Olivia Boland, Chair of the Suffolk Chinese Family Welfare Association and graduate of OBV’s MP Shadowing Scheme believes that the UK’s anti-immigrant policies towards Chinese tourists is not only xenophobic, but detrimental to our economic growth.
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The seizure of most of Zimbabwe’s white-owned land has cost nearly $12bn (£7bn) in lost production since 2000, the Commercial Farmers’ Union says.
Source: BBC News
By Kaye Wiggins
Volunteering England chief Justin Davis Smith says the existing regulations ‘highlight the stupidity around some of these issues’
Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, will ask government officials to remove regulations that prevent asylum seekers from volunteering in the public sector.
Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat party conference earlier this week, Davis Smith said asylum seekers were permitted to volunteer for charities but could not volunteer in the public sector.
In a discussion about barriers to volunteering, he said: “This anomaly highlights the stupidity around some of these issues.
“Asylum seekers can volunteer to help run a tea service in a hospital, but only if that service is being provided by a charity rather than by staff at the hospital itself. We need to simplify the system a bit.”
Davis Smith said the issue was on a list of barriers to volunteering that he would urge the government to address. Others included “overenthusiastic” Criminal Records Bureau checks and jobseekers being told they would lose their benefits if they volunteered, he said.
Source: Third Sector
By Randeep Ramesh
Most of those sleeping on the streets come for a better life but many find limited opportunities, and, in some cases, become destitute. While the number of homeless British nationals in the capital has stabilised at about 2,500, citizens of the 10 central and eastern European states account for hundreds more added to the most authoritative tally of rough sleepers. The database Chain, or Combined Homeless and Information Network, which is maintained by Broadway, a homeless charity, tomorrow publishes figures showing that London ‑ the location of more than half of the country’s rough sleepers ‑ has almost 4,000 homeless people, a figure up from the 2,500 listed three years ago.
(IRIN) – Off the pitch, the FIFA World Cup has seen a tense standoff between South Africa’s formal and informal economies as they compete for their share of the spinoffs, but declaring a winner may be hard.
Cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg have struggled to balance the concerns of street traders, whose livelihoods depend on selling sweets, foodstuff and other goods at transportation hubs and intersections, with the demands of hosting the international competition.
As early as 2008, city officials started relocating traders away from traditional vending areas that would be near stadiums and fan parks; the traders mobilised in response, with varying success.
South Africa’s official unemployment rate is around 25 percent but independent economists put it as high as high as 40 percent, so the informal sector has been a refuge for those unable to get a steady job. The Human Sciences Research Council has estimated that the informal economy accounts for about 7 percent of gross domestic product.
(IRIN) – The death of Zimbabwe’s secretary for agriculture, Renson Gasela, and two other senior officials from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a car accident recently has highlighted the country’s inability to respond to accidents, emergencies or disasters.
It took more than eight hours for the men to receive assistance after the accident because police in the nearby southeastern mining town of Zvishavane had no transport, and fire brigade units had no fuel to make the 25km journey. Emergency services only arrived after the MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube, provided fuel.
“That incident alone is a small representation of how the coalition government has dismally failed the people of Zimbabwe,” political analyst John Makumbe told IRIN, because the response time probably would have been quicker if senior officials from ZANU-PF – the other party in Zimbabwe’s unity government – had been involved in an accident.
“The truth of the matter is that the inclusive government is failing to deliver, or to improve the lives of Zimbabweans. When schools opened recently, a majority of students were turned away because their parents or guardians could not afford to pay school fees; supermarket shelves are full of goods and food, but a visit to many households will reveal that people are starving in their homes.”
The unity government – a fragile coalition between President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, and an MDC breakaway faction led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara – has failed to inspire since its formation in February 2009.
The Guardian – Homeless east European migrants are being offered free flights back to their home country by a government-funded scheme set up to combat the rise of shanty towns in rural Britain.
The scheme, known as the National Reconnection Service, is expected to cost about £150,000 and is being trialled in Boston, Lincolnshire, and Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, two towns that have experienced a large influx of migrants seeking work.
In 2008, the government said that a quarter of Boston’s population was made up of migrants and that 65 languages could be heard in the streets and fields of the county. Workers came to the Lincolnshire town to pick fruit and vegetables, but the jobs dried up during the recession and many migrants returned home.
However, a significant number have remained, hoping that things would get better. As the economy faltered, some found themselves without work or any entitlement to social security benefits. Ultimately, a number became homeless. As a result, some of Boston’s residents now speak of a new phenomenon – shanty towns.
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, at a press conference in Cape Town yesterday (Thursday, December 3), said that he, together with number of senior representatives from parties that constitute the country’s Inclusive Government, is visiting South Africa to hold a series of meetings with leading figures from the Zimbabwean Diaspora to discuss ways to fast-track sustainable economic growth in that country.
Tsvangirai, leading a government delegation, is meeting with prominent figures in Zimbabwe’s Diaspora coming from 14 countries. The meeting entitled, “The challenges of Economic Reconstruction” began in Franschhoek earlier today.
The meeting is aimed at facilitating dialogue between the Inclusive Government and Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
The meeting is hosted by the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), a South African non-governmental organization that promotes transitional justice initiatives across the African continent.
Tsvangirai noted that he “recognizes and values Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and the critical role they can and should play in bolstering sustainable economic growth in Zimbabwe.” The Prime Minister stated that he “wanted to achieve a closer working relationship with all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, many of whom are nfluential Zimbabweans working in leading international intergovernmental-, business-, and finance institutions.”
Dr. Fanie du Toit, executive director of the IJR said that these sessions were a means to facilitate dialogue amongst Zimbabweans and create conditions for sustainable economic growth, which is a deliverable of the Inclusive Government under the GPA.
“The IJR is regularly requested to facilitate these kinds of conversations across political and social fault-lines. As South Africans, we experienced the value of conversations such as these which paved the way for our democracy.
“We have facilitated this engagement at the request of Zimbabweans both within the country and those outside. The GPA, despite its difficulties, continues to provide us with a window of opportunity to get certain basic building blocks of a democratic transition in place. Economic success, for one, will be vital, not only for democracy, but also for social cohesion.” Du Toit added.
Press Release issued on behalf of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation by HWB Communications ( Pty) Ltd.