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Free mental health legal advice at the Law Centre

Louise Arthurs

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In Focus: modern slavery explained

Kasia Garbal, Daire Murphy, Ursula O'Hare on the set of In Focus

Watch our discussion programme on forced labour and modern slavery, produced jointly with NVTV

Law Centre (NI) Assistant Director Ursula O'Hare interviews Kasia Garbal, Migrant Workers Support Officer at NIC/ICTU and Daire Murphy, Employment Legal Adviser at the Law Centre. The programme gives an overview of the scale of labour exploitation in Northern Ireland, the forms it takes and how to recognise the signs.

This 40 minute programme discusses how we can all play a part in tackling the issue, whether as a consumer, co-worker, employer, neighbour, NGO or government agency.

 

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Myths busting: how many refugees in Northern Ireland?

Graph explaining what happens to the estimated 200 asylum applications per year in NI

In the absence of official Northern Ireland data on numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, we provide estimates: 

www.lawcentreni.org/Publications/Policy-Briefings/How-many-refugees-in-NI-Oct-2015.pdf

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Why fight poverty? Law Centre (NI) social justice lecture with Julia Unwin

Law Centre (NI) social justice lecture

The Law Centre will hold its annual Social Justice Lecture on Monday 19 October 2015, 4pm-6pm at the Harbour Office, Corporation Square, Belfast BT1 3AL.

The keynote address will be Why Fight poverty? by Julia Unwin of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Julia is Chief Julia UnwinExecutive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. She is a governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. She is a specialist in the development of services and and has written extensively on the role, governance and funding of the voluntary sector. Her most recent book, also entitled 'Why Fight Poverty?', was published in November 2013. Find out more about Julia Unwin here.

Registration is from 4.00pm to 4.30pm. The lecture will be followed at 6.00pm by a reception.

If you wish to attend please RSVP by Monday 12 October 2015 to Trisha Tabet at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please advise of any accessibility issues or special requirements.

A lift is available to guests with mobility issues, and arrangements for this must be confirmed in advance. Carpark facilities are available for guests. See the map here for more details.

Julia Unwin says:  “Poverty is real in the UK, it causes harm and it is not inevitable. Responsibility rests with all of us: with governments across the UK, with local authorities, with business and of course, with individuals themselves. Between us we have the capacity and the tools to tackle poverty and contribute to a poverty-free and prosperous UK.

“The changing demography of our country, the impact of globalisation and automation, as well as challenges in our housing markets all provide both opportunities and risks.

In her lecture, she plans to explore: “that great potential within Northern Ireland to reduce poverty, and create a society in which everyone can thrive and contribute."

 

 

 

 

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Let's stamp out modern slavery

Eradicating Modern Slavery Conference, Law Centre (NI) 2015, speakers in front of Riddel Hall, QUB, Belfast

'How can we stamp out modern slavery?' was the question explored at a Law Centre conference last Thursday. See an overview, listen to the speakers.

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Advertisement: Coroner vacancy

NIJAC is inviting applications for the office of Coroner. It is intended to make one appointment and to maintain a reserve list for 12 months from the date of the first appointment.

To be eligible for appointment, a person must be, by 4 January 2016:
• a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland of at least 5 years’ standing;
or
• a solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland of at least 5 years’ standing
Salary: £106,040 per annum

This post attracts a pension under the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993.

Closing date 12 noon on Monday 5 October 2015

For full details and to apply online please visit www.nijac.gov.uk 

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Watch Yoke Farm, a film on modern slavery

Yoke Farm, the film shown at our conference on Eradicating Modern Slavery, is now available on Unchosen's website.

Watch Yoke farm here.

The awar-winning film tells the story of a young man who is forced to work for a free range chicken farm. The local shopkeeper notices and decides to help him. It is based on a story submitted by the Law Centre’s Anti-Trafficking Young People Project. Although the story is transposed to an English setting, it describes the reality of the lives of some trafficked farm workers and food packers in Northern Ireland.

Unchosen uses film to raise awareness of modern slavery.

You can order a free DVD of Yoke Farm and other Unchosen films to use as a campaigning tool for your local action group, workplace etc.

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Support the call for five key actions to welcome refugees

Justin Kouame, Chairperson of Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum Seekers addresses the crowd at Belfast City Hall Rally 10 September 2015

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Could you be NI Trustee for Parkinson's UK?

PARKINSON'S UK - Recruitment information

Could you be a trustee? Change attitudes. Join us.

We’re looking to recruit a new trustee from Northern Ireland to be part of our board.  The board is responsible for the overall governance of Parkinson’s UK and includes 12 volunteers, with representatives from each of the four UK countries.

Trusteeship is primarily a legal and fiduciary role with trustees working at the highest levels of strategic and analytical thinking to shape, and continually monitor, the work of the charity.  This is a really exciting time for the charity as we enter a period of strategic change and the guidance and leadership from the board will be crucial to the charity achieving its ambitious goals.  You can read more about our strategy to transform the future at: http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/content/transforming-future.

Being a trustee offers the chance to direct the work of our charity and make a real difference for people affected by Parkinson’s. Trustees also have the opportunity to join other working groups to get involved in different aspects of our work.

Job satisfaction

Trustees are unpaid, but reasonable out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed. Our trustees say they get enormous job satisfaction from their role. We are looking for candidates who can think strategically and in the best interests of our diverse charity.

If you’re interested in applying and believe you meet the demands of the role contact Sarah Day, Company Secretary for an application pack:

Tel: 020 7932 1327

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Address: Parkinson’s UK, 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EJ

Completed applications must be submitted by 5 October 2015.

Parkinson's UK. Change attitudes . Find a cure . Join us 

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Conference: Eradicating Modern Slavery in Northern Ireland

Eradicating modern slavery - conference graphic

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Stronger Together workshops for employers on tackling modern slavery

Stronger Together is a multi-stakeholder initiative, created to help businesses tackle labour trafficking, forced labour and other forms of hidden worker exploitation.

Stronger Together provides free, downloadable guidance, tools and resources and a support network for employers; labour providers and others; to encourage companies to work together to reduce hidden worker exploitation and to tackle modern slavery.

We also run a series of UK based training workshops for those who have a responsibility to develop policy and implement operational procedures to tackle modern slavery, including HR, CSR, or technical and operational managers.

On 5 November 2015, in Craigavon, Stronger Together is holding a workshop, and we invite you to book your delegate place now. The workshop runs from 9.30 until 15.30 and will be held at Cido Innovation Centre, 73 Charlestown Road Ind Est, Portadown, Craigavon, BT63 5PP.

There is one free delegate place provided per organisation for ALP members, charities, NGOs and Project Sponsor own label suppliers.

Learn more at www.stronger2gether.org

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See our new training programme

Images from training programme 15-16 cover

We have an exciting programme of training and professional development for you. Read it online here, or download a PDF.

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Major UK survey of race at work

The largest ever workplace survey of race at work in the UK is being conducted by Business in the Community.

They want to hear from 10,000 working ethnic minority people and understand their experience of the UK’s workplaces.

In the UK, ethnic minorities are under-represented at every level of work. 14% of our population is from an ethnic minority background, but only 1 in 16 top management positions are held by an ethnic minority person.

This survey will help drive change and ensure workplaces and the economy is maximising all of the diverse talent in the UK.

Ethnic minority and white employees aged 16-64+ and currently in employment in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) can participate in this Race at Work Survey. The survey is confidential to complete.

The survey started on Monday 27 July 2015 runs until Sunday 13 September 2015 at www.raceatwork.org.uk.

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We're hiring: Support Worker to Social Security Legal Adviser

With funding from the Department for Employment & Learning’s Access to Work scheme; we are recruiting a Support Worker to assist a Legal Adviser in our Social Security unit.

The post will have a fixed term contract through to 30 June 2018 which may be extended if further funding is secured.  Amongst other essential criteria candidates must have:

  • Experience of providing administrative support to a caseworker or adviser in a legal casework environment
  • Good oral and written communication skills and be able to read aloud in an articulate manner.
  • At least 1 year of office experience in a paid or voluntary capacity

The post is for 15 hours per week (Expected to be 3 hours per day Monday to Friday mornings) and is paid at a rate of £7.85/hour.

Apply by 1 September. Application pack here 

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A deserving winner for our Social Justice Prize

Congratulations to Ms Aurime Ribaxiauskaite who won the Social Justice Prize at this year’s University of Ulster School of Law Prize Giving Day.

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Supreme Court rules on DLA for children in hospital

Advisers may be interested to hear about this GB case which, according to the Supreme Court, 'may pave the way for many other disabled children to establish the same entitlement'.

The Supreme Court ruled that the withdrawal of Disability Living Allowance following a child being in hospital in excess of 84 days can be a breach of human rights. The Court did not strike down the rule as a whole but stated that there is a potential breach and that each case should be assessed on its facts. 

Read the decision here: [2015] UKSC 47

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STEP NI is looking for an immigration law adviser

See STEP advert below:

Immigration Law Advisor

STEP is a community support organisation and registered charity authorised by the Law Society (NI) to provide Legal Services in relation to Immigration, Housing, Employment, Education and Discrimination and Social Welfare. Located in the Mid-Ulster Council area, a significant area of our work is to provide legal advice on immigration and immigration related entitlements and limitations.

We currently have a vacancy for an immigration advisor qualified to OISC level 3.

Salary: £27k - £30k depending on level of qualification and experience.

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Responsible to: Service Development Manager (Clients and Quality)

Responsible for: Provision of Immigration law advice and representation of clients

For an application form – please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

or telephone 028 8775 0211 quoting job ref: ILA2015.

Closing date for completed applications: Monday 24th August at 5pm. Interviews will take place the first week of September.

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August training at the Law Centre

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Want to be an apprentice solicitor at the Law Centre?

Apprentice solicitor 2015, Carolyn Rhodes

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UK government to cut vital support to asylum seeking families

The Law Centre is opposed to Home Office plans to cut support to asylum seeking families, due to come into effect on 10 August.

All asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their claim will now receive a flat rate of £36.95 per week per person*, whether they are adults or children.

Single parent families will be hit hardest: 

  • a single parent with one child will get £73.90 per week, compared to £96.90 now.
  • a single parent with two children will receive £110.85, compared to £149.86.
  • a couple with two children will receive £147.80. They currently receive £178.44.

The additional payments given to pregnant women and children under three will still be available. Pregnant women will continue to receive an additional £3 a week and very small children will continue to receive an additional £5 a week until the age of one, and £3 a week between the ages of one and three.

Concerns

The Law Centre has stressed its concerns with the current levels of support - well below what a family on benefits is expected to live on - in a previous briefing which described the negative impact on children’s health, education and long-term prospects. Read it here: Policy Response to Inquiry into Asylum Support for Children 

We are concerned that this reduction in support will further compound the issues for families, particularly single-parent families who will lose around a quarter of their income.

The Children’s Society has recently published a useful briefing on this issue. Read it here: Children's Society Asylum Support Briefing

 

The Refugee Council has called on government to abandon its planned cuts until it has commissioned an independent review into the fairness of current asylum support levels.

Right to work

We are mindful that the majority of asylum seekers do not want to be reliant on the asylum support system at all. They would much prefer to be self sufficient. Unfortunately, the UK government refuses to allow asylum seekers to work. The Law Centre believes that granting permission to work is the right approach here. It would bring innumerable benefits for individual asylum seekers and their children. It would also generate money for the government through workers paying taxes and would reduce expenditure on asylum support. It really is a win win solution.

* To compare, in Northern Ireland, a single adult under 25 entitled to Income Support or Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance receives £57.90 per week, £73.10 per week if over 25. 

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