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Evidence for UN Human Rights Committee examination of the UK under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Kamena Dorling

HBF and Asylum Aid submitted evidence to the UN Human Rights Committee as part of its examination of the UK under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The submission focuses on the UK government's upholding of the ICCPR with respect to survivors of trafficking, refugees and those seeking asylum and stateless persons, with a focus on the rights protected by Articles 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 24, 25 and 26.

Since the Human Rights Committee's last examination, the UK government has introduced a range of laws and policies that serve to erode the rights of non-British nationals, expanding the ‘hostile environment’ approach (cutting off access to support, employment and housing) previously used to target those with uncertain immigration status to also cover those seeking protection in the UK. This has resulted in fewer victims of trafficking being identified and supported; more people held in immigration detention and caused significant harm as a result; and more people seeking asylum removed from the UK without a fair hearing of their claim, or left living in limbo fearing removal.

We were pleased to see the Committee raise the concerns we shared regarding detention, legal aid, protection for survivors of trafficking and the Illegal Migration Act/removals to Rwanda in its session with the UK government in March.