Refugees are one of the most talked-about and recurring themes in the media. Yet sensationalism andmisinformation are rife, encouraging an environment of hostility and misunderstanding. This workshopwill aim to increase awareness of the concrete, everyday challenges faced by refugees in the UnitedKingdom, from navigating the bureaucracy of applying for asylum status to gaining access to healthcareand suitable housing. Terms such as ‘migrant’, ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ are often lumped togetherand used interchangeably; this workshop will unpack each of these terms and promote more accurateperceptions of the people behind the labels. One of OxFID 2020's key themes is the question of accountability and the role that institutions, bothprivate and public, have to play in paving the way for progress. This workshop will also investigate thequestion of corporate responsibility and the ways in which companies might adapt and leverage theircore competencies to be more inclusive to refugees.
Bella Sankey is Director of Detention Action, a national charity that seeks to defend the rights and improve the welfare of people held in immigration detention. Having previously acted as Director of Policy at Liberty and Deputy- Director at Reprieve, Bella has over ten years’ experience working for the protection of human rights in the UK’s parliamentary democracy.
Since 2013, Maurice Wren has been Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, theleading organisation working with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Healso has over a decade of experience as Director of Asylum Aid, a charityproviding legal representation to people seeking refugee protection, previouslyholding senior management roles at Shelter and the Housing AssociationsCharitable Trust. Maurice co-founded the Independent Asylum Commission(2006-2008) and the Detention Forum, a coalition of charities working onimmigration detention, in 2009.