The 2022 Refugee Week runs between 20 – 26 June. It was established in 1998 to highlight the resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. We think especially of the vulnerability of women and children. Everyone has a right to be safe. Some basic facts about refugees and those seeking asylum.
According to the Refugee Council, in 2021, 89.3 million people world-wide were forced to leave their homes because of conflicts, violence, fear of persecution and human rights violations.
Of these, 27.1 million were refugees, whilst 53.2 million were internally displaced within their country of origin. Two-thirds of refugees were from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. Around 6.6 million people are now fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Around 72% of refugees are hosted in neighbouring countries, most of which are in the global south. A UNHCR survey reports that if lasting peace were achieved in a few key locations, global refugee figures could halve.
Refugees and the UK
The UK is home to just 1% of the global total. So far this year, 75% of those seeking asylum in the UK were awarded refugee status. 110,000 are still waiting a decision, many living in destitution. Among these are 1,440 people detained in immigration removal centres.
The planned removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda is part of the government’s New Plan for Immigration. It aims to make it as hard as possible for refugees to get safe haven in the UK and it punishes them for how they travel, for example those crossing the Channel from Calais.
Women in Black invite you to support Women for Refugee Women
Women for Refugee Women challenge the injustices experienced by women who seek asylum in the UK. They work to empower women who have sought sanctuary in this country to speak out about their own experiences to the media, to policy-makers and at public events. “Women seek safety in the UK having survived extreme violence and dangerous journeys, only to find new challenges when they arrive here. The asylum process often subjects vulnerable women to the 3 D’s: disbelief, detention and destitution. Women’s stories are too often silenced or denied. And if women are denied asylum in the UK, they can be re-traumatised through indefinite detention. Or, they may be made destitute, with no access to any housing or financial support”. To donate or get more information here www.refugeewomen.co.uk
Women in Black hold vigils every Wednesday between 6-7 pm at the Edith Cavell Statue, opposite the door of the National Portrait Gallery, St.Martin’s Place, London WC2. Our vigils are silent, women-only and if possible we wear black. We welcome all women who support our call for an end to militarism and war. Contact us: Twitter @WIB_London FB @womeninblack.london http://london.womeninblack.org/
Donations for leaflets most welcome