Asylum Support Appeals Project

214. Denise McDowell, CEO, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

215. Elham Kashefi, Tara Centre

216. Maria Brul, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Children and Families Across Borders

217. Katie Morrison, CEO, Safe Passage

218. Nazek Ramadan, Migrant Voice, Director

219. Daniel Sohege, Director, Stand For All

220. Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive, Bond

221. Revd Kate Gray, The United Reformed Church, Wythenshawe

222. Paddy Kelly, Director, Children's Law Centre

223. Clare Moody, Joint CEO, Equally Ours

224. Sampson Low, Head of Policy, UNISON

225. Frank Parnham, Secretary, Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary

226. Salma Ravat, CEO, One Roof Leicester

227. Dr Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive, Mind

228. Yvonne Rendell, Chair, Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcome Refugees

229. Karen Parry, Chief Executive, Inclusion North

230. Christine Rose Chair of the Core Group,Craven District of Sanctuary

231. Beatrice Giaquinto, Director, Nottingham Arimathea Trust

232. Gwen Hines, Chief Executive, Save the Children

233. Jennifer Nadel and Matt Hawkins, Co-Directors, Compassion in Politics

234. Andrew Belfield, Mosaic Justice Network

235. Kamran Mallick, CEO, Disability Rights UK

236. Liz Millman, North Wales Jamaica Society

237. Liz Millman, Learning Links International CIC

238. Garrick Prayogg project Manager, Cultural Diversity Network

239. Rev. Dr. Joseph D Cortis coordinator of Caritas Leeds

240. Zoe Bantleman, Legal Director, Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)

241. CEO, Cast - Communities and Sanctuary Seekers Together

242. Jane Grimshaw, Convener, Hastings Supports Refugees

243. Sarah Hayes, Vicar, St Germains Church Birmingham

244. Polly Gifford, Co-Chair, Hastings Community of Sanctuary

245. Ernie Whalley, Chair, Reach group, New North Road Baptist Church, Huddersfield

246. Mojgan Bakhtiary, Development Manager, Taban

247. Louise King, Director, Children's Rights Alliance for England

248. Alison Page, Chief Executive, Salford CVS

249. Jo Walby, Chief Executive Officer, Salford CVS

250. Aleema Shivji, Chief Impact Officer, Oxfam GB

251. Gill Kelly, Chair, Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary

252. Rose Caldwell, CEO, Plan International UK

253. Frank Forman, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum

254. Alex, General Advice Coordinator, Manchester Refugee Support Network

255. Revd Sarah Jemison (Chair of Trustees), BEACON (Bradford Ecumenical Asylum Concern)

256. Pauline Mary Ruth. Chair of Trustees. Trinity Safe Space Charity

257. Abi Brunswick, Director, Project 17

258. Dr Arabella Hamilton, Lay Chair of the Parochial Church Council

259. Sian Summers-Rees, Chief Officer, City of Sanctuary UK

260. Amy Lythgoe, Trustee, Together Now

261. Miriam Turner and Hugh Knowles, Co-Executive Directors, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and

262. Northern Ireland)

263. Mark Russell, CEO, The Children's Society

264. Humma Nizami, Executive Director, Race Equality Network

265. Jonathan Senker, CEO, VoiceAbility

266. Joanna Ewart-James, Executive Director, Freedom United

267. Michael Mark, Trustee, The Cotton Tree Trust

268. Areeba Hamid, Co-Executive Director, Greenpeace UK

269. Andreea Dumitrache, Interim Co-CEO, the3million

270. Stephanie Grimshaw, Head of Public Affairs and Policy, Welsh Women's Aid

271. Saqib Deshmukh, Interim Chief Executive, AYJ

272. Joseph Kiwango, Manager, Revive

273. Tufail Hussain, UK Director, Islamic Relief

274. Eleni Venaki, Director, The Comfrey Project

275. Amanda Littlewood, Refugees & Mentors CIC

276. Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council

277. \xDAna Boyd, Committee on the Administration of Justice

278. Eleonora Fais, Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group Coordinator, ATMG

279. Rev Lynn Green, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain

280. Emma Hawthorne, Chair, BIRCH

281. Simon Tyler, Executive Director, Doctors of the World UK

282. Laura, Director, Horton Community Farm

283. Phil Davis, Director, Hope Projects

284. Sally Hyman, founder and CEO, CRIBS International

285. Mark Courtice (Chair), Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group

286. Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary, NASUWT Teachers' Union

287. Trustee, Louth Churches for Refugees

288. Jessica Davidson-Egan, Director, Refugee Welcome Homes

289. Andrew Evans, CEO, METRO Charitye

290. Nick Harborne, CEO, Refugee Support Group

291. Lorie Holliday, Director, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium

292. Jasmine O'Connor, CEO, Anti-Slavery International

293. Patricia Durr, Chief Executive Officer, ECPAT UK

294. Pinar Aksu, Maryhill Integration Network

Source: Human Rights Watch


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