Parliamentary Event: Kindertransport to the Hostile Environment

21 May, 2019 | Events, Latest

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Parliamentary Meeting to mark Refugee Week 2019

Monday 17 June 2019, 3-5pm
Palace of Westminster, House of Commons, Room 6

Get your free ticket through eventbrite here.

In the UK each year, around 25,000 migrants and asylum seekers are routinely locked up in detention centres – often for months, sometimes for years. No trial. No redress. No knowing when they will be released. No time limit on how long they can be held.

This is indefinite detention. It robs people of their dignity, their spirit, and, in some tragic cases, their lives. Four years ago, a cross-party group of MPs condemned it as “expensive, ineffective and unjust”. Four years later, it is still happening.

Throughout history, the ability to seek refuge has been essential to Jewish survival. This year’s Refugee Week falls on the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport. Then, thanks to a voluntary scheme funded and implemented by the British public, the UK took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children fleeing Nazi persecution. Now, those who come to the UK seeking shelter are being met, not by kindness, but by hostility and indifference.

Some of the children who benefited from Kindertransport

At this roundtable meeting we will hear from MPs on the cutting edge of immigration policy. We will hear from a Rabbi versed in Jewish teaching and experience. But, most importantly, we will hear from two individuals who came to Britain as children and have been treated very differently by the UK’s immigration system, then and now. That knowledge, that teaching, those experiences all point to one conclusion – it is #Time4aTimeLimit on immigration detention.

Panellists include:

  • Ruth Barnett arrived in Britain from Germany on the Kindertransport aged four. She regularly speaks to students about her experience and campaigns against the discrimination of minority groups.
  • Michael Darko has lived in the UK since he was 12. He is a member of Freed Voices, a group of experts-by-experience committed to speaking out about the realities of immigration detention and calling for detention reform.
  • Stuart McDonald MP is a member of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee and the Scottish National Party’s spokesperson on immigration, asylum and border control.
  • Rabbi Aaron Goldstein is the Senior Rabbi of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue.

The roundtable will be Chaired by Sam Grant, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Liberty.

Write to your MP and invite them to attend!

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