Thursday 16th April
Our GCD went pretty well. Here's a record of everything we discussed that I typed up to send to the rest of the group.
What is Immigration?
Moving permanent residence to another country - Personal choice - Green card - Long term - People
The act of coming into a country of which a person is not native for permanent residency.
What are Refugees?
Forced to move to get help/protection - War, politics, religion - Escape persecution (difference between persecution and discrimination, persecution means that a persons life is being threatened) - Unplanned - Continual movement - Can go back
(Internally displaced and environmental refugees – not included in the traditional definition of a refugee)
A refugee is a person who flees to a foreign country due to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion in their native country.
Asylum Seeker - Definition
A person who is seeking to be recognised as a refugee.
Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in the UK and must rely on a allowance set at 30% below normal income support.
Why do people emigrate?
Fear - War - Discrimination - Health - Natural disaster - Politics - Boredom - No jobs - Religious persecution - Conflict - Environmental - Running from the law
Job- Education - Better life - Allegiance, religious, political - Like the country - Colonial links - Economics - Marriage - Lower taxes - Welfare - Relatives - Find work - Freedom - Weather - Leisure - Health/medical care - Retirement
Do the jobs we don’t want - New ideas/philosophies e.g. respect for the elderly - More workers -
Music - Cheap workforce - Skills - Positive stories - New languages - New cultures - New religions - Foods - Mixed race babies - More global awareness - Cross cultural working -Shared history - More opportunities - Festivals
Pressure on public services, housing, schools, health service - Home sickness -Identity fraud - Human trafficking - Crime - Cheap workforce = less jobs for natives - ‘British jobs for British workers’ Gordon Brown - Power imbalance (colonialism) - Overcrowding -
Non-integration (should immigrants have to integrate with the majority? Can it be done whilst retaining a distinct cultural identity?) - Language barrier - Shared history not taught - Exploitation - Religious conflict - Cultural misunderstandings - Racial discrimination - Terrorism
Q: Which of these famous people were refugees? Piet Mondrain (painter), Wyclef Jean (Musician), Bob Marley (Musician), Henry Kissinger (Former US Secretary of State), Karl Marx (Political Theorist), Dalai Lama (Religious Leader), Jackie Chan (Actor).
A: All of them
Q: What year was the United Nations Convention on Refugees on which most refugee law is based?
Q: How many refugees are there?
A: Very difficult to tell estimates range from 16 million to 62 million
Q: How many refugees are women and children?
Q: When is world refugee day?
A: June 20th
Q: What percentage of the worlds refugees are hosted by Africa and Asia?
A: 60% (Europe hosts 20%)
Q: What percentage of the worlds refugees are hosted by the UK?
Q: What percentage do the UK public think the UK hosts?
Q: How much money must asylum seekers live on each week?
Q: There are more than 100 medically qualified refugees on the British medical Associations database. How many are employed in the health care service?
”I came to the UK after winning a scholarship to Leeds University. I’d left Sudan some years before as my father was an Anglican bishop and the Islamic government was prohibiting worship and burning churches. After finishing my Masters degree, I planned to resume my career in Kenya but the Kenyan authorities wouldn’t renew my visa. When the Home Office said they would deport me back to Sudan, I was terrified as I knew I would probably be killed. My only option was to apply for asylum. I then discovered I was pregnant. I was put into a hostel and was finally given leave to stay in the UK just before my baby was born. I am desperate to do proper paid work but childcare is a big problem.”
“My husband was wrongly suspected of being a Kurdish guerrilla in Turkey. He was beaten and tortured. The authorities drove us out of our village. They interrogated us, sometimes all through the night, called us ‘dirty Kurds’ and said, ‘We’ll burn you all’. One day when they beat me in front of my children, I knew I had to get out. When we made it to the UK, I was so happy because we were safe. But it has not been easy here. Children on the estate throw stones at us, smash our windows and call us names. I am afraid to go out and I keep my children inside the house.”
Christiane, Democratic Republic of Congo
“When I opened the letter telling me I had leave to remain I screamed and shouted and called my family - many of them have been forced to flee too and are in various countries. I’ve been apart from my husband for two years and want to be reunited so we can start a family. When I fled the Congo, I was a trainee solicitor but to become a solicitor here I need to study for a further two years. I may work in a shop to finance it. Making the transition to life as a refugee is difficult but I want to feel more a part of Britain and build a future.”
Challenges facing refugees/asylum seekers
Misunderstanding - Discrimination - Language - Fear - Stereotyping - Not fulfilling potential -
Not able to use skills - Changing plans - Dispersed family - Disappointment - Low incomes - Childcare
Benefits to refugees/asylum seekers
Escape - Protection - Safety - Human rights - Opportunity - Better job - Recognised status - Benefits - Healthcare - Education
We made the opposite mistake to Ben and Misha, running an hour ahead of schedule by 11am despit half the group missing the bus. Luckily I had quickly cobbled together the case studies on Thursday afternoon to use in that very situtation. We still finished at 3pm but I think everyone was greatful. The afternoon session is soo hard! It's like something sucks the energy out of the room, and everyone seems to get pretty irritable. We left the group discussions about London, Communications, leaflet delivery and Mid Phase Review until after we had finished the GCD which worked much better in terms of time and limiting discussion but perhaps distracts from the learning achieved and can end the day with conflict. Maybe we need some kind of group hug.
Team 93 outside Westminster
Sunday 19th April
Today the whole team delievered flyers for the Bishops Stortford Music Festival around well Bishops Stortford. Maybe Ihave a negative view of human nature but I expected to get at least a little abuse or aggressive questioning about what I was doing but none was forthcoming. Of the people I spoke to outside their homes (and there were quite a few being a sunny Sunday afternoon) all were happy to receive a leaflet. I suppose all they have to do is look at it and/or throw it away. Gulnara and I ran out of leaflets and finished an hour early afterwhich we decided to go home to get some much needed rest rather than wait for the others.