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Sheffield welcomes refugees. Now and forever.

Yesterday Sheffield City Council voted unanimously to reaffirm Sheffield as a City of Sanctuary!

They committed to standing against the government’s hostile asylum policies and taking practical actions which make the city safer and more welcoming for people seeking sanctuary.

Councillor Alexi Dimond said:

“Sheffield is rightly proud of being a welcoming city which strives to be inclusive of everyone. However a lot has changed since we first declared ourselves the UK’s first City of Sanctuary. Violence and persecution has increased as the world has been destabilised by a dysfunctional system fuelling conflict and climate change.

“Racist policies and avoidable tragedies such as the deaths of up to 650 migrants in the Mediterranean means it is more vital than ever to reaffirm Sheffield as a City of Sanctuary and oppose the government’s hostile environment.”

The motion that was voted through asks councillors to note threats to sanctuary including the climate crisis and controversial Illegal Migration Bill which more than 500 charities and faith groups have protested against. It also urges the authority to make several pledges including joining the Lift the Ban coalition, using powers to prevent migrants suffering long stays in temporary and sub-standard accommodation, calling on government to withdraw the Rwanda policy and repeal the Nationality and Borders Act and Illegal Migration Bill, investigating ways to fund advice to asylum seekers and introducing a councillor ‘migrant champion’.

The Council’s full motion can be found here.
In 2007, Sheffield became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary – and now this commitment shows that it still leads the way in fostering welcome.

This is motion was down to the monumental efforts of the local community, dedicated councillors, refugee support organisations and people with lived experience of seeking sanctuary – right at the heart of it all were our friends City of Sanctuary Sheffield. Bravo!

This city stands up for sanctuary. Does yours? Click here to find out more and get involved.