Please see our dedicated page, to find out how to help respond to the current refugee crisis in Europe and the middle east
can be found with many of the larger Citizens Advice Bureaux and in areas, not too far outside the diocese, where there are large centres of asylum such as at the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group swvg-refugees.org.uk which is facilitated by local churches in that area and the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group www.gdwg.org.uk Much helpful advice can also be found through the Refugee Council www.refugeecouncil.org.uk
The group is very clear in their view that every asylum seeker has a right, under International law, to be in Great Britain, while their claim is being determined. In protecting the rights of those individuals, they offer the following services;
- Assist individual refugees
- Help churches become informed and concerned
- Campaign for better treatment of refugee
- Network with refugee groups across the country
Why do Refugees need our help?
For the many refugees who reach Britain, they will have endured a hazardous and often dangerous journey which began with escape from their own country. Their only belongings may be limited to the clothes they stand up in. In the more serious cases, the refugees have been hunted by police or militia in their home land, and had their passports seized by those authorities intent on imprisoning, torturing and very possibly killing them. Many of these, probably the majority, are our brothers and sisters in Christ although, as a group, we are committed to helping those of all or no faiths.
The British Government tries to refuse entry to all who lack the required documentation. It is admitted that this penalises not only the criminals but also refugees. Many serious asylum seekers are thereby left no choice but to attempt illegal entry to Britain. Thus “criminalising “ the whole process of seeking asylum.
How can Volunteers help?
Sometimes there may be opportunities for:
Human trafficking is the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others, or for the extraction of organs or tissues. Human trafficking represents an estimated $31.6 billion of international trade per annum in 2010.
Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of transnational criminal organizations. There are many website resources but locally the issue has been taken up by:
- Stop the Traffik
- TOAST (Team Operating Against Slave Trafficking) a group in Aldershot/Farnborough
If you have any questions regarding supporting refugees or Human Trafficking in Britain or would be interested in helping responsively to the issues that arise in the diocese, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Diane Peters (volunteer)
Other Useful Contact Addresses:
Refugee Council, 240-250 Ferndale Road, Brixton, London, SW9 8BB
Tel: 0207 346 6770
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, 115 Old Street, London EC1V 9JR
Tel: 0207 251 8708
Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees, PO Box 7, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 0YT
Tel: 0207 281 0533
Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, 111 Isledon Road, Finsbury Park, London, N7 7JW
Tel: 0207 697 7777
Christians Aware, 2 Saxby Street, Leicester LE2 0ND
Tel: 0116 254 0770
British Red Cross Society, 78-80 Walton Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5DW
Tel: 0845 054 7222 . Have launched a helpline to answer questions on how you can support refugees. The Europe Refugee Crisis Support Line number is 0800 107 8727. It's open daily from 9am to 7pm. The number is free to call from landlines but there may be a charge from mobile phones.
London Churches Refugee Network, London Diocesan House, 36 Causton Street, London, SW1P 4AU
Tel: 0207 932 1121
Barnabas Fund https://barnabasfund.org/
Calais Refugee Camp Support www.calaid.co.uk