People seeking asylum should be housed in communities, not camps.
However, the UK Government is planning to warehouse and segregate people seeking asylum in accommodation centres across the country on military bases, former prison sites and barges. Campaigners and residents defeated plans to open the first of these planned centres, in Linton-on-Ouse, north Yorkshire, and we now need to stop these centres being opened in any community.
If these sites are allowed to go ahead, people seeking sanctuary will find themselves isolated in prison-like conditions without adequate advice, healthcare, or support. These facilities will segregate and re-traumatise people and are being planned with no consideration of the needs of people seeking asylum, or of local communities.
There is one safe place to house people seeking asylum — and that is as an integral part of our communities!
We have seen in recent months how many people in the UK want to welcome and support those who have been forced to flee. People need safety, stability, friends and neighbours in order to rebuild their lives.
There is an alternative — the Government and Home Office must radically rebalance the way they work with people seeking asylum and with local communities. They must increase efforts to expand the use of safe asylum accommodation within and as a part of our communities, resourcing and working in partnership with those they serve.
They must work towards a refugee protection system that treats all people with dignity and compassion.
Write to your MP
Adapt this letter or use this easy online tool. Let your MP know that there is one safe place to house people seeking safety — as an integral part of local communities that are equipped to welcome them.
You can adapt the letter to include your own reasons for opposing plans to warehouse people in unsuitable facilities like these.
It is always powerful to share your personal experiences. If you have experience yourself of being placed in unsuitable asylum accommodation such as hotels or barracks, or you yourself are part of a community which welcomes or wants to welcome refugees — let your MP know!
Let us know how you get on! Contact your regional representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.