For many of us, planning a journey is as simple as typing the desired location into our smartphone and pressing ‘Find Route’.
But sadly, for refugees undertaking the scariest and most important journey of their life, things aren’t so simple.
The problem is that in order to claim asylum in the UK you have to be in the country. The fact that we’re an island nation, a long way from war zones and despotic states, makes getting to the UK in order to claim asylum very, very difficult.
For example, there are no flights from Syria to London, and even if there were, the UK and Syrian governments wouldn’t grant permission to travel in order to claim asylum. That’s why the vast majority of refugees are forced to take routes that are indirect, costly and incredibly dangerous, in order to claim asylum.
The UK government has talked about the importance of ‘safe routes’ to the UK, but there is little to no effort being made to develop these.
Instead, the government’s anti-refugee Bill will punish refugees who manage to make their own way to the UK, granting them fewer rights, and even imposing prison sentences.
Keep your eyes open for more on the anti-refugee Bill and how you can help fight it in the coming weeks.
– Roger Pask
[UPDATE: the anti-refugee Bill has continued it’s way through parliament despite considerable opposition…]