This year has been a year like no other. The impact of Covid-19 on our lives has been profound and far-reaching – no-one has been left unaffected by this deadly disease.
As a network, we have had to respond and adapt to ensure that those made destitute by a hostile and inhumane asylum system continue to receive vital support, at a time when access to safe accommodation, healthcare and employment is more important than ever.
The pandemic has further exposed how Hostile Environment policies push people into destitution and insecurity in times of crisis, creating barriers to accessing support and dividing society and communities. The underlying narrative to this is a Government that is committed to prioritising immigration control over the health and wellbeing of people who are often experiencing unimaginable hardship.
Many in refugee and asylum communities have lost loved ones during this turbulent time. Some of these individual deaths have been widely reported in the national media, whilst others have been quietly marked by smaller communities and families.
As a charity that is committed to bringing an end to asylum destitution, we share their grief and stand in solidarity with all those who experience suffering at the hands of the UK immigration system, as well as the people and organisations that support them.
To mark Human Rights Day 2020, and to honour those who have lost their lives in search of a better, safer life in the UK, we came together to remember, reflect and bear witness to the human impact of injustice in the immigration system.
Vigil for Human Rights Day
When: 10th December 2020
Time: 9.30am – 9.30pm The Vigil is an ‘open’ event during which participants are invited to find a time that suits them for a moment of personal reflection. NACCOM will host an opening and closing session (see below for details).
Human Rights Day is an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of human rights in re-building the post-Covid world we want, the need for global solidarity as well as our interconnectedness and shared humanity.
NACCOM – a network of over 10,000 guests, volunteers and staff – is inviting members, supporters, and people with lived experience of immigration control, to join a Vigil on Human Rights Day, December 10th 2020.
Between 9.30am and 9.30pm, we will be asking those who take part to find a personal way of bearing witness to the needless injustice and suffering caused by hostile UK immigration policies, to remember those who have died and suffered, and to find strength and solidarity in an act of collective reflection.
How to take part
➡️ Join the Vigil
Within the 12-hour period, we ask individuals or groups to find their own personal response to observe the Vigil. This could be:
- Lighting a candle in your window
- A silent walk around your neighbourhood
- Leaving a mark of solidarity in a public place
- Making some space to pray alone or in a group online
- Sharing a cup of tea and joyful memories with a friend
➡️ Join us for the Opening and/or Closing session, and make a contribution if you wish
To launch the Vigil, NACCOM will host an opening and closing session online. If they wish, participants can contribute a reading, poem, tribute to a loved one or acquaintance, story, piece of music or other personal reflection, either on the day, or by recording this in advance. Or if you prefer, just join us and sit in contemplation.
- 9.30am – 10.00am– Opening session; join together to begin the Vigil, and hear from people impacted by asylum injustice (via Zoom – if you would like to join this session, please email Hannah Gurnham)
- 10am – 9pm– Find a moment for personal or group reflection
- 9.00pm – 9.30pm– Closing session; join together to end the Vigil, hear how people have observed the day, closing reflections and intention setting (via Zoom – if you would like to join this session, please email Hannah Gurnham)
➡️ Share how you observed the Vigil
If you would like to share how you observed your Vigil (through words, photos, videos or audio) please feel free to do so. On social media use the #HumanRightsDay and #EndDestitution hashtags, and tag in @NACCOMnetwork, or email email@example.com, so that we can track and highlight how and why people in the network are observing the Vigil around the UK.
However, please do also feel free to take private time and know that as you observe your Vigil you are held and supported by over 10,000 guests, volunteers and staff within the NACCOM network.
After the event
NACCOM will create a short montage film as a legacy of the event that will be shared through the NACCOM network’s communications channels