Category: DR Congo

Child refugees discuss their experiences on Woman’s Hour

Three teenagers who came to Britain as child refugees discuss their experiences on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, 17/08/2010. You can listen to the interviews here:

Guardian reveals shocking mistreatment of asylum claimants by UKBA

The Guardian newspaper in its online edition, carries a report by Diane Taylor and Hugh Muir highlighting the shocking allegations of a former caseworker, at the UKBA office in Cardiff. The former UKBA employee, Louise Perrett, claimed that asylum seekers were mistreated, tricked and humiliated by staff working for the UK Border Agency. Ms Perrett reveals how

  • staff kept a stuffed gorilla, a “grant monkey”, which was placed as a badge of shame on the desk of any officer who approved an asylum application
  • boys from African countries who said they had been forcibly conscripted as child soldiers were made to lie down on the floor and demonstrate how they shot at people in the bush
  • one method used to determine the authenticity of an asylum seeker claiming to be from North Korea was to ask whether the person ate chop suey
  • interviews were conducted without lawyers, independent witnesses or tape recorders

One manager said of the asylum-seeker clients: “If it was up to me I’d take them all outside and shoot them.”

Another told her this was to be expected, adding: “No one in this office is very PC. In fact everyone is the exact opposite.”

Home Affairs Select Committee Chair, Keith Vaz said: “I am deeply concerned by a number of ex-UKBA workers who have spoken out about flaws in the points-based system and behaviour such as this. I will be writing to the chief executive, Lin Homer, to discover what steps are being taken to remedy this culture of disbelief and discrimination.”

British boy, 6, to be sent to Congo in divorce row Schoolboy’s mother ordered to go to Congo Republic


By JO STEELE – Monday, November 16, 2009

A boy of six who was born in Britain faces being sent to a war-ravaged part of Africa because his parents split up.

Adrian Atkinson’s mother, Anna, has been ordered to go to the Congo Republic within the next nine days.

The decision, based on Ms Atkinson’s divorce from Adrian’s father Daniel, has spurred the boy’s friends at Welbeck Primary School in Newcastle to begin a petition. Ms Atkinson also hopes to meet MP Nick Brown for help to overturn the Home Office decision.

Adrian is scared to go to Africa. He was born in Britain and has never even been out of the country on holiday,’ said Ms Atkinson, from Newcastle.

He will not be able to talk to other children because they speak French and he will be seen as an outcast because he is of mixed race, added the 28-year-old.

Ms Atkinson fled the Congo ten years ago after her sister was killed. She later married British oil worker Daniel Atkinson but divorced two years ago.

Adrian can stay but friends say he could not face being away from his mother.

The UK Border Agency confirmed Ms Atkinson’s application was turned down.

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