A new movement is gathering momentum in Britain to speak up for those who come here needing a place of safety. It has grown from initiatives such as Still Human Still Here, Migrants Rights Network, Citizens, and the City of Sanctuary network, to remind people of the country’s historic role as a defender of freedom and human rights.
These voices, combined with spontaneous local actions, are drawing people together in a demonstration of solidarity with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. It will reach a crescendo at a national “Sanctuary Summit” to be held in Birmingham on Saturday 15th November 2014.
Until then, people are encouraged to spread the word at regional meetings and activities, urging others to contribute to the conversation and keep the energy building towards November.
The Summit will invite people to unite around 8 Key Principles:
1. All asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to be treated with dignity and respect.
2. Asylum seekers to be welcomed & befriended on arrival, and offered free language tuition so they can fully participate and contribute to the local community.
3. Free access to healthcare for all asylum seekers while they are in the UK.
4. Access to good quality legal advice and representation.
5. Improved decision making, so protection is granted to all who need it.
6. An end to destitution, by providing sufficient support to all asylum seekers to ensure they can meet their essential living needs while in the UK.
7. Permission to work for asylum seekers whose case has taken more than six months, or who have been refused and are temporarily unable to return home.
8. An end to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers and migrants.
The Summit will be a staging post on the journey towards reaffirming the commitment to making Britain a welcoming society, based on the principles of fairness, justice and dignity.
Practical ideas for action. Workshops on media; MPs; councils; social media; awareness raising; story telling. Regional planning.
Please send decision makers, movers and shakers within your organisation. Please come if you have the power to represent a community or the energy to campaign.
We speak in the belief that we will be stronger if we work together, and invite you to join this initiative, uniting under a Sanctuary umbrella, open and welcoming to all.
British Red Cross
City of Sanctuary
The Migrant and Refugees Communities Forum
Freedom from Torture
Welsh Refugee Council
Scottish Refugee Council
Refugee Survival Trust
Still Human Still Here
Student Action for Refugees
Right to Remain
Migrant rights Network