Asylum Welcome is supporting a growing number of asylum seekers in temporary hotel accommodation in Oxfordshire. These hotels have been visited by far-right activists, who have filmed asylum seekers, advertised the location of the hotels, and made them feel unwelcome.
As Friday’s disgraceful attack on asylum accommodation in Knowsley shows, the nature of hotel accommodation can make it an easy target for violent anti-refugee protests. The UK is failing in its duty to offer protection to those fleeing conflict and persecution; we also receive regular complaints about the unhygienic living conditions in these hotels.
Yet such hateful actions do not represent a majority of people in the UK. The peaceful gathering of local people on Saturday night in Merseyside is testament to the spirit of welcome that holds strong in the UK. In Oxfordshire, we have been heartened by the welcoming and generous response of many local people to those who have fled war and persecution, risking their lives to reach safety and family in the UK.
Today, we recommit ourselves to stand up for the universal right to asylum for those who need it. We call on our political leaders to bring an end to the Hostile Environment and to uphold our international obligations, including ensuring access to a fair asylum process and safe and dignified accommodation.
We must ensure that all people seeking asylum in Britain are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect.