The UK’s first Sanctuary Summit is to be held in Birmingham on the 15th of November.
The ground breaking event is an expression of solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees. It will also have a practical focus, with training workshops on offer aimed at energising coordinated and effective campaigning on asylum and refugee issues.
Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees Sarah Teather MP and refugee activists will deliver key note speeches.
The Summit will seek to unite a diverse range of groups around eight key principles, including ensuring asylum seekers have access to good quality legal advice and representation, fair and effective decision making, free healthcare and permission to work for people who have been awaiting a decision for longer than six months. The principles also call for an end to destitution and the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.
Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said: “The Refugee Council is driven by a vision where the UK is a welcoming place of safety for people who seek refuge here from persecution and human rights abuses abroad.
“This inaugural Sanctuary Summit is a demonstration that we are not alone in this vision, and it is an important milestone in the creation of a vibrant, inclusive and influential refugee rights movement in the UK.
“We have a powerful message to send to our leaders, and they would be wise to listen; despite the toxic immigration debate British people remain proud of our country’s long tradition of protecting refugees. Long may it continue.”