It’s difficult to imagine what life would be like if the UK was no longer safe and we suddenly had to leave our homes and loved ones behind. Sadly, the invasion of Ukraine has highlighted this situation all too well. It’s also highlighted how when home is no longer safe, people don’t have the option of applying for a visa – they have to pack a bag and get to safety via any means they can.
Whilst people around the world have been watching the devastating scenes in Ukraine unfold and have been spurred into action, the UK’s Government’s response has been far from enough.
Solidarity with Ukraine means scrapping the Nationality and Borders Bill!
And right now, even against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, our Government is pushing ahead and trying to pass a bill that is totally anti refugees - and it’s about to go through its final stages of Parliament.
The Nationality and Borders Bill is designed to criminalise people simply for trying to find a safe place to call home.
Under this bill, Ukrainian refugees and people seeking safety from other countries who travel via irregular routes to reach the UK will be punished, not protected. Instead of being given much needed sanctuary, people will face being sent to an offshore detention centre or being deported to a country where their lives might be in danger.
Conversations from Calais
Whilst many people have sought safety in other countries, the first few Ukrainian families have made it to Calais with the hope of finding sanctuary, or reuniting with loved ones, in the UK, only to be turned away at the border.
Whilst many Ukrainians need urgent protection, we must also remember that people from other countries also stuck in Calais are equally in need of urgent protection. All refugees must always be treated with compassion, dignity and fairness regardless of their home country or skin colour.
The posters and billboards from our friends at Conversations From Calais, serve as a powerful reminder that wherever people happen to be from, folks who are coming to the UK via northern France, who are so often demonised in the media and used as scapegoats by this Government to detract from their own failings, are just… people. People with hopes, dreams and fears just like all of us!
Take Action Now!
The people behind these conversations from Calais, are also people who will be punished and criminalised under the cruel and inhumane Nationality and Borders Bill. That’s why with the bill heading back to the house of commons, we took this billboard to Westminster today to remind MP’s that they need to vote with compassion.
Will you join us in taking action by telling our elected leaders that we want to treat people with kindness and compassion and as we’d wish to be treated if we were in the same circumstances.
Conversations from Calais is a growing collection of conversations between refugees and volunteers, which aims to capture the diversity of people and experiences whose voices are so often silenced and ignored. Find out more here.