Copy of House-of-Commons-orange-heart

4 ways to stand up to the #RefugeeBanBill

Together with Refugees is profoundly concerned about the government’s proposed #RefugeeBanBill that is currently being rushed through parliament.

The government’s proposed bill, if passed, will not just strip people fleeing war and persecution of their right to seek safety in the UK but punish them, based simply on how they came here, not whether they need protection. This would amount to an asylum ban.

The government claims it is pursuing this policy because this is the will of the British people. We need to stand up and say that the #RefugeeBanBill does not represent us, and that most people in this country want an asylum system that is kinder, fairer and more effective.

Here are 4 ways you can help get this message across: 

1.     Lobby your MP

We know that there are MPs across the UK and across all parties who want to see a better asylum system, and there are many others who are open to being persuaded. Many MPs will have heard from the small but vocal minority who oppose a compassionate approach to refugees. It is crucial that they hear from people and groups in their constituencies who stand together with refugees, to ensure they feel confident they have the backing of the people they represent.

You can find out who your MP is, their contact details, including their email address and how to access their website here

If you know other organisations or groups working with refugees in your local area, you can always join forces and write to or meet with your MP together. Collective approaches can be very powerful.

Speak or write from the heart about why this cruel law doesn’t represent you, and include any personal experience that you or friends have of the asylum system. 

The ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ is wrong on many levels, but you could focus on how it would:

● Extinguish the right to seek refugee protection in the UK for those who arrive irregularly.
● Breach the UN Refugee Convention.
● Lead to two classrooms of children being detained each day, causing irreparable harm.
● Fail to provide the safe routes we need now and do little to prevent people risking their lives to seek safety.

Explain that instead of this cruel and unworkable bill, the government should focus on creating a compassionate, fair, and effective system. Together we are calling on Parliament to: 

  • Protect rather than punish refugees by defending the fundamental right to seek asylum.
  • Stand up for the UN Refugee Convention and the UK’s international responsibilities.
  • Retain existing time limits which prevent the routine detention of refugee babies, toddlers and children.
  • Ensure the Government provides alternatives to dangerous journeys, including safe routes now. 
  • Demand an effective asylum system which gives people a fair hearing and reduces the backlog.

If your MP is supportive, ask them to publicly set out their support for the issue by:

  • Speaking out in Parliament against the #RefugeeBanBill
  • Writing to the Home Secretary to express their concerns
  • Speaking out on social media, using the hashtag #TogetherWithRefugees and calling for an alternative to the #RefugeeBanBill. Ask them to use the orange heart emoji 🧡 (see below on orange hearts). 

2. Stand Up and Speak Out

Write to your local newspaper, go on local radio, speak out on social media, get your family, friends and colleagues speaking out too. This government says that we want this cruel law – so we need to stand up and say loudly and clearly that we don’t.

3. Organise

Join in with local and national calls to action from Together With Refugees’ 500+ member organisations. If your organisation is a member of the Together With Refugees coalition make sure you’re receiving email updates, and if your organisation isn’t already a member, please consider joining the coalition here.

4. Share an orange heart 🧡

Use the orange heart symbol 🧡 online and offline to show your compassion for people fleeing war and persecution. Inspired by the refugee nation flag and the colours of a lifebelt, the orange heart symbolises hope and kindness 🧡.