Plymouth Refugees

Our October 2013 talk was from Rupert Blomfield, manager of the British Red Cross International Family tracking service and refugee support services in the South West.  Rupert has worked for over a decade with asylum seekers, refugees, migrant workers and vulnerable workers in Plymouth.

Plymouth is nowadays far more ethnically diverse that it was just a few years ago, and much of this increased diversity is down to the city taking on its share of refugees and asylum seekers. Rupert explained what the difference between the two groups is, and where the main minority communities in the city orignally came from.  He talked about the threats that drove people to seek safety in the UK and the many difficulties they can face finding a permenant home here.

After brief lesson on the national and international laws governing refugees, he then presented us with some cases studies and let us discuss if we'd have granted asylum or not.  The reality of what happened in the actual cases behind this exercise were sometimes both surprising and shocking.