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Refugee Weeek Special Ed dition

June 2011

5 yearss of “The “ New N L Lond donerss” an nd 60 0 yearrs of the t U UN Re efugee e con nventtion… … Re efuge ee we eek 20 011

www.then newlondon ners.co.uk


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The New w Londonerss

Co omme emorrating g 60 Y Yearss of th he Reefugee e Co onven ntion and Five Yearss of The T N New Lo ondon ners i Reffugee in e Wee ek ww ww.thenewlo ondoners.co.uk Thiis commemorattive special ediition of The Neew Londoners hhighlights somee of the articles and users’ stoories that we have published over o the years in n The New Lonndoners, some of the myths th hat we have buusted in relation n to stories in th he mainstream media, and celebrates 60 yearrs of the Refugeee Convention. It is distributedd in Refugee Week W 2011.

5 Years Y of Th he New w Londone ers

Refug gee Co onven ntion 60 yearss old

Thee first edition of The New London ners paper wass published by the Migrants Resourrce Centre in 2007. and distributedd at mainline y stations in R Refugee Week. railway The aim m of the newspaper was to bring a different pperspective to nt stories published in the migran mainstrream media. It aimed to reach th he host and new w communities in the UK and used and still does, celebritties to attract reeadership. Thee first edition was produced to greaat acclaim andd received grreat feedback from the meddia, policym makers and thee public. A fuurther two annual editions w were publish hed in Refugee Week in 20088 and 2009 and d received simiilar accolad des. In 2010, users at MRC C suggested th hat the newspapper should go online andd have a magazzine format. At A the same tim me, uggested that thhe organisation should increasse its social meedia they su presencce and get userss’ voices heard via the social media. m This woork is being g taken forwardd with a new project p “Engagiing Communitiees” funded by City Bridgee Trust.

The 1951 Refugee R Convenntion, relating to t the Status of Refugees, was created in response to thhe atrocities of World War II to protect people whose lives are at riskk in their own countries. It is the key legal documentt in defining whho is a refugee, their rights andd the legal obligation of sttates. In 1967, the Protocol reemoved geograpphical and temporal restricctions from the Convention.

ners Special edition e Thee New London Editorr-in-Chief: Ros Luccas Contriibutors: Azita Jabbbari Arabzadeh, Sylvvia Velasquez Design: Jasmin Bukic uced by: Migrants R Resource Centre Produ With thanks t to all the vollunteer journalists, contributors c and meedia group memb bers who took part inn the production off The New Londoners annual printed newsp paper and digital maagazine. The New N Londoners is prroduced by MRC’s Media & Policy teaam and the new Engag ging Communities P Project giving migraants a voice to change negative percep ptions and improve understanding of soocial cohesion. To find out more about this project, contacct empowerment@m migrants.org.uk or visit our websites www.migrantsresourceceentre.org.uk, www.tthenewlondoners.co o.uk

niversary evennt at the At an ann Refugee Council in M May to commemorate 60 years of thee Refugee Council and 60 6 years of thee Refugee Convention, Nick N Clegg, thhe Deputy Prime Minister said ”No onne should ever be forced d from their hoome. But when it happens they must kknow that nations like ourrs will provide the safety and security all people deservve. That’s a promise we made m 60 years ago. It is important today y as it was thenn.”

The British public symp pathetic to the t plight off refugees A recent su urvey for the R Refugee Councill carried out byy Opinium Research found d that 59% of B Britons believe that the UN Convention C for Refugees is just j as relevaant or more relevaant for protectin ng people fleein ng conflict today as it was in 1951. The survey also found that tw wo out of threee (67%) of British people are a sympathetic to ng to the UK todday. refugees comin


The New Londoners L

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Extractss of arrticle es from m pre eviou us issu ues of o The e New w Lon ndone ers Synopses by: Azita J. Arabzadeh, meedia & policy project volunteer er

ww ww.thenewlo ondoners.co.uk

In an award a winning aarticle by noveelist Mark Hadd don we read sadd but inspiring sttories of a num mber of asylum seekers s while living in the UK K. As an examplle Haddon talkks compassionaately about Seergey an Armeenian doctor who o escaped his ccountry to savee his life, and has been forceed to sleep rough h since his arrivval in London, meanwhile m catcching a fatal dissease. He will diee within 2 yearrs unless he receives a liver transplant t whicch he can’t be reg gistered for, beccause of his asyylum status. In this article, Haaddon highlights the role that taabloids have been b playing in n portraying asyylum seekers in a very negative light and anaalyses the role of the new andd old governmen nts about the asyylum seekers annd migrants issu ue. T To read the full arrticle in Issue 2 June J 2008 Pages 110-11

Preju udice and ho ow to defeat it’ Oncce called thhe most dangerous man in Britaain, Tony ks to Penny M McLean in Benn, talk this articlee, about prejuudice and how to deaal with it. Benn describes the British society as a divvided and frightened one, which iss led to believve, a huge number of rightss are automatically given to reffugees here. Benn astutely hiighlights the feear of enemies, su uch as Hitler, Sttalin and Musliims, created by newspapers annd the governmen nt. He then goees to explain how h governmen nts use this feear to divide and divert people. Diversions suchh as making peeople believe looss of K, while in factt it is their job is a result of asyylum seekers cooming to the UK because off globalisation aand the fact thhat businesses move m to where they heaper labour, but people cann’t move. To reead the full articcle in can find ch Issue 1 June 2007 Page 10

Fearr of miigrantss: a My yth In this article, Juan C Camilo highlighhts surprising facts about miggrant workers in the UK, whilee reporting resuults of the BBC C poll in Londdon a ore the general elections. In thhat poll London ners showed thaat the month befo issue of im mmigration waas the least im mportant to th hem, but expreessed concerns over o NHS and crimes issues. He highlights the most impoortant benefit thatt migrants can bring to the gllobal business of the UK whiich is their uniqu ue knowledge oof the internatioonal markets, and a their netwoork to access them m. Camilo alsoo analyses thee myth of shorrtage of housinng in London being a result of the number off immigrants heere and remindds the reader of th he right to buy policy which has h decreased social s housing since the 1980s, among other bbad policies praacticed since th hen. To read thhe full article in Isssue 4 June 2010 ppage 1

Migrant M ts claim im lesss bene efit th han Brritish ccitizen ns In this very int nteresting articlee Carine Dreauu analyses a recent report by thhe UK Nationaal Statistics whhich reveals that,, in most regiions, a smallerr number of foreign fo born peop ple claim anyy financial heelp or benefitt from the goveernment, than the UK born people. Also this report show ws that migrannt workers and foreign born workers w pay more tax than the U UK born ones. The study alsoo presents an overrview of the prrofile of immig grants. This artticle reveals the surprising factss about immigrrant which are not usually com mmunicated to thhe British public by the mediaa. To read the full article a in Issue 6 sspring 2011pagee

Hands H Down D Winne er This is an article about an innspirational Paraa Olympian Kurdish K refugeee, by John Dom mokos. Shaho o Qadir fled hhis country, Iraq q, after the bom mbings of his people by Sadd dam and arriveed in the UK iin 2003. In 2004 4 he was granted asylum and since then, desp pite having lo ost his both leegs in the bom mbings of Halab bja, he has beenn creating a greaat amount of respect for himself in marathons taking place p in the UK K and even in New N York. Shah ho’s coach belieeves that he has all the ingred dients to becom me a world class winner at the 2012 Paralymppics. Shaho derstand how ppeople can sayss he can’t und com mplain about th he life in Lonndon, when man ny people aroun nd the world arre suffering. To reead the full articlle in Issue 3 pagee 32 June 2009

In this article a is an interview byy Maria T. Sette about Mo Farah who is from a Somalian i a double origin and is gold medal winner in athletics. Farah describes in this article, how he arriived in the UK when hee was only 8 years old annd could not speaak a word of En nglish. He left M Mogadishu in early 90s, whenn it was just abou ut to go into a civil war. His message for neew Londoners is to have a dreaam, no matter what w origin theyy are from. Faraah says that he sees s himself as a British now. Too read the full artticle in Issue 5 auutumn 2010 Pagees 10-13


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The New N Londo oners

What’s W s on - Lond don Ev ventss In n every issuee we highlighht some of the internationaal eventts that take pplace in Londdon. Whatever you are intto arts, music, foodd we try to give you a glimpse intto multiicultural naturre of our socieety.

Indian and Braazilian festivals in London (issu ues 4 & 5)

Myths M s Bussted A regula ar feature of TThe New Lon ndoners is a column reseearched and pproduced byy Stefanie Heerwig and Tiija Ritnaa that illustra ates how statements in i the mainsttream media about migrants ha ave little to do with fact. Some S of the myths that we’ve w bustedd are:

Myth: Migrants M m move to the UK just too claim sociaal security beenefits. Fact: Im mmigrants aare less likeely to claim m welfare ben nefits and too live in soccial housingg than peoplee born in thhe UK. Migrants M alsoo make a possitive contrib ibution to th he UK fiscall system by paying moore income taxes thann ve in direct and indirect transfers. they receiv (University y College L London Rep port on thee benefits of Immigrationn 2010) K support a Myth: Countries llike the UK onate numbeer of migran nts. disproportio Fact: Only 10% of the UK pop pulation wass mpared wiith 24% inn not born here – com d, 14% in Australia and a 11% inn Switzerland Netherlands. (OECD D Annuaal Reportt 009) Internationaal Migrationn Outlook 20 H shoortages are consequence c e Myth: Housing of migration. Fact: Immigrants tend to demand d lesss housing than UK-bornn individuals, with thee mmigrants liiving in thee majority off recent im private rentted sector. ((‘The econo omic impactt of immigrration’, Hoouse of Lo ords Selectt Committee Report, 20008)

Refugee Weeek is a uniq que opportun nity to discovver and d celebrate tthe contributtion refugeees bring to tthe UK K. During R Refugee Weeek numerou us events taake placce across thhe UK, all of which ex xplore refuggee exp periences. F For the full events list vissit: http p://www.refuugeeweek.org g.uk/InYourA Area/Englannd/ Lon ndon/events

Myth: There are thousandss of boguss kers abusingg the system m. asylum seek Fact: Most M asyluum seekerss who aree initially refused statuus go on to o win theirr appeals. (Amnesty IInternationaal: Claimedd Asylum Caases, Researcch Report, 2004) 2

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The New londoners - special 5th year edition