Refugee Week events and resources

CEQ Asylum Group, share information and resource which may be helpful to any Meetings planning to take any action during Refugee Week (15th-23rd June). Updated with reports of recent events.

The Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) has produced a detailed flyer about asylum issues with a view to encouraging Friends to contact their MPs. There is also a related crib-sheet which gives the main points (this is instead of the model letter mentioned in the flyer). Both of these documents available on the QARN website.

Many thanks to those of you who came to the City of Sanctuary meeting at the Priory Rooms on Tuesday 11th June. We had a comprehensive overview of the Illegal Migration Bill from Ruth Dunlop Price of Together With Refugees (a 600-strong coalition of which Birmingham City of Sanctuary is a member), a rousing call to action by Lou Calvey of Asylum Matters, and inspiration and encouragement from Sabir Zazai (President of City of Sanctuary UK) who joined us online from Glasgow where he is the director of the Scottish Refugee Council. We are very grateful to our speakers for taking the time to join us in what Lou called a “restorative” meeting of people who were all working together for the same goal. 

Lou particularly encouraged us to question all our parliamentary candidates about their position on asylum issues and to encourage them to join us in working towards a better and more humane system. Access campaigning resources from Asylum Matters.

We’d also like to invite you to join us at the Welcome Refugees March on Saturday, starting at 11.00 at the Moseley Exchange and walking down to the MAC for the launch of Refugee Week:

  • Saturday 15th June 11.00 March for Refugee Rights from Moseley Exchange to the Midlands Arts Centre (where Celebrating Sanctuary Festival begins at 12pm.
  • Thursday 20th June 6.30-8pm World Refugee Day at The Exchange, Centenary Square: live music, photographs, members of Stories of Hope and Home will share their lived experiences. Booking recommended.

One thing which Friends may not have picked up on is that while the “Rwanda Act” was primarily to enable the government to send people to Rwanda if they arrived “irregularly” after 1st January 2022, the government recently extended this to include all asylum-seekers who have had their cases rejected or have had their cases withdrawn and who do not have an appeal or a fresh claim in process. This is very important because the government has been known to categorise claims as “withdrawn” without the knowledge of the applicant. 

QARN are always willing to provide further information for Meetings, including in-person discussions:

Friends House have brought together a range of information and tools to help Friends who would like to campaign in the lead-up to the General Election.

Local Meetings can also sign up to the Fair Begins Here Promise. By signing the Fair Begins Here Promise your Meeting is standing together with organisations up and down the country to reject the current hostility, demonstrate solidarity with refugees and commit to taking action to win a fair new plan for refugees.

A series of 6 shorts and 3 feature length films that explore the theme of ‘Our Home’ can be watched during Refugee Week either at home or used for a community screening.

Truth & Integrity

Our work on Asylum issues links to the wider topic of truth and integrity in public life. The Quaker Truth and Integrity Group have produced a toolkit to raise this issue during the General Election Campaign.