The Migrants and Solidarities research project, a cross-European partnership, carried out co-research into asylum dispersal housing in Yorkshire alongside researchers with lived experience from two of our partner organisations, Doncaster Conversation Club and St Augustine’s Centre Halifax.
The co-researchers reported on the impacts of poor quality housing, inability to resolve issues and the challenges of accessing support and services for those dispersed to small, isolated villages, making important recommendations on how the asylum housing dispersal system could be improved.
Our treatment of people fleeing war and persecution is what colonialism and systemic racism look like in real time
[…] The echoes of history should send a shiver down our spines. There must be change. A refugee protection system should be based on justice and compassion. To get there, the structural racism that underpins the current regime must be called out and torn down.
shado and Counterpoints Arts have collaborated on a series of articles in celebration of Refugee Week 2022. They are written by artists, activists and journalists who are creating change in their communities and exposing first-hand the hostility of the UK’s asylum system. This piece is written by Loraine Mponela, a mother, writer, community organiser and migrants’ rights campaigner. She is originally from Malawi and moved to the UK in 2008 where she now lives in Coventry. Loraine is the ex-chair (2018-2022) for Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG) and is the co-chair for the Status Now 4 All Campaign which is calling for Indefinite Leave to Remain for all that need it in the UK and Ireland. Loraine also sits on the advisory group of Refugee Week UK.
This year’s Refugee Week theme of ‘Healing’ has brought up a lot of questions for me around the healing that needs to take place for refugees trying to settle here in the UK. The immigration system is constantly stabbing and prodding at us. How can a wound heal if it keeps on being opened?
This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites such as Haasockfield/Derwent, and Rwanda:
Quakers in Britain: Fred Ashmore discusses the harshening hostile environment for refugees and asylum seekers and shares what a response rooted in love and justice could look like.
Last year, many British Quakers took part in or witnessed a series of events throughout Britain in which a 3m tall puppet, Little Amal, journeyed from the Syrian border via Dover to Manchester, joining in events and rallies during her journey. Amal symbolised the search for a new life of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers. The events were inspiring and full of hope.
Little Amal’s journey ended in late 2021. Since then, the UK government has passed the Nationality and Borders Act – legislation which changes the potential outcomes for those who come here full of hope. This year, 2022, Amal would be identified as a criminal because she didn’t travel by one of the government’s approved routes. A real life Amal could well be rejected from applying for asylum in the UK and could even be deported to Rwanda under the government’s scheme.
This interview raises many interesting issues about the relationship between ICIBI, Priti Patel and Home Office Ministers; about David Neal’s use of his role; and about the limitations of the system in keeping the system to account.
She will be visiting Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Bristol, Stonehenge, London, Canterbury, and ending on the beach at Folkestone where she arrived last year: https://www.walkwithamal.org/events/