Britain: Refugee Week

Every year, since 1998, the UK celebrates the numerous gifts and contributions that refugees bring to host communities. This is one of the largest worldwide arts and culture festivities. Originally, this week-long celebration was aimed at countering the toxic portrayal and negative depictions of those seeking sanctuary in the media. Considering the current political agenda around immigration, it feels more urgent than ever that all communities uphold the commitment declared in the Human Rights Convention, to which this country has been a signatory since 1951.

This year’s theme for Refugee Week’s celebration (19-25 June) is Compassion. Worldwide, we are still grappling with the post-Covid effects, including many situations of conflict and war, as well as communities being ravaged by the devastating impacts of climate change. The safety nets for those disproportionately affected not only by Covid but also by the staggering costs of living are crumbling. Moreover, in the UK, consecutive governments continue to make the lives of undocumented migrants more and more miserable, as evidenced through the appalling housing conditions (including the use of barracks) and the plans to implement a so-called inhumane anti-immigration bill. The realisation that we are interconnected, and that the fabrics of our societies are interwoven, means that we all have a part to play in creating harmonious communities where everyone is treated with compassion and respect.

Source: ICN

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