Immigration and migrants' rights

Joint civil society statement on the passage of the Illegal Migration Act

Posted on 18 Jul 2023

As a coalition of 290 organisations representing the human rights, migrants’ rights, refugee and asylum, anti-trafficking, children’s, violence against women and girls, LGBTQI+, disability rights, health, housing, racial justice, criminal justice, arts, international development, environment, democracy, pan-equality, faith, access to justice, and other sectors, we condemn the passage of the Illegal Migration Act today, and stand in solidarity with all who will be affected.

We all deserve to live safe 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 at a time 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. Joyce Kallevik, Director, WISH
  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. Robina Qureshi, Positive Action in Housing
  18. Kayte Cable and Vicki Felgate, Co-founders, Big Leaf Foundation
  19. Siân 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, René 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. Aké Achi, Founding Chief Executive, Migrants At Work
  80. Aké 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 Beneš, 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. Úna 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
  295. The Border Criminologies Network
  296. Carolyne Willow, Director, Article 39
  297. Rabbi David Mason, Executive Director, HIAS+JCORE
  298. Farah Nazeer, CEO, Women’s Aid

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