Campaigning

Why we campaign

Campaigning for a fair and just asylum process is, and has always been at the heart of what LOSRAS does. No-one feels the need to escape their home and set out on perilous journeys, unless they have no other option. We believe that people facing violence and persecution deserve to be treated with respect, care and compassion.

You have to understand that no-one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.

Warsan Shire

However, the Government’s on-going and increasingly hostile environment for people seeking asylum makes it virtually impossible to claim asylum in the UK without recourse to dangerous and expensive people-smuggling organisations. 

The current, racist immigration policy means that only if you are from Ukraine, Hong Kong or (for a very limited number) Afghanistan are there safe and legal routes to seek refuge in the UK. 

The Nationalities and Borders Act, passed in April 2022, criminalises people seeking asylum if they arrive by so-called ‘unregulated routes’ such as those involving the precarious, small-boat Channel crossings. The recently passed Illegal Migration Act, 2023, is utterly brutal. 

The Government also continues to press forward with its ‘Rwanda Policy’ whereby people seeking asylum in the UK can be to be ‘processed’ off-shore. This is despite the fact that the Supreme Court in November 2023, ruled that Rwanda is not a ‘safe country’ because of its poor human rights record. Indeed, the UK upholds the right of people from Rwanda to claim asylum in the UK! 

On the 23rd December 2023 the Government published a new piece of prospective legislation which would declare that Rwanda is indeed a ‘safe country’ and which substantially limits people’s ability to challenge their relocation there, in British courts. The fight continues. 


LOSRAS has joined key national campaigns supporting refugee rights and we work with local organisations with similar aims.

There are many different ways in which you can get involved. For example, we are currently supporting the campaign by the REFUGEE COUNCIL for a fair and humane asylum system where refugees are treated as people, not numbers. Click on the link for more information and access to their petition.

For information on the national campaigns that we are actively engaged with, please see the following:

The campaigns we are involved in

Save Passage

Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Children (UASC) and Family Reunion

The Nationalities and Borders Act makes it far harder for families to be reunited and so we continue to campaign with Safe Passage for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children to be legally entitled to reunite with their families.

Moreover, LOSRAS endorses Safe Passage’s campaign to argue for a new approach to stopping the dangerous channel crossings by boat and in lorries by: 

1. Establishing safe routes for those seeking safety in the UK 

2. Renewing Britain’s commitment to international cooperation 

3. Restoring the right to seek asylum and rebuilding our asylum system.

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Lift the ban
on the right to work

We continue to campaign for the right to work of those waiting for asylum claims to be processed – Lift the Ban.

People seeking asylum currently do not have the right to work while they are waiting for their asylum decisions. Some people can wait for as long as three years to hear whether they have been given the right to remain or refugee status.

This is incredibly damaging to the mental health of the individual as well as making them reliant on as little as £50 a week to ‘live’ on. As Joyce, who is seeking asylum, says below:

“We want to work, to pay bills, to pay tax. Put something into the community so that money can help the ones who really need help.”

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Ending use of
indefinite detention

LOSRAS has joined with Detention Action to campaign for the end to indefinite detention.

The use of detention or the purposes of removal from the UK is inhumane, cruel and increasingly being used as a ‘catch all’ strategy with 15,864 people being indefinitely detained across the UK during 2023. As of December 2023, 39% of people leaving detention had been held for more than 28 days.

Some people are held for years with very limited access to legal support and with no idea of when they will be released.

Over 60% of immigration detainees are eventually released back into the community, having suffered imprisonment for no crime whatsoever.

The UK is the only European country where detention for the purpose of immigration can be indefinite.

We have long-campaigned for this to be set at 28 days maximum.

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Opposition to
the Illegal migration ACT

We are members of Together With Refugees a coalition of over 500 organisations, charities and faith groups which campaigned against the Government’s Illegal Migration Act, passed in 2023.

This new Act effectively strips people of their right to seek safety in the UK, based on their method of transport, NOT their valid need for protection. It will involve them being removed and sent back either to France or to another so called ‘safe country’ such as Rwanda, where people will have no contacts and no means of getting support or legal advice.

The threat of such deportations has lead to people self-harming and saying that they would consider suicide, rather than be sent to Rwanda.

We need a humane and workable asylum system in the form of safe humanitarian corridors, legal routes and properly co-ordinated resettlement schemes.

A new national campaign, Fair begins here, was launched on February 14th with the goal to ensure that the next UK government commits to a fair new plan for refugees. See website for more information.

wider networks

LOSRAS - Marchers No Push Back

LEWES DISTRICT ANTI-RACISM ALLIANCE

This is a newly formed local alliance to raise awareness and promote racial justice within the Lewes district.

For a write up in local media about a recent collaborative event. please read.

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REFUGEE TALES

Refugee Tales walks in solidarity with people who have experienced immigration detention. It calls for an end to this arbitrary and brutal practice.

Volumes of Refugee Tales (I -IV) are published by Comma Press. The books are an astonishing testimony bearing witness to the lived experience of the UK’s immigration detention system.

Refugee Tales organises regular day-walks where people can share their stories while walking together.

It also organises a longer annual walk which this year will be held from 6 – 10th July, starting in Edenbridge and ending in Westminster. Walkers join Refugee Tales to walk in solidarity with asylum seekers, migrants and refugees; the daily walks are followed by evenings of shared story telling and music. To find out more, please visit the Refugee Tales website and see our homepage for up-coming events.