This year’s Sanctuary in Parliament called for an end to poverty and homelessness in the asylum process. The day focused on Dignity not Destitution and called for policy changes which would give asylum seekers the right to work after 6 months. The movement also called for an extension to the 28 day moving on period. Currently, many new refugees end up destitute because they cannot get things in place before they are evicted from their Home Office property. There is also a call for a rise in the Home Office benefit rates from 50% to 70%. Men, women and children living on just over £5 per day for extended periods and are trapped in abject poverty; this level of support is detrimental to people’s physical and mental health, it also disadvantages children in the education system.
The City of Sanctuary chair, Sabir Zazai chaired the day, and the opening address was from Thangam Debbonaire MP – the chair of the APPG Refugees. As an MP, Thangam has sponsored this event in Parliament for the past 4 years. Her support, dedication and enthusiasm for refugees and the City of Sanctuary movement is really appreciated. For further information on the day and the issues please visit the City of Sanctuary web page.