How you can help Worcestershire’s refugee community?

Those that have fled persecution, war and climate disaster should be treated with dignity and respect. The fact that this is even a controversial statement in the current political climate is a tragedy.

Not many issues erupt into such a toxic debate as when discussing the plight of refugees. The media storm surrounding those who make the treacherous journey across the channel has been distressing and concerning for those that think we should be treating refugees with open arms and not hostility. As Tony Benn said:

“The way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it.

The media’s shocking portrayal of refugees creates not only a hostile environment for those arriving in the UK to seek a better and safer life, but it also distorts the facts surrounding those seeking refuge. Whilst those opposed to the UK helping and aiding refugees see images of dinghies arriving on the coast as some form of ‘invasion’, in reality, the numbers of refugees in the UK is woefully low. There are 26 million refugees around the world according to the UNHCR, which makes up a significant portion of the 79.5 million forcibly displaced citizens around the world. In comparison to these gargantuan numbers, there are only  126,720  refugees, 45,244​ pending asylum cases , and  125  stateless persons  in the UK. These numbers represent a dark stain on Britain’s reputation amongst the international community.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/refugees-asylum-seekers-and-migrants/global-refugee-crisis-statistics-and-facts/

With the UK asylum system closed off to the many that need it, we have seen an increase of those making dangerous journeys across the channel. More than 5,000 people have arrived in the UK on small boats across the strait of Dover so far this year, more than double the total for the whole of 2019. In creating a “fortress Britain” mentality with regards to refugees and asylum seekers, we are forcing those fleeing persecution and war into the hands of people smugglers and criminals as they have no other options. We will see more cases of the innocent and the frightened losing their lives at sea trying to gain access to safe refuge. This is an unbearable thought.

At Worcestershire Transformed we are hoping to offer readers an insight into the experiences of refugees and those that have volunteered with resettled families or in places like the Calais Jungle. We also want to give you practical ways that you can support our local refugee and migrant community. If you want to get involved in supporting Worcestershire’s refugee community please find details for various support groups below:

We will also be launching a poster campaign across the county. If you want one of the below posters (more towns to come) email us at worctransformed@gmail.com.

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