Inspired by our friends at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Asylum Matters will be joining the upcoming Global Climate Strike.
On 20 September, ahead of a UN Climate Summit in New York, young people around the world will again be taking to the streets calling for a future free of fossil fuels and for urgent climate action.
The struggle for climate justice is inextricably linked with broader struggles for social justice, including securing the rights of and improving the wellbeing of refugees and people seeking asylum. Countries in the global South are at the frontline of the climate crisis even though they have done the least to contribute historic carbon emissions and are the least well equipped to deal with it. Environmental destruction and climate chaos force people to move from their homes and interact with other drivers of displacement.
Here in the UK, we know that poorer communities and people of colour are more vulnerable to the different forms of climate disruption, environmental degradation and pollution, and so refugees and people seeking sanctuary are likely to be disproportionately affected.
The Asylum Matters model is built on the values of collaboration, partnership and solidarity. We have been inspired by the youth strikers who have taken to the streets in their millions to demand climate justice. These young people are now asking for adult solidarity and we will stand with them on 20 September.
Strikes will be taking place up and down the UK and we hope others working to support refugees and people in the asylum system will consider joining them, even if it is just for 30 minutes over your lunch break (see here to find the strike nearest to you).
We know, however, that many of our frontline partners, who battle to uphold the rights of people seeking asylum and refugees, are not in a position to join the action on 20 September. There other ways to extend solidarity with the youth strikers, including support on social media, solidarity stoppages at work and, simply, recognising and talking to colleagues, peers and friends about the connections between our struggles.