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BASW is deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic deaths of people crossing the Channel to reach the UK this week.

BASW comment on human tragedies

BASW is deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic deaths of people crossing the Channel to reach the UK this week. Any person seeking safety, protection and sanctuary should not be forced to put their lives in danger and states have a duty to protect those who are displaced, seeking asylum and refugees.  

The United Kingdom has a legal and human responsibility to welcome and support refugees. However, the Nationality and Borders Bill that is currently going through the House of Commons undermines many established principles of welcoming and supporting refugees - and will make it harder for asylum seekers to find safety and a new life in the UK.  BASW has consistently opposed the contents of this Bill and believes it directly contradicts a humanitarian approach.

BASW is also deeply troubled by the horrific images from Belarus of military forces at borders to prevent or force migration. 

We extend our support to the IFSW and the call of action made by the Human Rights Commission – Europe, standing in solidarity with the migrants and refugees impacted in Belarus and those across the world.  Much more must be done to support migrants, to stop human tragedies and shattered lives.

The IFSW Human Right Commission – Europe statement on the refugee crisis at Belarus / Polish borders calls on individuals, organizations and institutions associated with social work institutions and social workers:

  1. to take unambiguous positions in the public debate based on scientific knowledge and the recognition of human life and human dignity as supreme values;
  2. to exercise civil action aimed at direct assistance to people in need to meet their essential needs (sleep, food, drink, medicine, warmth, psychological and legal support), justifying it by the necessity of saving human health and life;
  3. express solidarity with those crossing the border and support in person, in-kind, or financially any direct assistance provided by representatives of social organizations, the medical professions, the media, and independent activists;
  4. to openly express opposition to the actions of the authorities which violate human rights, among others, by organizing protest actions;
  5. to cooperate in carrying out these activities and to undertake joint initiatives aimed at stopping human rights violations and counteracting xenophobia.