Webinar: A European perspective to the UK’s asylum and migration context

December 8, 2023
By Magdalena Wernefeldt

The Illegal Migration Act passed in the UK in July aims to put an end to illegal migration. On International Migrants Day, you are welcome to join a webinar to discuss the UK asylum and migration context from a European perspective. Listen to faith leaders and practitioner voices highlighting the active role that the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) faith communities and civil society can play.

©Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

After months of debate, opposition from politicians, activists and NGOs and despite an unusually critical statement made by the UN, the Illegal Migration Act 2023 became law in the United Kingdom 20 July 2023.

This act is the second major immigration law passed in the UK during the last two years. The Nationality and Borders Act, enacted in April 2022, was the Boris Johnson government’s plan to fix a “broken” asylum system. But after it failed to have any discernible impact on the number of people making the dangerous journey across the Channel in small boats, the government introduced the illegal migration bill.

“Detained and then promptly removed”

The act is in short described as follows on www.gov.uk

“The illegal migration act changes the law so that those who arrive in the UK illegally will not be able to stay here and will instead be detained and then promptly removed, either to their home country or a safe third country.

The act aims to:

  • put a stop to illegal migration into the UK by removing the incentive to make dangerous small boat crossings
  • speed up the removal of those with no right to be here – in turn this will free up capacity so that the UK can better support those in genuine need of asylum through safe and legal routes
  • prevent people who come to the UK through illegal and dangerous journeys from misusing modern slavery safeguards to block their removal
  • ensure that the UK continues to support those in genuine need by committing to resettle a specific number of the most vulnerable refugees in the UK every year.”

Focus on safe and legal routes

To discuss the UK asylum and migration context in a European perspective, the Canterbury Diocese’s Refugee Programmes Team, in friendship with AWoN and the Church of England’s National Home Affairs Team have organised a webinar with presenters from UK and various countries in Europe.

The Right Reverend Paul Butler Bishop of Durham will reflect on the implications and opportunities offered by the Illegal Migration Act for those in need of international protection.

This will be followed by short presentations by Rikko Voorberg, Director A World of Neighbours, the Netherlands, Reverend Marta Bolba, the Lutheran Church, Hungary,
Anna Alboth, journalist from Poland living in Germany, Bradon Muilenburg, Calais Refugee Project Officer, Church of Europe, France.

They will draw on migration policies from across Europe with a focus on Safe and Legal routes and illustrate impact, working with those in need of international protection.

Church of England’s officers will focus on the active role that the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) faith communities and civil society can play, within the Safe and Legal routes framework in the UK with a focus on Community Sponsorship.

Lastly, the charity RESET will impart its expertise on Community Welcome in the UK, followed by an opportunity for questions and reflections.

Join the event

Date: Monday 18th December
Time: 6 pm (GMT) 7 pm (CET)
Duration: 90 min