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World Refugee Day 2020

Saturday 20 June is World Refugee Day.

This is when we would usually gather on the streets to show solidarity with people seeking refugee protection in Scotland and across the world. This June would have marked 20 years of Refugee Festival Scotland. We are really missing the social interaction and activity the festival brings.

As Covid-19 forces us to physically distance, we have to find new ways to stay connected and informed. We have to ensure that people seeking refugee protection remain visible and heard.

Will you take some time this week to understand what people seeking safety are going through?

Show your support online: download graphics by Syrian artist Mousa Alnana and start the conversation #WorldRefugeeDay.

World Refugee Day message from Sabir Zazai

I Hear You – our short film for World Refugee Day

Artist Mousa AlNana explains his World Refugee Day design

Campaigns

The hostile environment is racist. We work hard to challenge injustice in the asylum system and wider society, so that everyone in need of refugee protection can rebuild their lives here with dignity. Join the movement.

  • Asylum support keyboard_arrow_right
    Last week, the Home Office increased asylum support by an insulting £1.85 per week. Asylum support rates must be increased by £20 per week, in line with Universal Credit increases.

    Email your MP: The Home Office must urgently increase weekly Asylum Support payments by £20.

    Read our joint letter with over 200 signatories to the Home Secretary.

    Join the campaign to #LiftTheBan on right to work.

  • Children and families keyboard_arrow_right
    More than half the people displaced across the world are children.

    #FamiliesTogether

    Separated children already living in the UK are not allowed to sponsor their parents or siblings to join them. The #FamiliesTogether campaign has three key asks:

    • Children in the UK must have the right to sponsor their close family.
    • The definition of who qualifies as family must be extended to include young people who have turned 18 and elderly family members.
    • Legal aid must be reintroduced.

    Find out more and join the campaign to bring #FamiliesTogether.

    Scottish Guardianship Service

    We believe that all unaccompanied children have a right to an independent guardian to act in their best interests. In partnership with Aberlour, we deliver the Scottish Guardianship Service, which provides tailored support for unaccompanied children in Scotland.

    Safe Passage

    Every year thousands of unaccompanied children arrive in Europe in search of safety. They find themselves stuck in squalid camps or sleeping rough on city streets unaware of their legal right to travel safely through Europe.

    Find out more about how to help Safe Passage bring children to safety.

  • People seeking safety can become destitute at any time in the asylum process, through no fault of their own. Destitution is cruelly designed into the hostile environment.

    For many people, destitution happens when their asylum claim has been refused. At an extremely vulnerable point in their lives, people find themselves facing street homelessness and destitution.

    Join the campaign to #StopLockChangeEvictions.

    If you are in Glasgow, join the No Evictions Network , a grassroots campaign formed to fight evictions from asylum accommodation, with organised neighbourhood teams and regular actions.

    No Evictions are currently campaigning against conditions in hotels, which are being used as temporary asylum accommodation during Covid-19. Hear directly from people in this situation.

  • End immigration detention keyboard_arrow_right
    Hundreds of people are still detained in immigration detention during Covid-19. There is no excuse for this. Indefinite immigration detention is a human rights abuse. Immigration detention must end.

    Write to your MP to end indefinite detention.

    Sign the petition opposing immigration detention.

    Detention in the era of Covid-19: what do the stats tell us?

    If you’d like to request support for someone in Dungavel, please email sdvcoordinator@sdv.org.uk

  • Right to work keyboard_arrow_right
    People seeking safety in the UK are banned from working whilst they wait months, and often years, for a decision on their asylum claim, and forced to live on just over £5 a day.

    We think that’s wrong. We believe that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance of contributing to our society and integrating into our communities. This means giving people seeking asylum the right to work so that they can use their skills and live in dignity.

    The Lift the Ban coalition is working to change this. Together, we believe we can #LiftTheBan and ensure that people seeking safety in the UK have the right to work.

    Read our campaign report to find out more about why we should #LiftTheBan.

    Download the Lift the Ban Activism Pack for information on how you can get involved.

    Visit the Lift the Ban coalition website.

Events

There are a number of events and actions taking place this week across the UK and beyond to recognise and celebrate World Refugee Day 2020, be sure to check them out! #WorldRefugeeDay.

  • Show your support online keyboard_arrow_right
    Syrian artist Mousa Alnana shares his response to World Refugee Day and themes of togetherness and visibility.

    Download his graphics here to share or use as your social media profile.

    Show your support online and start the conversation #WorldRefugeeDay.

  • Events in Scotland keyboard_arrow_right
    Alison Phipps – UNESCO RILA Annual Lecture

    Our ambassador Prof Alison Phipps will be holding her 4th annual UNESCO RILA lecture, to mark World Refugee Day, online on 18th June. Theme: fostering integration. Register here.

    Farah Saleh  – Gesture Exchange workshops

    In these two interactive sessions, participants from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds will work together with dance artist, Farah Saleh, to explore their shared unique narratives, gestures and embodied knowledge.

    Participants are encouraged to attend both sessions if they can.
    Wednesday 17th June | 10:00 – 12:30
    Friday 19th June | 10:00 – 12:30

    To book your place, visit the Edinburgh Dance Base website.

    Glasgow Women’s Library and Paria Goodarzi – Distanced Assemblage

    Distanced Assemblage is a collaborative, artist-led initiative based in Glasgow, Scotland.

    For Refugee Week, they are inviting adults and children of all ages to create a paper lantern house to share their solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers during these difficult times.

    Find out more.

    Iman Tajik and Deveron Projects – Slow Marathon 2020

    The annual Slow Marathon walking event this year will be done remotely, yet together. People can join from across the world to walk across the globe.

    Find out more and get involved.

    Locked Out | Refuge and Asylum during COVID-19

    Document Film Festival presents an online screening, masterclass and conversation series exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland.

    In collaboration with Scottish Refugee Council, the series offers a platform for discussion and awareness-raising around issues relating to asylum, detention, healthcare, housing and welfare – as well as aspects of the complex relationship between the refugee experience and the moving image.

    The screenings and live discussion events will be free to access from 22-28 June 2020 on Document’s website.

  • Refugee Week keyboard_arrow_right
    Refugee Week (15 – 21 June 2020), invites us to explore the theme of ‘Imagine’. “Because when things feel stuck; when the old ways of doing things are no longer working, that’s what we need to do.”

    There are a number of exciting events taking place throughout Refugee Week, don’t miss out! And take a look at some of the everyday actions we can all take to stand with refugees, learn something new and make new connections.

  • Europe Must Act

    The #CitiesMustAct campaign calls on cities across Europe to resettle people from the Greek islands, where tens of thousands of people are living in unsanitary, overcrowded camps for months and years. There are chapters in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, aswell as across the UK and Europe. The Glasgow chapter has a week of actions during Refugee Week. Find your local chapter and get involved.

  • The UK hostile environment not only perpetuates racism but it implements racist policies every day affecting people in the asylum system. Learn about actions taking place, read news and resources, and get involved in the movement.

Reports

You can use these to help inform your activism, to help you write a letter to your MP, or even just to build your knowledge. 

Stories

It takes a lot for somebody to share their story. Here are just some of the many who have bravely done so. Listen, read, watch, and share.

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