MiCLU and Shpresa Programme‘s Breaking the Chains project, which focuses on strategies to improve the prospects of Albanian children making successful protection claims, has brought together specialist barristers, solicitors and academics to consider how legal professionals and others can ensure that children from Albania are granted meaningful protection against the risks of return to abuse in their country of origin or further exploitation in the UK.
As part of this initiative MiCLU have worked with other partner organisations to create and gather resources that can be used by lawyers representing young Albanian asylum seekers. We will be gradually adding to the resources below. Your feedback on using the resources is valuable to us: contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography by young people at Shpresa Programme expressing their experiences engaging with the asylum process is featured below.
The barriers that UASC face when telling their story during the interview process – Zoe Given-Wilson (2016)Deborah Thackray2021-01-17T11:54:02+00:00
Talk given by Zoe Given-Wilson, post-doctoral researcher at Royal Holloway University London, around the barriers that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children face telling their story during the interview process.
The merits of Albanian asylum claims based on fear of domestic violence – Online seminar and paper by David Neale (February 2021)Deborah Thackray2021-02-13T11:29:31+00:00
David Neale, Legal Researcher at Garden Court Chambers, argues that the old country guidance case of DM is not an accurate reflection of the current position, and that many Albanians who fear domestic violence at the hands of their families will not be able to avail themselves of a sufficiency of state protection. This includes some boys and young men. David also explores the vulnerability of some domestic violence survivors to trafficking/exploitation on return, even where they have not been trafficked in the past.
This seminar is particularly useful to lawyers representing Albanian nationals and in assessing merits in Albanian asylum claims, including those who are challenging certification decisions by Judicial Review.
Kathryn Cronin, Senior Barrister at Garden Court Chambers, explores the challenges in working with children and young people in the hostile environment, using examples from her own work to identify best practice in working with this vulnerable client group, in this online legal seminar.
The importance of expert evidence in Albanian asylum claims – Online seminar and handout by Gurpinder Khanba (November 2020)Deborah Thackray2020-11-23T13:47:01+00:00
This seminar highlights the critical role of expert evidence in Albanian claims including the need for frontloading. It is intended to assist those seeking to secure funding for expert reports at an early stage from the Legal Aid Agency.
A seminar paper accompanies an online seminar of the same title intended to help lawyers in assessing merits in Albanian asylum claims – both prepared and delivered by David Neale of Garden Court Chambers.
The paper and seminar focus principally on asylum claims based on blood feuds, but also deal with asylum claims based on domestic violence and human trafficking.
David Neale argues that these claims, in general, have strong merits: lawyers should be pursuing appeals and fresh claims in these cases and, where they are certified, should be pursuing challenges by judicial review.
Click here to view the paper or view the seminar below.
Albanian blood feuds: An update – David Neale (April 2020)Miclu Team2021-01-10T12:31:35+00:00
Albanian blood feuds: an update is prepared by David Neale of Garden Court Chambers, and analyses the new Albania Country Policy and Information Note (CPIN) on blood feuds published by the Home Office in February 2020.
This update discusses how the new CPIN fails to respond to previous criticisms of the country guidance on blood feuds in Albania. It also notes new, positive information that has been included in the CPIN from a December 2017 report by Operazione Colomba, but points out that this is unfortunately not reflected in the overall policy summary or quoted in full.
This briefing note is prepared jointly by Garden Court Chambers and MiCLU to raise awareness in the sector of a sudden spike in the numbers of asylum claims by Albanian nationals which have been certified as ‘clearly unfounded’ under s.94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, and to encourage a practical response that protects clients who are at risk of refoulement to Albania.
The briefing note is a resource that we hope will save legal practitioners time in their daily practice, and is intended to be used by new-starters without too much supervision.
This paper, prepared by David Neale of Garden Court Chambers, analyses Asylos’ new report and argues that many Albanian asylum-seeking boys and young men are at risk of trafficking or re-trafficking on return to Albania.
This paper will be useful to lawyers who are representing Albanian boys and young men, both those who are already victims of trafficking and those who have claimed asylum on another basis but may be at risk of trafficking on return.
This report, published by Asylos in collaboration with the Asylum Research Centre (ARC) Foundation, covers nine key research areas relating to the trafficking of Albanian boys and young men and includes interviews with ten different individuals and organisations.
This important piece of research aims to fill the gap in the COI literature about the situation of Albanian boys and young men who are victims of trafficking.
Albanian blood feuds and certification: a critical view is prepared by David Neale of Garden Court Chambers, and is an expanded and updated version of a paper first published at the Breaking the Chains event, hosted by MiCLU and Shpresa Programme in June 2018.
Albanian blood feuds and certification: a critical view criticises aspects of the Home Office country information and guidance on blood feuds in Albania and offers strategies to legal practitioners for countering arguments based on current country guidance employed by the Home Office to certify Albanian asylum claims.
This paper, presented by Dr Rachel Alsop at the Breaking the Chains event hosted by MiCLU and Shpresa Programme in June 2018, reviews the available country of origin literature on Albania and finds that the country guidance for Albania used in decision making on asylum claims for unaccompanied young people is not fit for purpose.
Dr Alsop’s paper finds significant gaps in the literature and concludes that without sufficient research data to draw on, the country guidance is problematic as it is not adequately informed by the lived experiences of the young people.