In her speech at the Conservative Party Conference the Home Secretary announced that the UK would indeed be creating a private sponsorship route for people fleeing persecution. A register of people and organisations offering accommodation will be compiled and the government will work with them to develop a scheme modelled on those operated in Australia and Canada.
This is a huge victory for the resettlement effort but in order to tackle the largest refugee crisis in generations, we must go further and faster to help people in urgent need of protection.
The government commitment to take 20,000 people over five years is a start, but too little with over 400, 000 needing urgent resettlement, and too late with winter set to arrive in the camps. Several children died of exposure in camps across the region last winter. The number of refugees to be resettled needs to be increased and the resettlement process needs to be made quicker and safer.
We’ve achieved a number of crucial successes in recent weeks. The #1000b4Xmas campaign saw our local groups hold 12 local actions, including vigils and marches, on local councils. CitizensUK then held an action in Westminster with 890 people from our member organisations and beyond calling for an increase in the rate of resettlement. Finally, we worked with Anglican bishops to draft a letter to PM Cameron bearing 84 of their signatures and calling for the UK to take more refugees. Six days later, David Cameron adopted our target of 1000 refugees resettled before Christmas and national government is working very hard to reach this target in time.
It’s vital that we build on the momentum of these successes to secure further policy reforms which are still sorely needed.
To lobby your MP in 3 easy steps:
Download the MP commitment form
- Step 1: Download the commitment form below:
- Step 2: Write them a letter, asking them to meet you and leaders from your area: The best work with MPs is when you invest the time to build a relationship with them. Ideally, it would be best to write them a letter and then ask to meet face-to-face with a diverse delegation of local leaders. This will allow you to explain in depth, and in person, why this issue matters to you, and is much more effective than trading emails. If you are not able to meet them, we would still encourage you to send them a letter using the tool below anyway.
In the letter that you draft to your MP, please ask them to commit to advocating in Parliament on the following issues:
Be polite, but don’t be afraid to be firm or to explain what parts of the government’s current strategy you think fall short.
Be specific; explain why this issue is important to you and other local constituents and ask for a concrete commitment to take action on one of the issues above. When your MP agrees to the Commitment, send them the Commitment form and ask them to scan and send a signed copy to Daniel Mackintosh (email@example.com) or Amalia Syeda-Aguirre (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Send your letter using the tool below, writetothem.com lets you look up and email any of your elected representatives using your postcode. If you prefer you can also send them an email directly.
WRITE TO YOUR MP
Meeting you MP; A Guide
- Step 3: Meet your MP with your local delegation of leaders: Before meeting with your MP it’s important to know how your asks can be accomplished in concrete terms and what the implications might be. The document below sets out the facts, as well as the specific requirements for resettlement and private sponsorship. It would be best to have a read through it beforehand and refer to it during your meeting with your MP so that you’re ready to address their concerns from every angle.