Labour Students BAME Officer Rania Ramli writes about our recent World Refugee event co-hosted with the Jewish Labour Movement, and what we all can do to support refugees across the world.
Yesterday the Labour Students BAME caucus worked with the Jewish Labour Movement to host a reception for World Refugee Day. It was fantastic to hear from some fantastic speakers about what we can do to raise awareness of and help tackle the refugee crisis, our priority campaign for the year.
Our keynote speaker was the incredible Lord Dubs who offered some very interesting insights in terms of the work that he has done and what is still needed. One of the most important things mentioned was the need to lobby local councils to do more. Engaging with Labour Councillors to bring the conversation around refugee families and individual children to the forefront is vital if we are to see better provisions and more support. Theresa May’s government may be keen on pushing a ‘hostile environment’ agenda but the Labour Party can and must both challenge this and work at the grassroots level to address the problems being perpetuated.
Asking councils to commit to welcoming a fixed number of refugee children is one place to start. Some local authorities are already doing fantastic work in this area, showing that with it is possible, despite the outrageous cuts many are facing.
We will be releasing some campaigning material for all Labour clubs in the country this September. This will include information about their local councils and ideas as to how they can lobby them to do more to support refugee families.
Charities are also incredibly important in dealing with this so it was fantastic to be able to do a collection for Bloody Good Period, a great organisation that donates sanitary products to asylum seeker center’s and others who may need them. You can find out more about them and the work they do here.
We’re looking to build on this by organising a fundraising event to raise money for some other local charities that support refugees in the next few months so do get in touch if you have any suggestions.
As Sarah Sackman said last night, politics is about listening but it’s also the art of persuasion. With the rise of far-right fascists across the world, it is more important than ever that we keep up the fight to protect and support some of the most vulnerable children and adults in our society.
Today is World Refugee Day so there is no better time to start talking about the crisis and how we can all play our part. I’m really keen to hear any ideas or suggestions that you may have so do get in touch!