Many people find that once they have met a sanctuary seeker and learned about the asylum system, there are things that they want to change. Campaigning takes many forms, depending on who you want to influence and what you’re trying to change.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.
The following information is taken from a Houses of Parliament Outreach Service factsheet on ‘Effective Campaigning’
Be clear on your campaigning aims
- What is your issue?
- Who is affected? How are they affected?
- What are the consequences / benefits of (not) taking action?
- What do you want Parliament to do?
Don’t contact all MPs – Identify interested individuals
- Shadow Ministers
- Select Committee Members
- Your local MP, if it is about a constitutency issues
- All Party Parliamentary Group members
- MPs / Members of the Lords with a constituency or personal interest
- Identify solutions as well as problems
- Develop friendships
- Provide local and national context
- Provide facts and ammunition
- Be aware of alternative or opposing views
- Make communications tailored and relevant
- Remember yours is not the only issue
- Don’t back people into a corner
- Remember there is no magic wand
- Don’t assume knowledge or support
The Asylum Matters resources section has lots of useful resources on campaigning.
Campaign Central has information about planning a campaign, techniques and tactics
‘Get your voice heard: A guide to campaigning at Westminster’ from the House of Commons
Use Your Voice – includes information and resources on political participation
Influencing Decision Makers
The Charity Commission divides campaigning into two categories: non-political campaigning that raises awareness about an issue and political campaigning that aims to change legislation or policy.
Political campaigning cannot be the sole and continuing activity of a charity. But it can be the sole activity for a “period of time”.
Charities must remain independent from all political parties at all times. This means charities must not make a donation to a political party and must be careful when working with MPs, candidates and parties, whether or not there is an election coming up.
A Guardian article on ‘What charities need to know about campaigning in the 2017 General Election’ including what charities are allowed to do in the run-up to an election
Speak up for Sanctuary
Speak up for Sanctuary is a programme designed by City of Sanctuary UK to support people who may have little or no previous campaigning experience to recognise their power in making change, to speak up for refugee rights and to supercharge efforts to build welcoming and compassionate communities.
The course is perfect for people involved in City of Sanctuary groups and awarded organisations or anyone else hoping to turn their compassion into action.
The course covers how to:
- Counter hostile rhetoric
- Engage with MPs and candidates
- Mobilise your friends, family and the wider community
- Safely challenge misinformation
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