You may know that the Refugee Council, together with partner organisations, Amnesty International UK, British Red Cross, Oxfam UK, UNHCR UK, is campaigning for the immigration rules to be changed to make it easier for refugee families to reunite.
With help from our supporters, we have been able to work with Angus MacNeil MP to introduce a Bill on refugee family reunion. If the Bill is to succeed we need more than 100 MPs to attend the debate and support the Bill at its second reading on Friday 16th March 2018.
We know that MPs diaries are filling up quickly, moreover, since the second reading takes place on a Friday, as you know, many MPs will be back in their constituencies. It seems like a long way away, however we need your support now. We would like to ask you to contact your MPs, either as an organisation or as an individual and ask them to save the date: to be present in Parliament on 16th March and to support our Family Reunion Bill.
We have decided to prioritise London MPs since they don’t have to travel from a far to get to Parliament on a Friday.
Getting involved and helping us with this important campaign is simple and easy. You can use our website, where after typing in your postcode, you will see who your local MP is, you will also have a draft of the letter ready to send. Details here:https://action.refugeecouncil. org.uk/savethedate . It will take less than 5 minutes but could make a huge change in the lives of refugees who wish to reunite with their loved ones. I would also like to encourage you to personalise this message, for example you can add information based on your personal or professional experience, we know that MPs pay more attention to messages which have a personal touch to them.
Please get in touch with me (on Kama.Petruczenko@RefugeeCounci l.org.uk ) if you have any questions about approaching your local MPs and discussing the Family Reunion Bill with them. Please let me know when your MP confirms their attendance on 16thMarch.
What is Family Reunion and what are we calling for?
Separation of families can have a devastating impact on peoples’ lives, their rehabilitation from experiences of trauma and their ability to integrate and adapt to their country of asylum.
We are calling for:
1) Child refugees in the UK having the right to sponsor their family so they can rebuild their lives together and help them integrate in their new community
2) An expansion of who qualifies as family so that young people who have turned 18 and elderly parents can live in safety with their families in the UK
3) The reintroduction of legal aid so refugees who have lost everything have the support they need to afford and navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their families.
This is just the beginning of the national campaign, there will be many more opportunities for people and organisations to get involved. Please stay in touch if you would like to help us reunite refugee families in the UK.
Thank you for your help and for your time. Together we can make this change a reality.
Advocacy Network Co-ordinator
Direct line: 020 7346 6768
T: 020 7346 6700
F: 020 7737 3306
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PO Box 68614