The 2023 Refugee Week runs between 19–25 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.
Vigils on 21 and 28 June 2023
Some basic facts about refugees and those seeking asylum
- According to a United Nations Commission for Refugees report, the total number of refugees worldwide rose by 24% from 25.7 million at the end of 2021 to 32 million by mid-2022, largely due to refugees from Ukraine fleeing the war in their country.
- An estimated 103 million people have been forcibly displaced by persecution, conflict, violence and human rights violations.
- 69 per cent of refugees are hosted by neighbouring countries, many are the poorest countries.
- In Europe, the number of new asylum applications increased by 119 per cent to 502,800 in the first half of 2022. This increase was largely driven by the international armed conflict in Ukraine as well as the prolonged crises in Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela. The largest number of individual asylum applications were received in Germany
Refugees and the UK
- The UK is home to 1% of the 27.1 million refugees who were forcibly displaced across the world.
- According to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants the UK Governments ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ is criminalising refugees and reducing safe routes to the UK. This has caused an increase in the number of people entering the UK via ‘small boats’, as well as the number of border-related deaths.
Refugees bring skills and richness to our society. 1,200 medically qualified refugees are recorded on the British Medical Association’s database. It is estimated that it costs around £25,000 to prepare a refugee doctor to practise in the UK. Training a new UK doctor is estimated to cost between £200,000 and £250,000.
- Support the Women for Refugee Women campaign against MITIE, a private company which is involved in running immigration detention centres for the UK Government. https://www.refugeewomen.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Mitie-Toolkit-2605.pdf
- 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 for Refugee Women help me to understand my potential. Coming here allows me to be in my element with people around me who understand what I have been through.” 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
Donations for leaflets most welcome