Highly bureaucratic and difficult to navigate sums up the process faced by those fleeing to the UK from the war in Ukraine. The Nationality and Borders Bill and plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda are the latest examples of a hostile environment which turns refugees into criminals. Vivienne Griffiths argues that we need safe routes for all refugees.
Category: Human rights
“It’s some years now since I could say I felt proud to be British.” The British government’s sense of entitlement and lack of humanity towards refugees have changed Richard Haviland’s feelings of pride in being British to shame about what the government is doing: “I don’t hate my country, I just hate what they’ve done to it.”
Thousands gathered in the capital in a sea of blue and yellow. Tamsin Shasha describes the recent Stand With Ukraine march in London: “Our hearts soar. We are proud to be here. We are proud to challenge this government’s despicable response to the refugee crisis and their insistence on bureaucratic visas.”
Many of us have a sense of helplessness about the war in Ukraine and this has prompted people to give money, offer their homes and contribute help in other ways. New writer Claire Hill describes how a cake sale she organised became a local community event, involving many others in her street.
Two weeks into Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, millions are fleeing the country in the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since the second world war. EU countries are welcoming the refugees with open arms, offering automatic protection for up to three years without the need to apply for asylum. But what of the UK – is our government doing enough to help?
Highlighted by MP Nusrat Ghani’s description of the discrimination she has faced, Islamophobia remains deep-rooted within the Conservative Party against a background of supportive media headlines and the implementation of policies that discriminate against people of colour and ‘othered’ faiths. Is the Tory party setting itself up for a fall?
For vulnerable children the situation in Afghanistan is desperate and they need our help, reports Maya Evans, who has had first hand experience in the country and whose charity is helping to buy basic necessities, as well as supporting those secretly educating girls.
Hastings people have donated generously to help and welcome refugees – who now have fewer safe passages to escape death and persecution, a rally in the town heard.
Under Home Secretary Priti Patel, what was once the policy of fringe British National Party crackpots is now at the heart of government. Her response to the deaths of 27 refugees at sea is playing politics with people’s lives.
A larger than life puppet, Little Amal, arrives in the UK to raise awareness of the fate of child refugees, against a backdrop of the government’s repressive Borders and Nationality Bill.
It’s far from being the case that most people hate ‘migrants’. In Sussex, Ginny Foster reports on a Sanctuary movement active in offering a welcome so lacking from our political leaders and mainstream press.
Can our society and way of life survive the triple threat of Brexit, Johnson’s government, and climate change? Or are we headed towards a total collapse of civilisation as we know it? Tom Serpell ponders what lies ahead if we don’t take action now…
Since Sarah Everard was murdered in March by a serving police officer, 81 women have been killed in the UK at the hands of men. How are women supposed to feel safe on our streets if the very people whose primary job is to protect us are instead disregarding, mocking or killing us? Can women trust the police? And perhaps more importantly, should we?
Forget Starmer’s speech, McDonald’s resignation and Rayner’s expletives, says Sussex Bylines writer Rick Dillon, who attended much of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this week. Far more important were the under-reported land laws reform proposals, some put forward by the Hastings & Rye local party and passed enthusiastically by delegates, that would stop the developers’ planning free-for-all and could finally fix our nation’s housing crisis…
Peace campaigner and Hastings Councillor Maya Evans, who has been visiting Afghanistan for the past 10 years, gives a first-hand account of life for the Afghans she met and came to know so well. They are, she says, the real left-behind poor, the ones who have already suffered so much in the conflict through no fault of their own. And she explains why now, more than ever, they need – and deserve – the West’s help to rebuild their devastated country and shattered lives…
We invited Sussex Bylines readers to share their personal experiences of how the government’s planned Universal Credit cut will affect them. We have already received some courageous responses that make for sobering – and in some cases, heartbreaking – reading…
Government bungling together with Priti Patel’s inhumane Borders Bill and disastrous Home Office response have only served to hinder humanitarian efforts, both with the evacuation in Afghanistan and assisting asylum seekers here in the UK. Traumatised Afghan refugees who have barely escaped with their lives deserve kindness, compassion and support, not more hostility. Writer Vivienne Griffiths examines the horrifying events of recent days and offers practical advice for anyone iwanting to help refugees locally…
Banning face coverings in our new, post-Covid world of legally enforceable face mask mandates sounds implausibly ironic. But that’s exactly what has happened in Switzerland.
Brexit has up-ended the lives of thousands of EU citizens, and thousands more, who have yet to apply to settle in a country they have lived in for decades, are facing a tight deadline. They share their concerns, fears and distress via this in-depth feature by Paula Wilcox.
The parallels between 1920s Spain and 2020s Britain are unnerving to say the least. Tom Serpell sounds a warning from history
To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we feature this selection of articles published in Sussex Bylines in the run-up to 8 March, along with other pieces about women who have fought for political representation, challenged prejudice, refused to remain invisible, and who have been proud to hold the banner of women’s rights high.
Behind the shocking rise in domestic abuse cases are the desperate voices of women themselves, captured in a moving new video from Hastings & St Leonards Women’s Voice.
While citizen journalists in the UK work to combat mainstream media bias, other countries arrest and torture the brave voices who speak truth to power. Susie Courtault examines the treatment of two women journalists, in China and Saudi Arabia, and fears for the future of human rights protection in the UK.
Having had to flee Chile after Pinochet’s 1973 military coup, Rossana Leal and her family settled in Scotland, where they were welcomed with open arms. Now basedin Hastings, Rossana is managing a buddy project that provides practical and emotional support for migrants and refugees in East Sussex.
Hastings takes to the beaches with banners to defy the ‘migrant invasion’ narrative embraced by its MP and offer a warm welcome to refugees.
Prompted by Boris Johnson’s refusal to sack Priti Patel despite a formal investigation finding evidence of bullying, Vivienne Griffiths recalls her experience of workplace bullying in higher education. Over a five-year period she experienced ongoing bullying from a senior colleague at her university, with significant impact on her professional and personal life.
From child refugee to Life Peer – 80 years on, Lord Alf Dubs is still fighting for today’s young asylum seekers
Lord Dubs’ enduring conviction that the great British public will ultimately wish to see right prevail may be partly due to his own experience as a child.
The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Windsor is the oldest international agreement, anywhere, that is still in force. While there have been wars between England and France and England and Spain, there have been none between this country and Portugal. Friendly relations have endured for centuries. Even bottles of port all seem to have English names (Graham’s, […]
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948) They’re invisible, intangible and all too easy to lose down the back of the sofa – but you really do need to hang on to human rights. Britain can look back with justifiable pride at a long […]
Increasingly outlandish and inhumane plans to deal with the migrant ‘crisis’ have emerged from the Home Office in recent days. According to the Financial Times, home secretary Priti Patel explored plans to set up asylum processing centres in the South Atlantic. The plans appear to have been dropped only because of the impracticality of shipping […]