On Tuesday 1 December a number of the Dublin group travelled to London to attend Sanctuary in Parliament at Westminster. This annual event sees members of the asylum and refugee communities in the UK travelling to the Houses of Parliament to speak with MPs and other attendees and share their experiences. Many local City of Sanctuary groups travel to gather at this event, bringing with them volunteers and the support of local MPs. It is a completely inspiring day. This year the event coincided with debates in the Commons on the Immigration Bill and so Sanctuary in Parliament received a high profile, with visits from MPs and members of the House of Lords and visibility during the Commons debates.
At Sanctuary in Parliament we heard from a number of refugees and MPs, with a particular focus on the role of refugee camps in the ongoing crisis, the threat of increased destitution in the UK should the Government’s immigration reforms succeed, and the need for safe and legal routes for refugees to and within Europe. It was an exciting and informative day – inspiration for our own endeavours here in Dublin!