Britain has a proud history of providing sanctuary to people fleeing from persecution and tyranny.
Our nation provided sanctuary to Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in 17th century France, Jews fleeing the Nazi regime in the 1930s, Ugandan Asians forced out by Idi Amin in the 1970s, Bosnians escaping ethnic cleansing in the 1990s and Zimbabweans seeking a safe haven today. Our tradition of providing sanctuary is part of what makes Britain great.
That tradition is under threat.
In recent years the rise of extremist politics, media scare stories, and high profile failings by the Home Office have led to this issue becoming a political football.
Yet over two-thirds of the public still think it is important that the UK provides sanctuary to people fleeing persecution. We agree. We believe that sanctuary should not just be part of the UK’s history. It should be part of our future too.
The Sanctuary Pledge is our response. We need ordinary citizens – like you – to convince your political representatives to sign the Sanctuary Pledge at the 2010 General Election.
Please help us to rebuild support for sanctuary.
Attend a Sanctuary Pledge training session to learn how to negotiate effectively and commit to becoming a Sanctuary Champion
There are 14 training sessions across the UK. Places are free but you must register. Click here for details of when and where to train.
STEP 2. Build a delegation of people to meet with your Parliamentary Candidates
Build a small but strong and diverse negotiation team of community leaders.
STEP 3. Arrange for your delegation to meet your Parliamentary Candidates
We can provide you with the contact details of your local Prospective Parliamentary Candidates and a briefing pack. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
STEP 4. Negotiate with your Parliamentary Candidates
Meet individually with your Parliamentary Candidates and ask them to sign up to the Sanctuary Pledge.
Explain the number of people you represent and how important this issue is to you and them. Tell them they will be asked publicly whether they have signed the Pledge.
STEP 5. Take action to publicise the Sanctuary Pledge
Ask a question about the Pledge at hustings events. Plan a media event to highlight the Pledge and engage the Candidates
Encourage your local churches, mosques, synagogues, schools or other institutions to learn about sanctuary and take action to support the Pledge. You can find lots of ideas here.
STEP 6. Meet with the elected MP six months later to review progress
Ask the candidates to commit to meet you six months after the election if they get elected.
Hold them to account for the commitments they made.