Displaying items by tag: Refugees
Along with over thirty other charities, Sanctuary Foundation, which helps people welcome Ukrainian refugees into their home, has written to ask the Prime Minister for assurances the Homes for Ukraine scheme will continue to get government backing and support. There is concern the initiative is being ‘quietly phased out’. Host families are worried that ministers will not increase support to match rising costs of living. Households receive £350 a month for hosting someone from Ukraine, but there are calls for that amount to be doubled. Since March, over 96,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the UK, but a BBC investigation found that in 14 months 116 unaccompanied child refugees from across the world have gone missing from UK hotels. They were temporarily housed by the government, but charities fear they risk being exploited.
Not all Ukrainians desire to start a new life abroad. There are tens of thousands of Eastern Ukrainians in refugee camps, schools, kindergartens or government buildings, hoping they will be able to return home once the war is over. They refuse to think that there will be no homes to return to. These refugee camps are everywhere in Transcarpathia (in the far west of Ukraine) which, at the moment, is a place of safety. The Carpathian Mountains separate them from Putin’s bombs. Pray for the safety of the brave Europeans visiting refugee locations with food, clothes and household needs.
The women, children and elderly fleeing Ukraine are suffering the most, dealing with the trauma from Russia’s ongoing onslaught. In support of what churches in Ukraine and Poland are doing, the New York Jets donated $100,000 towards the work of ‘CityServe Krakow Housing Project’. Their goal is to expand refugee housing in Krakow, Poland. The money will provide safe homes for families which include a kitchen and laundry room, and food and vital necessities. CityServe said it is incredible that a secular organisation should partner with faith-based organisations to see the gospel spread in this war-torn region.
The UN expects five million people to flee Ukraine. The world was already facing the highest levels of displacement on record. The war in Syria killed 400,000 and destroyed healthcare, education, and infrastructure, forcing millions to cross treacherous waters to safety. An estimated 745,000 people crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh after violence erupted in Rakhine state. The rapid movement and huge influx of Rohingya refugees put massive strain on existing refugee camps like Cox’s Bazar and on the host communities who are supporting new arrivals. Every day 37,000 people across the world flee their homes due to persecution or conflict; 26 million people flee their homes annually due to climate-related disasters; and one in five refugee or displaced women are estimated to have experienced sexual violence. In this season of global recessions, pray for adequate financial donations to be given to agencies delivering life-saving aid to refugees. Pray for ample food, water, sanitation, blankets and shelters to reach the vulnerable.
A refugee agency in Lebanon noted discrimination and violence against Syrian refugees rose sharply recently, with more confrontations at bakeries where refugees often have to wait for bread behind Lebanese citizens. Rawan Haddad, of Tent Schools International, said that the refugees’ situation is sometimes better than most Lebanese. Nations provide basic support and limited facilities for refugees, but Lebanese below the poverty line have no support. There are shortages of bread, flour, and medicine. People don’t make enough to buy what they need, and the government won’t help. With these concerns in mind, Lebanese officials have now announced they plan to repatriate refugees back to Syria, but the problem is that European countries will not agree to that course of action.
A statutory body set up to monitor and review EU citizens’ rights after Brexit will review Home Office rules impacting 2.5 million European nationals living in the UK. The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) is challenging the Home Office decision to remove the rights of people living in the UK for less than five years before Brexit if they do not apply in time for permanent residency status. The rules mean they would be classed as undocumented migrants and lose their rights to reside, work, rent property or access services including the NHS. At worst, they could face deportation. The IMA argued the rules were a breach of the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, which guaranteed the rights of EU citizens who were in the country before Brexit. There is also a real issue as to the potential application of EU law in the interpretation of the withdrawal agreement.
The International Justice Mission (IJM) reminds us that the Ukraine conflict has displaced millions of women and children across Europe who are now running out of savings and resources, making them vulnerable to false work offers or accommodation from traffickers. The UN warns that Ukraine’s war is turning into a ‘human trafficking crises’. We need to cry out to God for women and children’s protection, that they would find safe housing and a stable income, to avoid accepting offers from traffickers. Please pray that they would know God's peace and comfort at this time of great difficulty. Pray for the expansion of IJM's anti-trafficking work in Europe. Ukraine’s refugee crisis means they urgently need to expand their anti-trafficking work into more European countries to reach and protect more vulnerable people. Pray for more local churches and European communities to accept and help refugees and may God mightily bless those volunteers already welcoming Ukrainians into their communities.
Individuals who were due to be removed to Rwanda lodged applications with the Court of Human Rights requesting they be allowed to stay in the UK as their application for residency in the UK is considered. Following a first request for an interim measure, on 14 June others lodged similar applications. There are serious risks that the international law principle of non-refoulement (compulsory repatriation to a nation of origin leading to great danger) will be breached by forcibly transferring asylum-seekers to Rwanda. We can ask God to protect our human rights laws. We can pray for the future UK Bill of Rights, currently being considered by the UK government, to come under God’s authority; and for treaties and laws to be according to His order, not man’s. Protecting people and giving them freedom lies at the heart of human rights laws. Father, we ask for every law and law management around this issue to be aligned with Your principles.
Every minute twenty people leave everything behind to flee persecution of their race, religion, nationality, politics or social group membership. Others escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters. There are also internally displaced persons, stateless people with no recognised nationality, not belonging to any country due to discrimination against certain groups. With no citizenship certificate, they are excluded from healthcare, education and employment. There are also asylum seekers who have fled their homes, but their refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled. Every one of them, according to the 1951 Refugee Convention Protocol, has the right to work, to housing, to education, to public relief and assistance, and to freedom of religion. They should also have access to courts and freedom of movement. and be issued with identity and travel documents in the country at the end of their journey.
Ukrainians fleeing to neighbouring countries, looking for peace from conflict, are finding that their lives have changed drastically. They face new questions: where to live? how to make a living? They are struggling with language barriers and uncertainty about the safety of their loved ones still in Ukraine. They had been owners of homes and financially independent: now they are alone in a foreign country that is not their home. Father, please bring healing and restoration to those with vivid memories of death and destruction. Give peace of mind to those now suffering strife and fear. May they quickly settle into their new environments and have a sense of belonging. Father, please care for those whose life seems out of control; may they find a sure foundation in you. Give the disillusioned hope in a future and by Your Spirit draw near to those who are living with sorrow and uncertainty. Release Your comfort into shattered lives.