Refugee Week UK, 15-21 June 2015

refugee Week logoSignificant events have already been planned in Liverpool, Blackburn, Manchester, Bristol, the South-East, Scotland and Wales. If you are organising events, upload the information on the event at the Refugee Week website www.refugeeweek.org.uk so that it can be promoted. The best way to keep up with Refugee Week is to sign up to the newsletter via the website www.refugeeweek.org.uk or by following @refugeeweek on Twitter.

Cambridge Council passes motion against destitution

cambridge-logoOn 16 April 2015, Cambridge City Council became the 13th Council to pass a motion against the destitution of asylum seekers.  The motion was proposed by Cllr. Mike Pitt (Lib Dem) and passed without any votes against.
Asylum Seekers

The Council notes that asylum seekers can still legitimately be in the United Kingdom following initial refusal of their claims, because they are appealing the decision or because it is not possible for them to return home. Many originally refused applications are then allowed on appeal. However while waiting for a final outcome they can be left with minimal or no support and in some cases in destitution. The cashless azure card scheme does not give enough money for people to live on, does not allow them to save or use public transport, and is dehumanizing.

The principles of natural justice would suggest that they should have decent support to live and assistance with the legal process to ensure they are heard fairly.  Refugees who have been waiting for our processes should be expected and allowed to work to support themselves, both to improve integration and reduce the burden on the state, during the legal processes.

The Council further notes the long standing campaigning of the “Still Human, Still Here” campaign to raise this issue.

The Council should

* Bring a report to the relevant scrutiny committee to consider joining the “Still Human, Still Here” campaign and any impacts this may have on council activity as soon as reasonably possible.

*Write to both Cambridge’s MPs and to the Home Secretary and Immigration Minister, following the General Election, asking them to support those seeking protection from persecution.

* Endorse the findings of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry on Asylum Support for Children.

* Ask group leaders to work through the Local Government Association to encourage other Councils to join the campaign.