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Motions of Support for City of Sanctuary

One criteria necessary to becoming a Council of Sanctuary is for a local authority to pass a motion setting out a commitment to being a place of sanctuary.

The reason why motions are so important is that they show political leadership in recognising that asylum seekers are entitled to claim asylum under the law, that they have fled persecution and that they deserve our welcome and support.

Many Councils have already passed motions of support  and you can see some examples of this below. UNHCR has also asked Local Authorities and Mayors to sign its Statement of Solidarity for World Refugee Day 2018.

Working with your council to get a pledge of support

Sheffield City Council has led the way by being the first Council to pledge support to becoming a City of Sanctuary.  The pledge of support that a local authority will depend on context. It can be as simple as a short statement committing the city council to supporting the idea of welcoming those who have fled persecution and violence or a more detailed pledge which outlines the practical actions they intend to take. Some councils have also passed motions of support for campaigns, such as the #LiftTheBan, these pledges are welcomed but whilst they demonstrate a commitment to welcome they should not be confused with a pledge of support to becoming a Council of Sanctuary.

See the links below to some of the Council motions that have been passed by other cities.

Example motions of support


Birmingham City Council passed a resolution of support for City of Sanctuary in 2015. You can read about that here or click the above link to see their 2018-22 statement on City of Sanctuary.


In 2007, Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary with a motion of support from Sheffield City Council. In 2017, the Council passed another support motion to mark 10 years. Click on the image above to read the text of the motion.