What is City of Sanctuary ? City of Sanctuary is a movement committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees and asylum seekers seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. It has established a network of local groups across UK and Ireland all guided by this vision and it’s UK Charter which crystallises the values and principles of the movement. (Charter-July-2017)
Exeter City of Sanctuary is part of this national City of Sanctuary grassroots movement. Our vision is for Exeter to become a genuine City of Sanctuary where all sections of the community are involved in helping to create a culture of warm welcome and safety for asylum seekers and refugees. We recognise the valuable contribution that sanctuary seekers make to Exeter and celebrate the diversity that makes up our city We would like to see more asylum seekers/refugees welcomed to Exeter . (see our ‘Key Messages’ here)
Exeter City of Sanctuary is developing a strong supporter base of individuals and organisations from across the city. The group formally established as a charitable association (unincorporated) in 2016- ExCoS Constitution (Photo: ExCoS AGM, Sept’ 17/ by F. Maisokwadzo)
What we do:
- We seek to raise awareness of some of the needs,challenges and injustices facing refugees and asylum seekers through talks, workshops, events, social media, newsletters and through our work in schools.(more here)
- Through our advocacy and campaigning we work to influence the community, local and national policy makers to take the needs, rights and voices of ASRs into account. more here)
- We work closely with Refugee Support Devon and some other organisations and community groups from across different sectors of the Exeter community. We wish to build upon the great work that is already being done across the city, developing further alliances and supporting local organisations to consider practical actions they can take to make their activities more inclusive and/or responsive to the needs of people seeking sanctuary, both here and internationally.
Pledge Your Support:
We invite you, whether you are a business, a local organisation or an individual to pledge your support and become involved. You can also sign up to our mailing list and receive updates on news and events happening in Exeter City of Sanctuary.There are many ways organisations and people can help -see here for ideas of how you can become involved: https://exeter.cityofsanctuary.org/what-can-you-do
Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK : Who are we talking about?
There is frequently confusion about terms like ‘refugees’ or ‘asylum seekers’ and they are often used interchangeable. However there are differences between an ‘asylum seeker’, a refugee and a migrant? See Video : ‘What does it mean to be a refugee?‘ www.youtube.com/watch?v=25bwiSikRsI ref: international law/camps/resettlement/.)
Also see here : https://fullfact.org/immigration/uk-refugees/
Further information, documents and resources on international, national and local immigration, asylum and refugee policies and issues are in our website’s ‘Resources’ section.