The UN Refugee Convention at 70

Is the UK still compliant with the letter and the spirit of the treaty?

On 28th July CEQ Peace Committee held an event to mark the 70th Anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention. 45 people joined in person and on Zoom, to explore the relevance of the convention today, and ask whether the UK is still compliant with the letter and the spirit of the treaty, particularly in light of the government’s proposed New Bill for Immigration.

We heard from speakers: Oliver Robertson (QPSW – Quaker Peace and Social Witness), Larry Bottinick (UNHCR – United Nations High Commission for Refugees), Bridget Walker (QARN – Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network).

A wide-ranging discussion explored:

  • the history of the convention, and refugee rights;
  • the context of the global refugee crisis, largely located outside Europe;
  • the many concerns held about the New Bill for Immigration;
  • the impact of the Bill on women in particular;
  • the work of Quaker United Nations Office, UNHCR and Women for Refugee Women, in support of refugees;

You can download a full report below:

If you are concerned about the New Bill for Immigration, sign up to the QARN mailing list for suggested actions by emailing – the progress of this bill is getting very urgent and a lot of groups and networks are mobilising.