Posted by

first_imgThis week the Oxford University branch of Amnesty International (OUAI) and Oxford Brookes AI endured the biting cold to spend all night on the lawn of Radcliffe Camera, as part of Amnesty’s nation-wide “Sleepout to End Destitution”   campaign.Both OUAI and Brooks AI campaign to raise awareness of human rights abuses throughout the world. The current campaign aims to end the difficulties facing asylum seekers in the UK. The National Audit Office estimates there to be about 283,500 refused asylum seekers in the UK; many of them come from countries notorious for human rights abuses. Their refusal of asylum leaves many of them stuck in the UK.The demonstration is a part of a “national sleepout week” organised by Amnesty International UK and STAR, or Student Action for Refugees. They are National Audit Office estimates there to be about 283,500 refused asylum seekers in the UK.OUAI claimed that refused asylum-seekers are not a part of the public awareness in the UK. They stated on the website that as a result, “the Government is under no pressure to change its policies. We need to make people aware of this scandal and demand an end to destitution.”The sleepout began at 9pm and those in attendance were supplied with soup and biscuits. As the event went on, the temperature swiftly dropped to 2  degrees Celsius.Writer, activist and Oxford graduate Theresa Hayter spoke at the event. She voiced her support for the Oxford groups and connected the struggle of refugees denied asylum to her campaign to close the Campsfield Immigration Centre.Pascal Jerome, President of OUAI, spoke about the reasons for a nationwide campaign to speak against Government policy toward refused asylum seekers.He said, “After they’re denied appeal, they have 21 days before they’re cut off. They’re thrown about £35 a week; £35 a week, that’s nothing.“We know that the government can only provide a certain amount of housing, so right to work is the main thing. “Allowing these people the right to earn a wage and provide for themselves, that’s what needs to happen.”Amnesty also stresses that refused asylum seekers are not entitled to any NHS treatment except in cases of emergency as well as being met with major obstacles to acquiring legal advice.As to the question of why the government is so unresponsive, Jerome said that many MPs might find it difficult to talk about this subject.“They feel they’ll be tarred by bringing it up; it would be the sort of thing that The Daily Mail would hold against them, allowing these people into the country.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *