Refugee Crisis - Letters to MPs
If you share our concerns, one of the ways you could help is by lobbying the Government.
You can do this by writing to your MP. If you would like to do that there are some suggested letters below that you are welcome to use or adapt so that it emphasises the aspects of this crisis that touch your heart the most.
You can find the name and address of your MP on this link.
Thank you for your support.
This was the first letter that many of us sent when we first became alive to the issues. In this fast moving tragedy things have changed already since then but we have left this resource here in case you find it useful. The letter we have sent most recently is below.
Dear [insert the name of your MP],
I am writing to inform you of my concern about the situation that is continuing to unfold throughout Europe and the Middle East, and express my support for increased action from the UK. The recent images in the media have highlighted to me the plight of the vast number of individuals seeking to escape from the terrible conflicts in the Middle East.
I welcome the recent commitment made by the Prime Minister accepting the UK’s “moral responsibility” and stating that the UK would act with its “head and heart” in resettling thousands more Syrian refugees from UN Camps bordering Syria in addition to the 5,200 Syrians already given asylum.
It is vital the that UK maintains its position as a leader and champion of humanitarian response. We welcome the good work that the UK has undertaken to date in the region, being the second biggest bilateral donor to the Syrian response.
However, the situation in Syria and surrounding host countries has continued to worsen, and the number of individuals seeking safety and security outside the region has continued to rise. This crisis is spreading globally and the response cannot and should not be confined just to the Middle East. It is therefore vital that greater action is taken to respond to the needs of those suffering.
I would therefore like to encourage you as my MP to ensure that the UK Government is proactive in:
- Being compassionate and ambitious in resettling a fair share of refugees above and beyond the reported 4000 refugees from UN Camps in the Middle East to bring us into line with our European counterparts. Resettlement should prioritise those who are the most vulnerable and take into account the needs of minority groups.
- Ensuring that the resettlement of these refugees is undertaken quickly and respectfully preserving dignity.
- Engaging with Host Governments in Lebanon and Jordan to improve the medical, educational and housing services that are available to refugees, along with the easing of restrictions on working rights to enable legal job creation for refugees.
- Working with international Governments to prioritise the desperate need for a political resolution to the conflict in Syria.
- Calling other European countries to match the UK’s spending of 0.7% of Gross National Product on Official Development Assistance (ODA) and contributions to the Syrian Humanitarian Response.
Here is a second, updated letter that you are welcome to use, or to adapt as you wish.
The Methodist Church Sutton Park Circuit (Methodists from the North Birmingham area) have formed a Refugee Working Group to seek ways in which we may provide some real help for refugees and a future resolution of the terrible situation in which Europe finds itself.
We are raising money through Methodist World Mission Fund, providing regular clothing collections liaising with St Chad’s Sanctuary, including regular prayers within our Sunday Services, seeking to provide accommodation through the Methodist Church and, of course, we are writing to our MPs.
[You will hopefully remember that I wrote to you earlier in the year and the refugee situation has not improved greatly in that time.] [Only include this paragraph if you have already written before of course]
I am aware, of course, that Parliament is extremely busy following the European Referendum, but as a Christian I am keen to ensure that this very serious, life threatening problem is not sent into the long grass. Parliament undertook during its last session that 20,000 refugees from the present numbers in Calais would be accepted over the five years of this Parliament. I believe that less than 2,700 have been accepted to date and seek your assurance that Parliament will make the necessary changes to the system to ensure that this shortfall is made up quickly and the target is indeed achieved by 2020.
Parliament also voted to accept children separated from parents and family (Lord Dubs’ amendment). The plight of children in such situations is always more harrowing and concerning and I would ask on their behalf that you make some time to raise the issue as soon as is practicable within the new Parliamentary session and perhaps raise the matter of refugee children in Calais at your party conference.
I am also appalled to hear that the new government has plans to spend in the order of £2m on building a wall in Calais. Most of Britain is sickened by the truly frightening policy suggestions of Mr Trump in America and here we are, it seems, taking a leaf out of his book. Please do everything that you are able to prevent this travesty happening and Britain being seen as a country lacking in compassion and love.
I would be grateful for an update on the Governments current plans to reach out to the needy and displaced people of Europe trapped by this crisis and specifically what is being done to help the children.
Finally we are aware of the forthcoming UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016. We urge you to approach this positively and to ask the government to make a commitment to take our fair share of displaced persons into the UK.
I look forward to hearing from you.