Fair begins here

Fair Begins Here: A new campaign calling for a fair new plan for refugees that works for everyone

Today, 11 December 2023, Together with Refugees is excited to launch our new campaign, Fair Begins Here. 

Over the next two years, we will be doing all we can to ensure the next UK government commits to a fair new plan for refugees. To kick this off we have brought together General Lord Richard Dannatt, Gary Lineker, Sophie Okonedo, Big Zuu and other influential figures from across British society to call for a fair new plan for refugees in an open letter to political leaders.  

The letter, published in the week MPs will vote on the government’s proposed legislation on the cruel Rwanda scheme, demonstrates what we already know –  people from across the UK and all parts of society support us. With signatories including the BMA, UNISON, National Association of Head Teachers, faith leaders and stars of sport, stage and screen, and those with experience of being a refugee, the letter states:

 “Britain’s refugee system has become ever-more uncaring, chaotic and costly…These policies aren’t working for refugees and they aren’t working for local communities. That’s why we have come together to say we’ve had enough. Enough of the division. Enough of the short-term thinking. Enough of the wasted human potential. And it’s why we now call for something better.”

We have also released new polling which reveals that fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) of the British public think the government’s approach to the asylum system is working well. This number increases to just 1 in 4 (28%) when only looking at respondents who intend to vote Conservative at the next election and decreases to 1 in 6 (16%) for those who intend to vote Labour. The poll also shows that 80% of the British public agree with Together With Refugees and want an approach to the asylum system that is well managed, fair and compassionate. 

Next year will be a huge year for the Fair Begins Here campaign as we demonstrate united, visible support by people from across society and in every corner of the UK to show political leaders that the majority of people back a new approach.  

The Fair Begins Here campaign is calling for a fair new plan for refugees with:

  • Protection for people fleeing war and persecution by upholding the UK’s commitment under international law to the right to claim asylum and by scrapping the Rwanda scheme. 
  • A proper strategy for welcoming refugees by ensuring fair, rapid decisions on their application for asylum, and the chance to rebuild their lives through settling in a community, being allowed to work and the chance to learn English.  
  • Stronger global cooperation to tackle the root causes that force people to flee their homes and provides positive solutions when they do, including through safe routes to refugee protection.