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Tees Valley of Sanctuary
Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees
• c/o Justice First
• 135 Norton Road
• Stockton on Tees
• TS18 2BG
• Tel: 07419 375 807
• [email protected]
[email protected]
• http://www.cityofsanctuary.org/tees-valley
A City of Sanctuary
• Developing a culture and climate of
welcome
• Not the development of a ‘hostile
environment’
• The Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather in 2013 disclosed
that the Coalition government had set up an interdepartment ministerial group: “On the explicit instructions
of the prime minister, it was called the hostile environment
working group,” Teather said, “its job being to make
Britain a hostile environment to unwanted immigrants.”
What is a City of Sanctuary?
• Mainstream grassroots movement building coalitions of organisations
from all sectors of society
• Public commitment to welcoming people seeking sanctuary and
refugees, and fully including them in activities
• Creating opportunities for relationships between local people and those
seeking sanctuary
• Seeks to influence the political debate on sanctuary indirectly through
cultural change, and does not usually engage in political lobbying or
anti-deportation campaigns directly
• Offers a positive vision of a culture of hospitality for those in need of
safety, by encourage communities to take pride in offering a place of
safety for people whose lives are threatened, and celebrating their
contribution to our towns and cities.
What does a City of Sanctuary
look like?
• Flexible and non-descriptive
• Relevant to local situation and
needs
• Working at own pace
• Added value NOT competition
Streams of Sanctuary
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Statutory Authorities
Faiths / Churches
Schools
Musicians
Lawyers
Businesses
Communities
Choirs
Book Clubs
Tees Valley of Sanctuary
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Steering Group
Constitution
Resolution of Support
Fund Raising
Admin/IT Apprenticeship
Resolution of Support
• "We support the initiative to make the Tees Valley
a recognised ‘Area of Sanctuary’ that welcomes
those fleeing violence and persecution in their own
countries. We recognise the positive contribution
that refugees and people seeking sanctuary bring
to the Tees Valley, and we are committed to taking
practical steps to welcome and include them in
our activities. We resolve to actively seek ways of
supporting them wherever and whenever we can.
We are also willing to be contacted by the Tees Valley of Sanctuary
group with further ideas for how we can turn this pledge into practical
action."
British Social Attitudes Survey
• In a recent BSA report the proportion of
people who admitted to being racially
prejudiced had risen from 25% in 2001 to
38% in 2013. The two main areas where
racism has grown over the last decade are
Islamophobia and hostility to immigrants.
• Possible increase in this prejudice in the
lead-up to the 2015 UK general election
Media Reporting
• The Daily Express
• ‘Middlesbrough at breaking point over asylum seeker
numbers’
• ‘A town flooded by a sudden surge of asylum seekers can
no longer cope, angry locals claimed’
• ‘…it has become a magnet for penniless arrivals’
• “The schools and nurseries are full because of all the
foreign kids who have come to the area” local resident
• There needs to be some kind of control put in place in the
town because local people are starting to feel part of a
minority. In the past year it has been very noticeable that
number of Poles, Kurds and Romanians have shot up.”
local resident
Supporters / Partners
• Justice First
• Mary Thompson Fund
• British Red Cross
• North East Coalition For Asylum & Refugee Rights
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North of England Refugee Service
Everyday Language Solutions
Open Door
Arrival Medical Practice
Methodist Asylum Project
Regional Refugee Forum
Tees Valley of Sanctuary
Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees
• c/o Justice First
• 135 Norton Road
• Stockton on Tees
• TS18 2BG
• Tel: 07419 375 807
• [email protected]
[email protected]
• http://www.cityofsanctuary.org/tees-valley
•
According to Article 1 of the 1951 United Nations Convention
Relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is someone who
has
• “a well-founded fear of being persecuted
for reasons of race, nationality, religious
belief, political opinion or membership of
a particular social group; is outside the
country of his (or her) nationality and is
unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling
to avail himself of the protection of that
country;….”
• An asylum seeker is someone who has applied
to be recognised as a refugee and is waiting for
a decision
• The right to seek asylum is enshrined in
international law
• It is recognised that using false documents is
sometimes necessary
• There is no such thing as an “illegal asylum
seeker”
Who are Asylum Seekers / Refugees?
• A doctor who was complaining about institutional
rape by state authorities
• A woman whose husband was involved in an
opposition political party in a general election
• A preacher targeted and threated by an alternative
religion or sect
• Someone under threat by a non-state agent and
believes the state will not protect them
• Fleeing from a civil war or armed conflict
• People fleeing due to a fundamental lack of human
rights and a democratic system
People seeking asylum in UK
2013
• 23,507 asylum claims received (excl
dependents – approx 3,500)
• UK ranked 12th out of the EU 15
countries as a percentage of the
population
• an 8% rise on 2012 (21,785), which
was:
• a10% rise on 2011 (19,600)
• Has been as many as 100,000 (2002)
Refugees Worldwide
first half 2014
• 330,700 (24%) increase on 1st half 2013
• If continues, 700,000 asylum applications in
the world’s 44 industrialised countries:
highest in 20 years
• 264,000 in the 38 European countries, of
which;
• 216,300 in the 28 member states of the EU
(a 23% increase).
Refugees Worldwide
first half 2014
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Germany:
65,700 applications
USA:
52,800 applications
France:
29,000 applications
Sweden:
28,500 applications
Turkey:
27,000 applications
UK:
14,300 applications (7th)
Top five refugee sending countries:
Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Serbia
• At the end of 2013: 2,609 asylum
seekers were being supported in the
north east (about 0.08% of the region’s
2.6 million population)
• Almost 70% living in the Tees Valley
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133 in Hartlepool
978 in Middlesbrough
670 in Stockton
2-3 in Redcar and Cleveland
• Total number of people supported in
the Tees Valley for the whole of 2013:
• Hartlepool: 173 (133)
• Middlesbrough: 1622 (978)
• Stockton: 1160 (670)
• Redcar and Cleveland: about 10 (2-3)
• Total in the Tees Valley: 2965 (1784)
• Total in Tyne and Wear: 1403 (828)
• Total North East:
4358 (2609)
Students
Housewife
Engineer
Electrician
Mechanic
Sales
Interior Designer
Dental Hygienist
Businessperson
Retailer
Administrator
Manager
Taxis driver
Computer Technician
Journalist
Doctor
Teacher
Accountant
Hairdresser
Chef
Nurse
Vet
Dancer
Lecturer
In Summer 2004 the North Of England Refugee Community
Integration Project carried out a consultation with over 130
asylum seekers and refugees across the North East. Participants
were asked to state their occupation in their country of origin.
The above responses were given.
Media Reporting
• Media research between 2001 and 2006
showed:
• 7 UK tabloids published 713 articles that
referred to ‘bogus asylum seekers’, and;
• the words ‘crime and asylum’ appeared
together 945 times
• In an opinion poll, 72% of respondents
thought there were more than 100,000
asylum applications in 2009: when there
were 24,485
Don Flynn – Director of
Migrants Rights Network
• Here is a dilemma well worth pondering
on: we live in societies which have been
evolving in directions which are more global in
terms of the economic and political principles
which animate them, and yet our mental
frameworks for understanding our identities
and the conditions of our lives seem to be
reverting to stridently nationalistic modes of
thinking.
Migrants Charter
• End the ‘hostile environment’
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Protect a right to family life
Give European migrants a fair deal
Improve the immigration system for all
End the exploitation of migrant workers
Protect the interests of international
students
Support in the Community
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Faith Groups
Schools
Statutory Services
Businesses
Voluntary Sector
Individuals
Recap
• People seeking asylum have fled from
persecution and are seeking safety
• Less than 24,000 UK applications in 2013
• Almost 3000 people supported in the Tees
Valley in 2013 – the biggest dispersal area
in the whole of the UK as a percentage of
the population
• Refugees are entitled to the same services
and support as UK citizens
• Most people in the UK support asylum
seekers (but don’t know it yet!)
Tees Valley of Sanctuary
Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees
• c/o Justice First
• 135 Norton Road
• Stockton on Tees
• TS18 2BG
• Tel: 07419 375 807
• [email protected]
[email protected]
• http://www.cityofsanctuary.org/tees-valley

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