Human Beings, Not Commodities: Status Now 4 All Summit

25 March 2021: People seeking asylum should be treated like human beings, says a major organisation supporting migrants.

Responding to Home Secretary Priti Patel’s ‘biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades’, Nazek Ramadan, the Executive Director of Migrant Voice who will be chairing the Status Now 4All Summit: One YearOn (https://statusnow4all.org/status-now-summit-one-year-on/) this Saturday, said:

“It is based on false premises – particularly on the actual availability of legal routes – and tears apart the principle of the right to claim asylum.

“The proposals create a two-tier system that punishes those who manage to find their own route to safety and condemns them to a life in limbo with restricted rights.

“People fleeing persecution and death have the right to seek sanctuary. That is the starting point and no policy should undermine it. We are dealing here with human beings: they cannot be treated like commodities.”

Yesterday, Priti Patel, Home Secretary addressed the UK Parliament. StatusNow4All welcomes the announcement that Indefinite Leave to Remain will be offered to the narrow band of people who are currently far from British shores and have been identified as ‘vulnerable’ and in need of a place of safety. We remain profoundly concerned that the UK Government is, to date, choosing to ignore appeals for the promotion of a simple, ‘common-sense alternative’ based on equity of access to healthcare, housing, food and the same sources of income from the State as everyone else. Today, we are sending our second Open Letter to the British Prime Minister and the Irish Taoiseach, reasserting our call, first made on 27th March 2020 (http://www.rapar.co.uk/news/an-open-letter-to-the-prime-minister-of-the-uk-and-the-taoiseach-of-ireland).

Yesterday Priti Patel asked: “And if you don’t like our plan, where is yours?”

Here it is: Grant Indefinite Leave to Remain to all undocumented people and those in the legal process who are currently in the UK. Once this is accepted in principle, we, people with direct experience of being in those insecure positions, alongside our campaigning organisations and individuals, will come to any discussion table to work together to make this vision a reality.”

The Status Now 4 All Summit, which is being held online on Saturday, will be discussing what has been happening to undocumented people over the past year – and how and why COVID19 has made it worse. It will consider what the current challenges are – and what the next steps should be. It will explain why the Status Now Network is calling for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

A wide range of people will be sharing their experiences, including people who are undocumented and going through the most challenging experiences. Alongside them Rt Revd Dr John Perumbalath, Bishop of Bradwell, will launch the Status Now Calling Card for All Communities of Faith.

He says: “As our political narrative and policies continue to create a hostile environment for refugees and asylum seekers, it is imperative for faith communities to speak up and care for these most vulnerable members of our human family and build partnerships with all those who work for justice in our society. This call for status now is about making our whole society fairer and safer and I plead with everyone to add their voice to this call.”

Among others, Rt Revd Dr Perumbalath will be joined by Chris Stephens, the Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow South West; Nicholas Hatton, Chief Executive of the3million; and the Mayor of Leicester, the first Local Authority to stand with StatusNow4All, who will share and listen to our ideas about our next steps.
ENDS

For further information, please contact media@statusnow4all.org / Ogie (07523876231) /Rhetta (07776264646)

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The Summit will be livestreamed here: https://www.facebook.com/StatusNow4All