https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/12/13/home-office-in-the-media-blog-thursday-13-december/

Home Office in the media blog: Thursday 13 December

Today’s Home Office stories include reports on immigration enforcement and asylum seekers.

Home Office in the media

Detention of Chinese women

The Guardian reports that vulnerable Chinese women, many of whom are claim to be trafficking victims, are being detained under the threat of deportation from Britain, according to campaigners and lawyers.

The article carries a comment from a charity called Women for Refugee Women saying that it has spoken to more than 20 Chinese women detained in the last five months.

Its director Natasha Walter is quoted as saying: "The Home Office is clearly failing to follow its own policies regarding victims of trafficking and gender-based violence by locking up these women for long periods and trying to deport them, without proper mental or physical healthcare or decent legal advice."

The article also notes that the number of Chinese women entering detention has risen from 46 as of September 2016 to 112 as of September 2018.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Any person encountered by Immigration Enforcement who claims they are a victim of trafficking, at any stage of the process, will, with their consent be referred to the National Referral Mechanism.

Their claim to be a victim of trafficking is then considered by a trained specialist.

All detainees in immigration removal centres are made aware of their right to legal representation and how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an IRC.

Zimbabwe asylum seekers

The Independent reports that the Home Office has been inviting Zimbabwean government representatives to interview asylum seekers who have fled political persecution in the country.

The paper says it has learned that at least seven Zimbabwean nationals, some of whom have lived in Britain for more than a decade, were last week ordered to attend meetings at a Home Office building in Sheffield.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

A routine redocumentation interview event took place in Sheffield on Tuesday 4 December.