How Can You Help? Speaking Up
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." (Proverbs 31:8-9)
Asylum seekers find it very difficult to speak for themselves. It’s not that they are incapable of doing so – the percentage of university graduates among them is higher than in the UK population – but they have little opportunity to tell their stories, and few people who will listen. With no secure status, they fear that speaking out will endanger their asylum claim. Even those who are accepted as refugees are reluctant to talk of their experiences, especially those since arriving in the UK. Their focus is almost always on finding a place to live and a job.
In such circumstances no one is more ‘poor and helpless’ than they are, and in a climate of suspicion and media hostility, they need us to be a voice for them, at least until they are strong enough to find their own.
Here are some of the ways in which you can be that voice in the Quick Guide to speaking up.