Statement to Parliament: Home Secretary statement on immigration detention and Shaw report

first_imgWith permission Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on immigration detention.As the House knows, our immigration system is made up of many different and interconnected parts. Immigration detention is an important part of that system. It encourages compliance with our immigration rules, protects the public from the consequences of illegal migration and ensures that people who are here illegally or are foreign criminals can be removed from this country when all else fails.Detention is not a decision that is taken lightly. And when we do make the decision to detain someone, their welfare is an absolute priority.The Windrush revelations have shown that our immigration system as a whole is not perfect and that there are some elements that need much closer attention, and that there are lessons we must learn.That’s why I welcome the second independent review by Stephen Shaw into immigration detention, commissioned by this government, which I am laying before the House today. Copies are available from the Vote Office and on GOV.UK.I am very grateful to Mr Shaw for his comprehensive and thoughtful report. It recognises the progress this government has made in reforming immigration detention since his last report in 2016. But it also challenges us to go even further.As the review notes, we have made significant changes to detention in the UK in recent years:Over the past 3 years, we have reduced the number of places in removal centres by a quarter.We detained 8% fewer people last year than the year before.Last year, 64% of those detained left detention within a month, and 91% left within 4.And 95% of people liable for removal at any one time are not in detention at all, but carefully risk assessed and managed in the community instead.In his report, Stephen Shaw commends the “energetic way” in which his 2016 recommendations have been taken forward. He notes that conditions across immigration removal centres have “improved” since his last review 3 years ago.We now have in place the adults at risk in immigration detention policy to identify vulnerable adults more effectively and make better balanced decisions about the appropriateness of their detention.We’ve also strengthened the checks and balances in the system. Setting up a team of special detention gatekeepers to ensure decisions to detain are reviewed. We’ve also created panels to challenge the progress on detainees’ cases and their continuing detention. We’ve taken steps to improve mental health care in immigration removal centres.And we’ve also changed the rules on bail hearings. Anyone can apply for bail at any time during detention. And in January, we further changed the rules, so that detainees are also automatically referred for a bail hearing once they’ve been detained for 4 months.All of this Mr Speaker is good work.However, I do agree with Stephen Shaw that these reforms are still bedding in, and that there have been cases and processes that we haven’t always got right.Now I want to pick up the pace of reform and commit today to four priorities going forward.First, let me be absolutely clear that the government’s starting point, as always, is that immigration detention is only for those whom we are confident that other approaches to removal will not work.Encouraging and supporting people to leave voluntarily is of course preferable. I have asked the Home Office to do more to explore alternatives to detention with faith groups, NGOs and within communities.As a first step, I can announce today that we intend to pilot a scheme to manage vulnerable women in the community who would otherwise be detained at Yarl’s Wood.My officials have been working with the UNHCR to develop this pilot which will mean that rather than receiving support and care in an immigration removal centre the women will get a programme of support and care in the community instead.Second, Mr Speaker, the Shaw Review recommends how this government can improve the support available for vulnerable detainees. Mr Shaw describes the adults at risk policy as “work in progress”. We will continue that progress, ensuring that the most vulnerable and the complex cases get the attention they need.We will look again at how we can improve the consideration of Rule 35 reports on possible cases of torture, while avoiding abuse of these processes. And we will pilot an additional bail referral at the 2-month point. Halving the time in detention before a first bail referral.We will also look at staff training and support to make sure that people working in our immigration system are well equipped to work with vulnerable detainees. And we will increase the number of Home Office staff in immigration removal centres.Third, in his report, Stephen Shaw also rightly focuses on the need for greater transparency around immigration detention. I will publish more data on immigration detention. And, today I have commissioned the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to report each year on whether and how the Adults at Risk policy is making a difference.Fourth and finally, I also want to see a new drive on dignity in detention.I want to see an improvement to the basic provision available to detainees. The practice in some immigration removal centres of having three detainees in rooms designed for two will stop immediately.I have also commissioned an urgent action plan for modernising toilet facilities. We will also pilot the use of Skype so that detainees can contact their families overseas.Mr Speaker, I am aware of the arguments made on time limits for immigration detention. However, as Mr Shaw’s review finds, the debate on this issue currently rests more on slogans than on evidence. That’s why I have asked my officials to review how time limits work in other countries. How they relate to any other protections within their detention systems. So that we can all have a better informed debate. And ensure our detention policy is based on what works to tackle illegal migration, but is also one that it humane for those who are detained.Once this review is complete, I will further consider the issue of time limits on immigration detention.Mr Speaker, the Shaw Review confirms that we are on the right track with our reforms to immigration detention and that we should maintain a steady course. But Stephen Shaw also identifies areas where we could and should do better.My goal is to ensure that our immigration system, including our approach to immigration detention, is fair and is humane. This is rightly what the public rightly expects. They want rules which are firmly enforced. But in a way which treats people with the dignity that they deserve.The changes I have announced today will help make sure this is the case. I commend this statement to the House.last_img read more

A Blog of Unification Theological Seminary By And

first_imgA Blog of Unification Theological SeminaryBy Andrew WilsonDr. Andrew Wilson (UTS Class of 1978) is Professor of Scriptural Studies at Unification Theological Seminary. He edited World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts and World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon. No doubt the years since True Father passed have been difficult for True Mother. But it should not surprise anyone that her course would be difficult. As the Original Eve, she is the pioneer for the entire female gender. She has obstacles to overcome that are uniquely her cross, which True Father, as a man, did not have to deal with. Proclaiming herself the Only Begotten Daughter is her way of directly facing this task.Mother has no victorious representative of womankind as her feminine forbearer. In fact, she alone carries the burden of all the pain of womankind through history, going back to Eve. Mother has to deal with the fact that after the Fall there was no respect for Eve whatsoever. People have a better feeling about Adam; he was somehow redeemed by Jesus as the victorious Second Adam. But not Eve. She was always associated with the Fall and failure.At the Fall, Adam was brought low because he followed Eve. The woman led the man to ruin. This led to the widespread view that no woman is worthy to be the leader of men. As a result, fallen societies always put men on top, while women were treated miserably, even as the man’s property to do with as he wished.To make matters worse, this patriarchal attitude belittling women was inscribed in scripture, which led believers to justify it as if it were God’s way. The Bible, after all, was written by men. We search the Bible in vain to find the name of Noah’s wife, Lot’s wife, or the names of Adam and Eve’s daughters. No angel stayed the hand of Jephthah when he offered his daughter as a human sacrifice (Judg. 11:34-40), the way it stayed the hand of Abraham when he was about to slay Isaac. Polygamy became a norm, the atrocious practice even perpetuated in the modern era.Men made things worse than they needed to be, continuing to harshly judge women while making themselves the arbiters of faith despite their own wrongdoing, and thinking their attitude justified by scripture. Such male attitudes towards women continue to this day.They think that because men like Moses or Muhammad went out into the wilderness to find God, women who stay in the kitchen don’t have the same access to the Divine. Or that since Jesus Christ was a man, only men have the holiness to be his representatives. We see it in churches that do not permit women to be priests or pastors.This has given a tremendous burden to all women, and to True Mother in particular. The burden persists, because despite that True Parents restored the mistakes of Adam and Eve and declared the opening of the Age of Women, the church never operated under women’s leadership, or gave women respect and authority equal to that of men. True Mother carries that cross, having taken the reins as a true woman leader despite the persistence of patriarchal attitudes among humankind and even among church members.Christianity named Eve a sinner, and taught that the only way womankind can find value is to unite with the male Messiah, who came to shed his blood on the cross for our sins. Believers in the Unification Church who kept to that mindset thought that True Mother’s fundamental value was as the Bride of the Lord of the Second Advent. Coupled with the patriarchal attitude that men should be the arbiters of all matters of God and faith, they regarded True Mother as only Father’s object, follower and supporter. With the exception of her role as the mother of the lineage, they didn’t see her as fully a True Parent.Hence, when True Mother began her own ministry and determined to edit the Cheon Seong Gyeong, they bristled at the idea, accusing her of violating True Father’s instructions. They failed to recognize that True Mother is a True Parent in every sense, and therefore she has the full authority of True Parents to edit the Cheon Seong Gyeong to polish the jewels of True Fathers’ words.Those patriarchal attitudes may have been justified in the era of restoration. But they are not appropriate for the era of Cheon Il Guk, the time to institute God’s original ideal based on the Principle of Creation.At this time, there needs to be a fundamental revolution in attitudes towards women. Providentially, God intends for this to happen, and for this reason True Mother was born 23 years later than True Father. This period of True Mother’s leadership is part of God’s providential plan.In the world that operates according to the Principle of Creation, the four-position foundation is established based on the three objects purpose where any of the four positions can take the subject role vis á vis the other three. Now, with True Mother taking the subject role because she is on earth, she has the love and support of True Father in heaven as well as Heavenly Parent. In their eternal bond of love there is equality of love, participation and inheritance.Because the church that so honored her late husband has had difficulty adjusting to her leadership after his passing, True Mother understood she needed to affirm her own merit. That is why it is providentially important she lift up the title “Only Begotten Daughter.” As Only Begotten Daughter, Mother’s value is for who she is, not only because of who Father is. She needs to claim this position and stand on it to take a firm hand in leading a church steeped in patriarchal culture.This title is a rebuke to those who still regard True Mother’s value as entirely because she served and attended True Father. By taking on the title of Only Begotten Daughter, she desires to change members’ mindsets so they never again have a basis to belittle her status or dispute her authority.Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon addresses participants at the 23rd International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS) in Seoul on Feb. 4, 2017.True Mother’s Cross to Liberate WomankindAll women have inherent value which is every bit equal to the value of men. They deserve to live and find fulfillment without being belittled or abused by men. More than that, they are no longer willing to take it for granted that it is a man’s world and their purpose is mainly to support their men and find value in producing and raising sons.Furthermore, women have a different perspective on life than men do. Their love is feminine love, rooted in the feminine side of God—in Heavenly Mother. So is their thinking. Yet, too often their intellectual insights as well as emotions are belittled by men, who are accustomed to only considering a man’s point of view in dealing with life’s essential challenges.It is no accident that all over the world women are rising up and making their voices heard. This worldwide phenomenon is occurring at the same time True Mother is standing up to patriarchy and taking the reins of leadership in the Unification Movement. Women are stepping forward, often at great risk, to assert that their dignity and value as God’s daughters is equal to that of men as God’s sons.The road to women attaining their full value has been rocky and fraught with setbacks. Women do not automatically reap the rewards of this new Age of Women. Any shortcoming is likely to be magnified, and a woman who aspires for leadership may have to work twice as hard as men to earn people’s respect.When True Mother says she is God’s Only Begotten Daughter, she is taking a stand for the value of all women as God’s daughters. Her thorny path to establish that position amidst persecution from within the Unification movement is fundamental to women everywhere realizing their full value.I hope that in the future the Family Federation will speak out more about this issue, proclaiming True Mother’s work as uplifting women everywhere. True Mother’s struggle is not only an internal matter. In fact, she is riding a cosmic wave of feminine uplift that is moving throughout the world. The Providence of the Only Begotten DaughterSome sincere Unificationists are uncomfortable with the title Only Begotten Daughter because it speaks to a prior stage in True Mother’s life before she became True Parents. The True Mother we know and love is not just a daughter of God. By joining with True Father, after all, she rose to the noble position of the Great Mother of humankind.Nevertheless, while she could have rested comfortably on her position as True Mother, Hak Ja Han has chosen to proclaim herself the Only Begotten Daughter. It would have been easy to always be called True Mother and lean upon True Father’s broad shoulders. Yet, despite personal cost, she chooses a title that expresses her own value independently of True Father. Our faith is to honor her intention in proclaiming herself thus, trusting there is a providential reason why Heavenly Mother is prompting her to proclaim it, for the fulfillment of the Will.In fact, the proclamation of the Only Begotten Daughter furthers the providence to secure the establishment of the age of women. It is True Mother’s mission to overcome the entrenched patriarchy of the fallen world to establish the true equality of genders as required by the Principle of Creation. What better way to lance that particular boil on the deformed, sin-sick body of humankind than to stand up and say, “I am the Only Begotten Daughter. Follow me!”Therefore, when men lovingly and faithfully attend the Only Begotten Daughter, they are taking steps to restore equality and balance to a humanity that throughout history has been ruled by archangelic men. They are affirming that Eve has restored her dominion over the Archangel. Further, they assuage the painful and frustrated heart of Heavenly Mother, who has been trampled on, insulted and abused throughout history.By setting up True Mother to be 23 years younger than True Father, Heavenly Parent made sure that after his passing she would be in the position to lead the church and carry out this important mission. She could not begin it while True Father was still alive, but God arranged it so that after her husband’s death she could begin it and fulfill it.Now she has begun. By proclaiming herself the Only Begotten Daughter, she is taking care of the business of the providence, even at great personal hardship.♦last_img read more