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Thursday, 21 April 2011

Swansea General Assembly 5. - Destitute Asylum Seekers

Concern for the marginalised has always been a priority for British Unitarians and after a lively yet serious debate the following resolution proposed by Oldham Unitarian Chapel was overwhelmingly carried by the General Assembly:

That this General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches:
[1] applauds this statement concerning asylum seekers by Kate Wareing, Director, UK Poverty, Oxfam on February 4th, 2011:

"Thousands of people are being forced into destitution as a result of government policies. We must end the policies that lead to destitution, and are unacceptable in the sixth richest country in the world".

[2] recognises that such destitution affects tens of thousands of people currently resident in the United Kingdom;

[3] holds that the United Kingdom government should change policies which lead to destitution and should ensure a fair, efficient asylum system which protects the rights and dignity of all who use it.

[4] requests its Chief Officer to write to the Immigration Minister recommending that the United Kingdom government should:

[4a] provide destitute asylum seekers with support to meet essential living needs: either until they are returned to their country of origin or they are given permission to remain within the United Kingdom;

[4b] provide free access to healthcare for all asylum seekers while they are in the United Kingdom;

[4c] grant asylum seekers permission to work if their case has not been resolved within six months or they have been refused, but temporarily cannot be returned through no fault of their own;

[4d] improve decision making and ensure that all those in need of protection receive it.

[5] encourages Unitarian and Free Christian congregations and every individual Unitarian to write to their own MPs in furtherance of these proposals.

1 comment:

  1. It was a disappointing debate at Swansea GA ; the proposers glossed over the differences between types of asylum seekers; the opposers from the floor were poorly prepared,despite one of them at least having relevant experience to contribute. As the only really contentious motion of the conference it was treated rather summarily ; opposers as well as proposers should be identified in advance to ensure a fuller exploration of this type of motion.