Birmingham must pledge to relocate asylum seekers from the Aegean hotspot camps in Greece.

Birmingham must pledge to relocate asylum seekers from the Aegean hotspot camps in Greece.

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Birmingham Must Act EMA started this petition to Birmingham City Council and

To the Mayor of Birmingham, Andy Street, Leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, Council Members and citizens of Birmingham.

BIRMINGHAM MUST PLEDGE TO RELOCATE ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES FROM THE AEGEAN HOTSPOT CAMPS IN GREECE. 

There is a humanitarian crisis taking place at Europe’s borders. 35,500 asylum seekers and refugees are currently trapped on the Aegean islands, forced to live in overcrowded camps with limited medical services and inadequate sanitary facilities. These inhumane conditions are the result of 5 years of neglectful EU policies. 

Even in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, EU leaders have remained indifferent or hesitant to act. The EU Commission has promised to relocate 1600 unaccompanied minors. A step in the right direction, but not good enough. The recent immigration bill that passed through the UK parliament is a major step backwards. It has ended one of the last safe and legal routes of passage for unaccompanied refugee minors and effectively ends refugee family reunification as we know it. WE MUST DO MORE. 

The horrendous conditions in the Aegean camps make all inhabitants, regardless of age or health, extremely vulnerable. EU leaders need a wake-up call. 

Europe cannot stand by and leave behind these children, women, and men in such camps. 

We have the moral obligation to act: Europe Must Act! 

In order to save lives, the camps on the Aegean islands must be completely evacuated. On the 30th of March, the Mayor and citizens of Berlin pledged to take in 1,500 asylum seekers and refugees. Now we are asking cities and towns across Europe to join Berlin in offering sanctuary to the asylum seekers and refugees stuck in overcrowded camps on the Greek mainland and islands. 

Will Birmingham join with other European cities to demonstrate its commitment to basic human rights by pledging to resettle an exact number of asylum seekers and refugees in their jurisdiction? 

Over 1,600 refugees and asylum seekers currently reside in the city of Birmingham. But we can take more. We are an official City of Sanctuary, and must stay true to the vision that our city is a place of safety, one that tirelessly supports the urgent needs of those fleeing violence and persecution, be they men, women, or children.

Birmingham is ‘...one of the most ethnically-diverse cities in the UK...a friendly, cosmopolitan city which prides itself on the warm welcome it extends to people from all corners of the globe who want to make their home here, regardless of their situation.’ - (from Birmingham City Council’s website) 

Let’s stand with other cities across the UK and Europe and pledge to re-settle an agreed number of refugees and asylum seekers in our wonderfully diverse city. 

We address our petition to the Mayor of Birmingham, Andy Street, whose responsibility it is to set the vision for Birmingham and represent our city on the international stage, our local councillors and MPs, who can make pledges for their local areas and lobby government, and most importantly the citizens of Birmingham, who are made up of people from around the world and know best how to welcome new arrivals to our communities.

BIRMINGHAM MUST ACT!

Together, we can send a clear signal to EU leaders and national governments that Europe is willing and able to act on its humanitarian values and provide shelter to those who seek refuge from war and persecution. 

Signed: Birmingham Must Act, Europe Must Act

Local Signatories: 

Councillor Liz Clements, Labour Party

Councillor Julien Pritchard, Birmingham Green Party

Bearwood Action for Refugees

Kings Heath Action for Refugees

Brum Radio

National Signatories: 

- AfE - Action for Education 
- Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party)
- Baroness Natalie Bennett of Manor Castle (Green Party)
- Bras Not Bombs
- Help Refugees
- Positive Action in Housing
- DropPoint
- FWRD - Festival Waste Reclamation and Distribution
- Herts for Refugees
- MARDi - Medical Aid for Refugees and Displaced People
- O's Refugee Aid Team
- People in Motion
- People not Borders
- RefuNet
- Side by Side Refugees
 

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