As the refugee crisis in the UK and around the world deepens, many Londoners are making their voices heard in the face of inadequate governmental action on the issue. While parliamentarians debate back and forth about the future of thousands fleeing war and persecution, civil society is actively joining together under the umbrellas of hundreds of local campaign groups nation-wide to push their representatives toward greater action. Despite the UK government agreeing to settle some 20,000 refugees within the UK over the next five years, campaigners want more and are working tirelessly to ensure that even more refugees are resettled, faster.
In line with these growing social pressures, Refugee Awareness Week has come to The LSE right on time, and will run from today, Monday 9, to Friday 13 November. The entire LSE community and those beyond are invited to attend and participate in a number of events organised by the LSE’s Amnesty International Society, which seek to educate and empower people on the issue of refugees.
At the beginning of the academic year, members of the society joined together to decide on four key areas relating to human rights that they felt were most important to raise awareness about: the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, saving the Human Rights Act, the rights of LGBTQ+ people and the impact that mass surveillance has on us all. The aim of the week is to offer a variety of opportunities for interested individuals to engage in refugee issues, whether through generating awareness, raising funds or rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in a local or national campaign.
A panel debate on the role that the media plays in shaping people’s understandings of the current and ongoing refugee crisis. Speakers will include an expert academic, a journalist, an opinion writer and the director of a relevant NGO.
Monday 9 November, 6.15 – 7.30pm
LSE 32 Lincoln’s Inn, Room G.03
A campaign workshop run by Citizens UK, an organisation at the forefront of the UK’s civil society response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Participants will acquire key campaigning skills that will enable them to engage with their local councils to pressure them to commit to the government’s refugee resettlement scheme.
Wednesday 11 November, 4-6pm
LSE Room TW2 3.02
Film screening of God Grew Tired Of Us, the 2006 winning film at the Sundance Film Festival which tells the story of three of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, a group of some 25,000 young men who fled the conflict in Sudan during the 1980s. The film details their experiences as they settle in the USA..
Thursday 12 November, 6pm
LSE Room PAR 1.02
A student-run stall that will showcase statistics, information and stories about refugees across the world, and particularly within the UK. Funds will be raised for the Islington Migrant and Refugee Centre charity.
Throughout the week from 11am to 4pm
LSE in front of the Student Centre
For more information on Refugee Awareness Week events, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/184805805189500/
– Daphne Giachero, LSE MSc Human Rights Student