The Open Letter, which has been signed by 55 organisations in the UK and Ireland, says it is imperative that everyone’s basic needs are met during the current Covid-19 pandemic and the only way to ensure this happens is by giving Leave to Remain to all refugees and migrants both inside and outside of the asylum and immigration system. People living in extreme poverty, destitution and without immigration status are unable to socially isolate, many cannot access health care and other support, and they are prevented from helping to make the population as safe as possible during this time of global crisis. Migrant people who are in the legal system cannot keep physically safe on their allowances because those allowances are not enough for them to eat healthily or buy appropriate cleaning materials. Many are living in accommodation where it is impossible for them to socially isolate.
CARAG is proud to be involved with Sisters Not Strangers campaign, led by refugee and asylum-seeking women to build solidarity for women who have come to the UK to seek safety but have instead been made destitute. Right now, hundreds of women who have come to this country to find safety are living completely destitute. Many people who come to the UK to claim asylum are unfairly refused. This may be because they have struggled to collect the evidence they need, because they couldn’t find a good lawyer, or because the Home Office didn’t give them a fair decision. When someone is refused asylum they can be left without any support, any housing, or any right to work.
Lots of these people do go on to get leave to remain in the end, after years of struggle. But in the meantime destitution is really hard, particularly for women. Women who are destitute are often abused, exploited, suffer ill health and become depressed.
Reclaiming the Coventry Canal
Reclaiming the Coventry Canal (ReCC) is a community group formed in February 2019 with the aim of reshaping the urban environment surrounding the canal in the Foleshill area to serve the people’s wishes and needs. All our activity is grounded on three main pillars: ownership, diversity and environment.
Carag is proud to be involved with this local project helping to reshape the environment in Coventry. Our members are frequently involved with activities such as cleaning the canal paths and planting flowers and trees.
Carag with other organisations sent a joint letter to PM Boris Johnson at No.10 Downing Street. The intiative was spearheaded by Jesuit Refugee Service. The contents of the letter highlighted the issues people with insecure immigration face during the COVID-19 crisis. These issues included access to the NHS, adequate housing. Read the letter in our blog.
Lift The Ban
Right now, right here in the UK, people seeking refugee status are banned from working while they wait months, and often years, for a decision on their asylum claim.
Instead, they are left to live on just £5.39 per day, struggling to support themselves and their families, whilst the Government wastes the talents of thousands of people.
We think that’s wrong. We believe that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance of contributing to our society and integrating into our communities. This means giving people seeking asylum the right to work so that they can use their skills and live in dignity.
Carag is part of the campaign to let asylum seekers support themselves.
Right To Remain
People leave their homes and come to the UK for many reasons. People are fleeing war, persecution and poverty; are coming to join family in the UK; are coming here to work or study. It’s not easy to make it here, and when people arrive the struggle isn’t over. People are faced with a Hostile Environment denying them basic rights, and major obstacles to establishing their legal rights to stay. Carag is working in partnership with Right to Remain. We receive information, resources, training and assistance to help people to establish their right to remain.
In 2019 CARAG won funding from the European Union to write a Report that would examine the causes of Homelessness amongst Migrant populations. This is the first such Report by a Migrant Led Community Organisation. The Report is a 2-year project started in September 2019.
Better Housing By G4S
Carag has been campaigning for a number of years to get better accommodation for asylum seekers. With the help and collaboration of Coventry City Council we have managed to establish a working relationship with G4S. When a problem arises, we can contact the regional manager who make sure our concerns are dealt with.
Shutdown Detention Centres
Yarls Wood detention centre is one of the facilities that holds up to 400 women; women who have committed no crime. Their Rights denied and their freedom removed. Carag have written to the government to have these facilities shutdown as they serve no purpose and are a waste on taxpayers money. Carag has also taken part with other organizations going down to the centre demanding these innocent people set free.