Sanctuary in Parliament is an event held in the Houses of Parliament every year by City of Sanctuary and its partners. This year it is taking place on Tuesday 28th November.

The aim of the event is to help politicians better understand the issues in the asylum system by listening to the experiences of refugees. This year the focus is on action that can be taken to end poverty and homelessness in the asylum system.

For people seeking refugee protection in the UK, the risk of falling into poverty or homelessness is very real. After fleeing war, torture and persecution in their countries of origin, many refugees face ongoing hardships in the UK whilst stating their claim for protection from persecution. The impact of these hardships can be truly devastating.

Across the UK, a picture emerges of an asylum system with many obstacles and pitfalls and a fragile safety net that too often fails to protect vulnerable people from falling into destitution. Not only do these policies take an enormous toll on the physical and mental well-being of asylum-seekers and refugees, but they are damaging to communities, preventing integration and hampering their ability to rebuild their lives in the UK.

We know that things could be different. Alongside the City of Sanctuary network and the wider Sanctuary Alliance, NACCOM members are committed to a system of refugee protection which is just and fair for all, and allows those seeking safety to live in dignity not destitution.

We believe no-one in the UK should be forced into poverty or homeless, including those who have sought refugee protection here.

What will happen on the day?

This year, Sanctuary in Parliament will be held on Tuesday 28th November (12 – 4pm) in the Houses of Parliament.

Download the Programme here

If you’re a NACCOM Member and you’re planning to be there, do let us know! Please note all the spaces for the day have now been allocated.

What are we asking for?

The key asks are:

1. People seeking asylum should be granted permission to work after waiting for 6 months for a decision on their case. There should be no restrictions on the work that they undertake;

2. Asylum support should be raised to at least 70% of income support;

3. The move on period should be increased to at least 50 days to avoid any gaps in support.

Download the SiP Destitution Policy Briefing here

Download the SiP Destitution – Quick Policy Guide here

Supporting Sanctuary in Parliament:

If you can’t be there on the day, here are some other ways you can show support…

1. Tweet your MP to encourage them to come along! On the day, you can follow-up with your MP again to ensure they’re attending.

2. Before next Tuesday, you can support the event by spreading the word on your social media channels using #DignityNotDestitution. On the day, use the hashtag #DignityNotDestitution to echo our campaign messages.

3.  Follow @CityofSanctuary and @AsylumMatters to get latest updates and retweet highlights from the day (using the hashtags #SiP2017 and #DignityNotDestitution).

For full details and ideas of how to get involved, download the SIP Social Media guide here.

To download the files for social media activity click here.

Thanks to City of Sanctuary for these brilliant resources and to our members for supporting this important opportunity.