Today across Britain in towns and cities thousands of ordinary people from diverse backgrounds and many different faiths have been marching to show their solidarity with refugees. With over 60 million people now currently displaced worldwide and nearly 20 million refugees we are still in the midst of the largest refugee crisis the world has faced since WW11.Last year alone nearly 90,000 lone children sought safety in Europe.
We must continue to provide a vibrant welcome to refugees among us, and to encourage our country to respond to the world's crisis by offering hospitality to vulnerable refugees now more than ever.
Women, men and children around the world are fleeing war, persecution and torture.They have been forced into the hands of smugglers and onto dangerous journeys across the sea in rickety old boats and dinghies. Many have lost their lives. Those who have made it often find themselves stranded in makeshift camps in train stations, ports or by the roadside. And still, politicians across Europe fail to provide safe and legal routes for people to seek asylum.
Meanwhile though ordinary people have responded with extraordinary displays of humanity and generosity. They've been moved to act after seeing thousands of people drowning in the Mediterranean, the continuing misery of camps in places like Calais, and images of the brutal conflicts across the world.People however are still dying in numbers in the Mediterranean, on the way to Europe and its borders. In Calais the population of the slum is over 10,000 people in more and more appalling living conditions, thousands trapped in Greece without running water or baby formula. Here as elsewhere in Europe, the situation gets worse day by day for migrants, showing the ineffectiveness and the murderous character of current policies combined with.the continuing the injustices and inefficiencies of Britain's own asylum system.
After today we need to keep telling the Prime Mister Theresa May that the UK government must do more - let's call on them to: Lead the way towards a more human global response to the millions fleeing conflict.Offer safe passage to the UK for more people who have been forced to flee their homes. and do more to help refugees in the UK rebuild their lives.The UK should be leading the way and working with other states to give refugees safe, legal routes to asylum, ending the trade in people smuggling.Putting up fences in Calais or Greece is not a solution.
Since the referendum campaign and vote, divisive rhetoric has been ever more prevalent from a small but vocal minority.A racist offensive against refugees, migrants and Muslims is still being pushed by some politicians and press. It is crucial we respond to this by standing in solidarity against attempts to divide our communities. The appalling treatment of refugees across Europe and the staggering rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes must be challenged. Let’s send a message that drives back the tide of racism, fascism, Islamophobia, and the scapegoating of migrants and refugees and continue to loudly say refugees are welcome here and yes to diversity.
This September, world leaders will meet to discuss the refugee crisis at two crucial summits. This is the biggest opportunity of 2016 to show our government and the world that Britain is ready to welcome more refugees. We must keep up the pressure.
Here is full list of organisations that supported todays events, which also acts as a link to the website Solidarity with Refugees.