This Valentines Day we are standing with our friends from the Together With Refugees Coalition to call for a kinder, fairer and more compassionate asylum system through the Show Your Heart Campaign.
The National Borders Bill is currently progressing through Parliament and we are extremely concerned by both the content and the tone of this piece of legislation and the impact it will have on people seeking sanctuary in the UK. We have written about this here and here and our Advocacy Manager, Amy Merone, shared some reflections on what an alternative approach might look like here.
We believe that the Government’s proposals will cause further significant harm to the individuals who Boaz works with. The clients who come to us have often had their claims for asylum refused multiple times, often for very complex reasons, yet many of our clients do go on to be granted a form of leave to remain after having their case looked at again by a solicitor providing highly quality legal advice. Under the new proposals, there will be far fewer avenues for appeal available, and more people will be made destitute as a result. The need for organisations such as Boaz will only increase.
The #ShowYourHeart campaign gives us all an opportunity to raise awareness, show support for people seeking sanctuary and also to encourage our MPs to engage with the Bill positively and effectively.
There are some great resources available to help you to join us in campaigning and to #ShowYourHeart - not just on Valentines Day but in the weeks ahead.
Together with Refugees have ideas for individuals to raise awareness on social media here, including a link to a range of images and suggested text that you can use. Don't forget to use the #ShowYourHeart hashtag!
For groups and organisations, you can find out more about Together With Refugees campaign Day of Action on March 21st here, when across the UK local landmarks will be lit up and decorated with orange hearts.
Many of us have already written to our MPs and perhaps spoken directly with them, to raise concerns about the Bill. If you'd like to follow up a previous contact with your MP or perhaps make contact for the first time, JPIT have produced some useful resources here.
Whatever you think about Valentines Day, we hope that you will stand with us and #ShowYourHeart.