COVENTRY Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG) and Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC) have marked the 70th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention by joining a new campaign – Together With Refugees (TWR) – to call for a more effective and fair approach to people seeking safety in the UK.
It follows increasing concern about the governments recently announced Nationality and Borders Bill, which has been branded as ‘anti-refugee’ and ‘inhumane’ by campaigners and charities in the UK’s refugee sector.
Victor Iringere, a senior manager at CRMC secured refugee status in 2019, after seeking safety due to being persecuted due to his sexuality in Nigeria.
“This bill makes for some very scary reading as someone who has lived experience of seeking safety in the UK.
“Shortly after I claimed asylum in 2017, I became homeless and these proposals, specifically those that mention making deporting rough sleepers seeking safety easier, had been the law at the time, I might not be here today.”
Proposals for the bill include criminalising those who arrive in the UK seeking safety via irregular routes, removing people to detention centres abroad while processing claims and making no commitment to how many people the UK will offer safety to via resettlement schemes.
Nathan Ndlovu, a member of CARAG said: “As a group of people who have sought safety, we already face a range of barriers, hostility and challenges to seek sanctuary in the UK.
“Despite Priti Patel calling this new bill fair and humane, it will only make sanctuary seeker’s lives more difficult, precarious and vulnerable to injustices in the UK and abroad.
“This government has refused to listen to people with lived experience about what could make a better system and that’s why we’ve joined this national coalition to call for an effective, fair and safe asylum system.”