In March, the UK Government decided to ban anyone travelling to the UK by boat from being allowed to seek refugee status or to ever seek UK citizenship. On 18 July, the ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ was passed and it will soon become law.
The legislation will enable the Home Secretary to refuse to process claims from asylum seekers who enter the country in ways deemed ‘illegal’ by the government. It will drastically reduce legal and human rights protections for asylum seekers, including victims of human trafficking.
These decisions are fundamentally incompatible with our values and mission.
As a peacebuilding charity, we know that violent conflict drives people from their homes. In fact, some of the peacebuilders we work with have lived through displacement and some are working to support refugee communities. We believe it is crucial that people fleeing violence have legal and humane routes to safety.
We also stand against violence in all forms – including the structural violence that shapes global migration patterns and policies like the ones being enacted in the UK.
Therefore, in light of these government policies, we have decided to not actively seek or accept funding from the UK government. This decision will remain in place until we see the reversal of policies that effectively criminalise asylum-seeking, including the ‘Illegal Migration Bill’.
You can read more about the relationship between migration and peacebuilding in our report on the topic – but more than anything, we ask you today for your solidarity, and to stand with us against the Illegal Migration Bill.
CEO of Peace Direct