Monday, June 14, 2010

Receiving an award from Group Manager Erin Power at the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group's annual celebration on Friday. Erin's kind citation:

"The work of UKLGIG has always had an important political component and we could not have achieved our successes without strong political backing.

Lord Avebury has done much outstanding work in tackling social injustice in relation to immigration. His energy is equally, and strongly, spread across many significant issues - however politically appealing or isolating they may be. It is impossible to do justice to his contribution and achievements in a few words.

On wider immigration issues, he led a great deal of the scrutiny of the UK Borders Bill – for example, the automatic deportation provisions would have received little scrutiny without him.

On the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, he was one of the few, if not the only one, to raise concerns about 'Special Immigration Status', which places asylum seekers who are not protected by the Refugee Convention but can't be returned to their countries of origin, in permanent limbo and destitution. He was instrumental in retaining discretion with regards to the HC321 (automatic bans); and played a major role in achieving concessions with regards to: the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2008; the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (Duty to Share Information and Disclosure of Information for Security Purposes) Order 2008; and Immigration (Biometric Registration) Regulations 2008. He has been consistently vocal on welfare of children and detainees.

On behalf of lesbian and gay asylum seekers, he has been tireless in raising awareness of the perverse situation whereby countries in which gay men and lesbians are known to be persecuted, are nonetheless deemed ‘safe’ by the Home Office. He continues to fight for the ‘safe’ designation to be lifted and we know will continue to do so under the new government.

Only yesterday he was raising in the House of Lords the very real concern that Refugee and Migrant Justice (formerly the refugee legal centre) may close, leaving many more asylum seekers unrepresented.

Lord Avebury, UKLGIG would like to acknowledge your work on our behalf. Please accept your award for selfless long-term commitment to the pursuit of justice"

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