Refugees Welcome

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Refugees WelcomeIn response to the arrival of more than a million people to Europe, there has been an enormous surge of support in Britain for the rights of refugees. Since the summer of 2015, thousands of British citizens have contributed to campaigns to support refugees arriving in Britain or to assist those in the refugee camps in Calais and southern Europe. Thousands of people up and down the country continue to work tirelessly in their cities, towns and villages to turn the UK into a welcoming and hospitable country.

Groups of concerned British citizens have formed themselves into more than 100 local welcome committees throughout the country. These committees work alongside existing organisations and faith institutions to support refugees arriving in the UK, and work to pressure the UK Government and local authorities to accept refugees into their communities. The concerted organising of these committees and others has been instrumental to the UK accepting to take 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 through a scheme named the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS). More than 2,600 people have already been resettled through this scheme, in addition to hundreds of unaccompanied minors.

Migrants Organise is at the forefront of the effort to welcome refugees in the UK, to increase the number of people resettled by the government, and provide additional safe and legal routes for those in need of protection (including Community Sponsorship). Our main challenge is to explain why it takes so long for refugees to arrive in the UK and why the UK isn’t doing more, especially as we watch so many landing on Greek islands or stuck in Calais. Britain’s commitment of 20,000 means that we will only be taking 4,000 refugees per year, and only from refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. This response is inadequate in relation to the scale of the crisis. Britain, as one of the richest countries in the world, can afford to do more—especially as thousands of citizens and communities around the country are clearly and loudly saying that we are ready and willing to welcome more refugees.

Migrant Organise led the way with Citizens UK in establishing the National Refugee Welcome Board to coordinate civil society efforts around the country to harness the goodwill and organise strategic interventions, such as the introduction of a community sponsorship scheme for Syrian refugees. We are proud that many of our refugee and migrant leaders rose to the challenge and are leading local and regional initiatives as an important voice in shaping the national welcome movement. Together we can ensure that Britain continues its proud tradition of providing sanctuary and leads the way in treating refugees with dignity and respect.

If you want to join our organised refugee welcome movement please get in touch our Refugee Welcome Coordinator, Akram at: akram@migrantsorganise.org.

Or contact your local group by email through the refugee welcome website:

https://www.refugees-welcome.org.uk/refugeeswelcome-groups-training-action/

Get Involved and Useful Resources

Refugees Welcome is a vibrant and growing movement in the UK and across Europe working towards an open and hospitable society. The movement in the UK is made up of thousands of volunteers around the country who contribute their time and energy to fundraise and campaign for the rights of refugees.

The movement is made up of ordinary citizens who believe how we act towards refugees expresses our fundamental values as a society. Working to welcome refugees connects to our sense of ourselves and the society we hope to build.

If you want to join our organised refugee welcome movement please get in touch our Refugee Welcome Coordinator, Akram at: akram@migrantsorganise.org

Or contact your local group by email through the refugee welcome website:

https://www.refugees-welcome.org.uk/refugeeswelcome-groups-training-action/

Useful Resources:
There are a number of important resources that provide a useful background to the Government’s resettlement scheme and the working taking place in communities around the country.

Organisational Resources:
– Important information to help you support refugees locally can be found on the Refugees Welcome website
– Two guides for prospective Community Sponsors produced by the Home Office and another guide produced by the Refugees Welcome movement
– Resource page on Community Sponsorship at the Church Response for Refugees

Background Reading:
– This is a basic background document about the Government scheme to resettle 20,000 refugees (VPRS) produced by the Home Office
– There are two Government reports produced by the National Audit Office and the House of Commons Committee for Public Accounts
– For information about unaccompanied minors resettled in the UK please visit the website of Safe Passage

This section will be updated regularly with useful resources. If there are other useful documents you think should be shared on this page please email Akram on akram@migrantsorganise.org.