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5th March 2012

Sleeping out with STAR and Amnesty International

Campaigners drew attention to the lack of basic living conditions for asylum seekers by sleeping out on the street

Student Action for Refugees and Amnesty International groups at the University came together on Thursday 23rd February to protest against the destitution faced by asylum seekers.

Over 120 campaigners came together for an evening of speakers, food and music culminating in an all-night sleep out to highlight the plight of asylum seekers, who are given minimal levels of support from the government and are prohibited from working.

“It’s atrocious that some of the most vulnerable people in our society can be neglected by our government in this way. We want to highlight that these people are still here, and deserve to have their human rights upheld” says Georgia Tate, co-chair of the Amnesty International society.

The event was one of many across the country for the ‘Still Human, Still Here’ campaign in the week beginning the 20th of February, which is supported by many organisations, including faith and campaigning groups.

Presently, asylum seekers are frequently unable to meet their basic living needs under the status quo, with many living on a government benefit of £5 per day, and being entirely unable to top this up. They are not allowed to work, and the benefits do not change with inflation or in line with Income Support.

This year’s Sleep Out campaign aimed to draw attention to this problem.

Emma Bean

Emma Bean

Middle Eastern studies at the University, originally from North Yorkshire

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