Monday, 8 February 2010

Support for Swiss move to regularise children

From a Swiss news website:

Political support is growing to improve the plight of thousands of children of illegal immigrants who have spent most of their lives in Switzerland.

An estimated 10-30,000 young “sans papiers” live in Switzerland without legal status. They can attend the state school system, but as a rule only until 16 - the end of compulsory schooling. Professional training and apprenticeships are out of reach.

“It really is a ticking social time bomb,” Green Party parliamentarian Antonio Hodgers told“We let these young people finish their [compulsory] schooling but give them no training prospects or access to a job even if they grow up here.”

At the end of last year Hodgers filed a motion at the House of Representatives pushing for young sans papiers to have access to professional training and for those born in Switzerland to be legally recognised.

His proposal, which has cross-party support, urges the government to apply the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to the children of illegal immigrants. Switzerland ratified the pact in 1997.

“I invite the government to read Article 2 of the convention, which states that children should not be victims of the legal status of their parents,” he said.“Someone who decides to live illegally in a country knows that it’s going to be tough, but that’s their choice which they have to assume. “But a child hasn’t made that choice; they just followed their parents, so they shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ decision.”

Brent Council backs Strangers into Citizens

Brent Council became the sixth London local authority (including the GLA) to pass a motion in favour of Strangers into Citizens.

From the Harrow Observer:

Between 500,000 and 950,000 visa over-stayers and failed asylum seekers
have made new lives in the UK; it would take about 34 years and £8billion to
forcibly remove them all, say the Lib-Dems.
More than 69 per cent of Brent residents were born outside the UK and about 20,000 illegal immigrants in the borough are unaccounted for.
Because the allocation of budgets depends on these statistics, councils such as Brent lose out in the distribution of resources such as education and housing.
A spokesman for London Citizens, which is running the campaign, said: "The existence of a large shadow population living outside the law makes it especially hard for councils like Brent, which have many more people living in the area than official statistics identify. "We are delighted that Brent has added its name to the growing list of councils across London which support the Strangers into Citizens call."