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Social work leader calls for protest against political response to refugee crisis

The head of the British Association of Social Workers called on people to “walk the streets” in protest against the British Government’s response to Europe’s refugee crisis.

Bridget Robb expressed solidarity to those seeking refuge in Europe and criticised the “dehumanising” language used by some politicians to describe them.

Speaking at the International Federation of Social Workers’ European Conference in Edinburgh, she said: “Those of us who work in England have been horrified by our own government’s response using language that is so negative and dehumanising of the experiences people have had.

“We want to make a joint commitment of our support and acknowledge the deaths that have occurred and the tragedies that are creating the need for people to walk.

“We have decided the only way to tackle this is yes, political pressure, but we must also walk the streets by marching and saying the response of our government is not good enough.”

Ms Robb, who is Chief Executive of the Association, spoke out amid mounting pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to show greater support for those fleeing conflict and oppressive regimes.

Mr Cameron was criticised recently for describing people trying to reach Britain from Calais as a “swarm”.

Ms Robb highlighted how social workers were supporting those on “human journeys” at railway stations and ports of entry across Europe.

She added: “We do not support what our politicians are saying. We have a voice to stand up and be counted alongside people who are using our services.”