Refugee Week: Compassion has never been more necessary

Communities / Wed 21st Jun 2023 at 08:06am

THIS is refugee week, the theme for 2023 is compassion and never has it been more necessary.

With the UK Government promoting ever more vicious anti-migrant policies and blatantly allowing false rhetoric to be used by ministers to attack migrants and refugees it is vital that the renowned compassion of the British people is celebrated and renewed.

Harlow has a proud history of welcoming refugees, most recently from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria.
The compassionate welcome shown to these new arrivals in our town is a testament to the inate sense of justice and fairness that abounds in our wonderful communities.

The diversity of the languages, cuisines, arts and cultures that can be enjoyed in Harlow is cause for much pride. This is, of course, in no small measure due to the migrants and refugees who have made our town of Harlow their home over the course of many decades. They are much valued members of our communities, often to be found working in our public services like the NHS and Social Care sector.

Yes, there are people who seek to enter our country illegally but they must not be confused with those refugees who seek sanctuary in the UK from war and persecution perfectly legally, to do so would be to give credence to the rhetoric of the far right racists who brand all those seeking to come here as the same.

When we think of refugees we must think of the compassion they need in their darkest moments and we must remember they are often detained in appalling, inhumane conditions whilst a failing Home Office takes far too long to process and validate their claims for refugee status.

In Harlow there are many organisations such as Integration Support Services, Rainbow Services and the Community Hub who, along with a multitude of faith groups and others, help support refugees. We should offer them our thanks for their dedicated work.

The UK and Harlow would be a much poorer place were it not for the contributions of refugee communities. So, in this 25th anniversary Refugee Week let’s celebrate and renew our welcome and compassion for our fellow citizens. 

Cllr James Griggs
Labour – Netteswell

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3 Comments for Refugee Week: Compassion has never been more necessary:

Martin Curl
2023-06-21 15:00:23

Contributions?!?! Lets have a poll on this!!

Harlow resident
2023-06-22 07:27:24

Hear hear don't blame the refugees for the problems in this country especially when a lot of the problems in their countries were caused at least in part by Western countries.

2023-06-22 14:56:13

Refugees are welcome, mass migration is not welcome, it is unstainable, lack of housing is a big issue especially in our town with thousands on the social housing list.

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