How 'Against Borders For Children' Defended Migrant Rights To Education

In Pictures: How ‘Against Borders For Children’ Successfully Defended Migrant Rights To Education

Against Borders for Children (ABC) is a coalition of parents, teachers, schools and campaigners that came together in September 2016 after the Department for Education (DfE) implemented a policy which saw schools collect and store data on migrant student’s country of birth and nationality information.

Over 8million children were victim to the policy, which was one of many hostile environment policies introduced by the Home Office. This set of legislative policies, which were introduced in 2012 under then Home Secretary Theresa May, aimed to force migrants to leave the country if they did not have permanent residency or leave to remain.

The coalition began issuing guidance to parents and school children about how they could protest the hostile environment policy, including arranging protests outside of the DfE.

Photographer Wasi Daniju captured the featured protest, which took place in October 2017.

The School’s ABC campaign said:

Wasi has been involved with ABC from early on. As a child of migrants, it was not difficult to see the dangers of this hostile environment policy. Wasi helped organise the protest, raise £12000 for our legal challenge, and led the legal challenge as a named complainant for ABC. Wasi has been driven by the deep belief that all children have the right to education as established by British law. She continues to support the campaign until we win.

Wasi has covered protests against Yarl’s Wood detention centre, Palestine solidarity marches and the vigil for Sarah Reed, a woman who was found dead in her cell at Holloway Prison.

A group of people, including parents, young and old, and teachers gathered outside of the DfE to #BoycottSchoolCensus.

© Wasi Daniju 2019 Schools ABC protest outside Department of Education
© Wasi Daniju Schools ABC protest outside Department of Education
© Wasi Daniju Schools ABC protest outside Department of Education

As well as protests, the group also arranged conferences on how to continue the push to get the policy eradicated.

© Wasi Daniju Schools ABC
© Wasi Daniju 2019 Schools ABC
© Wasi Daniju 2019 Schools ABC
© Wasi Daniju 2019 Schools ABC

The two years of protests, conferences, boycott campaign and eventual legal assistance which was carried out in partnership with Liberty proved successful.

In June 2018 the UK Government issued new guidance to schools that the data would no longer be sought out.

However, the existing data collected on migrant pupils between 2016 and 2018 still exists and campaign groups have been given no confirmation from Ministers that the data will be deleted.

ABC continues to lobby ministers and the Department of Education to delete the retained data.

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About the Author

Wasi Daniju

Photographer
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In Pictures: How ‘Against Borders For Children’ Successfully Defended Migrant Rights To Education
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