QARN is a signatory to Together With Refugees: please get involved in their campaigns.
30 January 2024: Fair Begins Here Valentine’s Day action – campaign toolkit
With the government pushing its inhumane Rwanda scheme back through Parliament, our new campaign Fair Begins Here couldn’t be more urgent or important. Fair Begins Here puts the theme of fairness at its heart – because now is the moment for a fairer and more compassionate approach towards refugees in the UK. To learn more about the context and aims of the campaign, you can watch back our online briefing session here.
This Valentine’s Day on February 14th we invite you to stand up for fairness for refugees by launching Fair Begins Here in your community and joining thousands of people sending messages of kindness to refugees across the country. The Valentine’s Day action will kickstart the biggest ever call for political leaders of all parties to introduce a fair new plan for refugees in the UK.
The toolkit is full of top tips and resources to help you make a big-hearted splash in your communities on Valentine’s Day in February. There are three ways to get your community involved:
- Organise a joint media letter of support: bring together prominent people from right across your community to show support for refugees and the coalition’s fair new plan for refugees. Promote it in the local media and social media to reach as many people as possible.
- Share refugee solidarity Valentine’s Day cards: show that your community is one of love and solidarity for refugees and supports a fair new plan for refugees.
- Get organised for the campaign ahead: Create a Together With Refugees hub in your area by reaching out to different groups who care about the issue to run Fair Begins Here campaign activities over coming months.
We are pleased to have collaborated with Schools of Sanctuary to produce an activity pack specially aimed at schools – please download here the school activity pack and share with anyone interested.
Please do get in touch with the team with any questions or suggestions, and let us know about your plans – at info[at]asylum-reform-initiative.org.uk.
Updated 11 December 2023: Fair Begins Here: A new campaign calling for a fair new plan for refugees that works for everyone
Today, 11 December 2023, Together with Refugees is excited to launch our new campaign, Fair Begins Here.
Over the next two years, we will be doing all we can to ensure the next UK government commits to a fair new plan for refugees. To kick this off we have brought together General Lord Richard Dannatt, Gary Lineker, Sophie Okonedo, Big Zuu and other influential figures from across British society to call for a fair new plan for refugees in an open letter to political leaders.
The letter, published in the week MPs will vote on the government’s proposed legislation on the cruel Rwanda scheme, demonstrates what we already know – people from across the UK and all parts of society support us. With signatories including the BMA, UNISON, National Association of Head Teachers, faith leaders and stars of sport, stage and screen, and those with experience of being a refugee, the letter states:
“Britain’s refugee system has become ever-more uncaring, chaotic and costly…These policies aren’t working for refugees and they aren’t working for local communities. That’s why we have come together to say we’ve had enough. Enough of the division. Enough of the short-term thinking. Enough of the wasted human potential. And it’s why we now call for something better.”
We have also released new polling which reveals that fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) of the British public think the government’s approach to the asylum system is working well. This number increases to just 1 in 4 (28%) when only looking at respondents who intend to vote Conservative at the next election and decreases to 1 in 6 (16%) for those who intend to vote Labour. The poll also shows that 80% of the British public agree with Together With Refugees and want an approach to the asylum system that is well managed, fair and compassionate.
Next year will be a huge year for the Fair Begins Here campaign as we demonstrate united, visible support by people from across society and in every corner of the UK to show political leaders that the majority of people back a new approach.
The Fair Begins Here campaign is calling for a fair new plan for refugees with:
- Protection for people fleeing war and persecution by upholding the UK’s commitment under international law to the right to claim asylum and by scrapping the Rwanda scheme.
- A proper strategy for welcoming refugees by ensuring fair, rapid decisions on their application for asylum, and the chance to rebuild their lives through settling in a community, being allowed to work and the chance to learn English.
- Stronger global cooperation to tackle the root causes that force people to flee their homes and provides positive solutions when they do, including through safe routes to refugee protection.
The former head of the British army has joined Gary Lineker and the actor Brian Cox among the celebrities and high-profile public figures who have signed a letter calling for the UK government to scrap its Rwanda scheme.
The Match of the Day presenter and the Succession star put their names to the call for political leaders to come up with a “fair new plan for refugees”.
They said Britain’s refugee system was “ever-more uncaring, chaotic and costly”, and that asylum policies were not working.
Another signatory, the former head of the British army, Richard Dannatt, said the “dogged pursuit of the unpopular plan to send people seeking protection to Rwanda is astonishing” and described a “failure to fully support Afghans fleeing the Taliban” as shameful.