London Must Act: Lead With Humanity & Pledge Safety to Refugees from Unsafe Island Camps

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Show that London welcomes refugees and demands the evacuation of deadly Aegean Island camps.

***UPDATE 10th September 2020***

Moria camp on Lesvos, the biggest refugee camp in Europe has been on fire since Tuesday evening (08/09/2020). The fire in Moria has affected thousands and is a direct consequence of deeply flawed European migration policy: one based on the rhetoric of securing strong borders and deterring refugees from coming to Europe at all costs. This approach to migration has created the overcrowded camps on the Aegean islands and is costing lives. Thousands of people are stranded with no prospects for a change. Consequential dehumanisation put up the barbed wires around Europe long before Covid-19. This escalation has only shown that we should stand together like never before.

The fires and destruction have been predicted for years. Politicians have allowed their existence to continue this whole time in full knowledge that this was not only a possibility, but extremely likely. We must come together to show that we do not share this inhumanity, and are ready to welcome people on the move to safety, providing safe and dignified means of reception.

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Sign the petition calling for London to lead with compassion and humanity towards those seeking safety at Europe's borders.

In 2015 in London and across Europe people marched to show refugees are welcome. But 5 years later, that voice of humanity has been ignored - with the camps on the Aegean Islands now described as "the worst refugee camps in the world". 

"I struggle to find the right words because none can convey the sheer misery and inhumanity of a situation that in Europe is frankly unbelievable" MSF worker, Moria island camp.

The UK has a proud history of welcoming refugees. Call on London to act where the government has failed and pledge to provide safety to some of the thousands of families fleeing war and persecution. 

Check out this article about the movement from Global Citizen: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/refugees-covid-19-europe-must-act-citiesmustact/

Read our letter to Sadiq Khan below:

20th April 2020

To Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, the Leaders and Mayors of the Boroughs of London, and the Citizens of London


London must pledge to relocate refugees and asylum seekers from the Aegean hotspot camps in Greece. 

There is a humanitarian crisis taking place at Europe’s borders. 40,000 asylum seekers 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 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 London 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? 

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

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

Local Signatories

Donate4Refugees

Goldsmiths STAR

GRACE - Greenwich Refugee Alliance and Community Enterprise

Hello My Friend

Help Refugees / Choose Love (Josh Hallam, UK Community and Networks Manager)

Lewisham Refugee Welcome

Refugee Cafe

Refugee Solidarity SE

Renaissance FC

Safe Passage International

SOAS Goes To Calais 

SOAS Students’ Union

Solidarity With Refugees

Youth for Refugees UK

Nationwide Supporters

Action for Education

Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party)

Baroness Natalie Bennett of Manor Castle (Green Party)

Bras Not Bombs

Drop Point

Europe Must Act

FWRD - Festival Waste Reclamation and Distribution

Herts for Refugees

MARDi - Medical Aid for Refugees and Displaced People

People Not Borders

Side by Side Refugees

Refugee Rights Europe

RefuNet