We Are Human Pledge
2017 African Rainbow Family Part of History Conference Manchester Communiqué
The Manchester Declaration 21st June 2017, Manchester
As we know, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’ (UN General Assembly, 1948). It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
Article 14 of this declaration states, ‘everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’.
In 36 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries, love is criminalised; including death penalty in 9 of these 36 countries. It is evident that Britain exported this homophobic law to these countries during colonial era. This has given rise to people fleeing their home countries to seek asylum in LGBT+ friendly countries, including the United Kingdom (UK). Other people flee for different reasons too such as war, trafficking, domestic abuse, genital mutilation, violence against women etc.
It is however, saddening that under belly racism has crept in to the UK institutions when it comes to upholding these rights for individuals fleeing any form of persecutions from the state and non state agents of their home countries hence the dehumanisation of people has become the order of the day. This they achieve when referring to people seeking sanctuary as asylum seekers; a nomenclature that has slipped into the wider society and subsequently created disharmony in the community.
In view of the above, it was agreed at the African Rainbow Family Conference in June 21st 2017, Manchester that the conversation needs to change!
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A description that connotes the image of scroungers, including they come to ‘take our job’, ‘live on our benefits’, ‘use our NHS for free’, etc.
This culture of dehumanisation of people seeking asylum is contrary to Article 6 of the declaration which states, ‘everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law’ (UN General Assembly, 1948); which the UK signed up to.
The use of this derogatory classification unconsciously, has toxically led to inadvertent internalised racism by the people seeking asylum themselves and their dehumanisation by those supporting them. People therefore portray themselves as they were intended to be portrayed! – less human, beggars, scroungers, unworthy etc.
The We Are Human campaign is asking that you join us in pledging to change the conversation and refer to us as (LGBT) People Seeking Asylum And Refuge.
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Below are the organisations and individuals that have signed up to this declaration and refer to us as (LGBT) people seeking asylum. Contact us if you would like to sign this declaration, and pledge to call us People Seeking Asylum because We Are Human and not born asylum seekers!
To sign up to the declaration on behalf of an organisation or yourself, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Organisation, Name, Position in organisation or sign up above. Use #WeAreHuman on social media.
Aderonke Apata – Founder African Rainbow Family
African Rainbow Family
Manchester Migrant Solidarity
Greater Manchester Law Centre
Elop – Abimbola Aroyewun
Tony Openshaw – Writer at Alternative Asylum News. Previous Founder and Manager of Asylum Support Housing Advice (ASHA)
Fazilet Sadiq – Refugee member LISG
Joanne Crumplin – Rep, USDAW
Trade Union Congress Northern (TUC Northern)
Beth Farhat – TUC
Lesbian and Gay Support the Miners
Virginie Assal – Women’s Programme Inclusion Officer, LGBT Foundation
Karen Daniels – Secretary, Unite the Union, Hull and East Riding Branch, NE/407/27
Kim Rothman – Supervisor, HCAL
Genevra Afford – Service Support Officer, Hull Culture & Leisure Ltd
Lesbians & Gays Support the Migrants
Sarah Blossom – Sloace
Kai Javed – Sexual Harassment Advisor, The Angelou Centre