On the 5th of July, Sheffield City Council unanimously passed a landmark motion re-affirming Sheffield’s status as a City of Sanctuary, commiting to sign the pledge to fight the anti-refugee laws, join the Lift the Ban coalition, install a Migrant Champion in Sheffield City Council, and take both political and practical measures to protect people seeking sanctuary in Sheffield.
Increasingly hostile policy (such as the Illegal Migration Bill and the Nationality and Borders Act) has made the UK an increasingly harsh place for refugees and people seeking asylum. It was therefore a critical time for Sheffield Council to reaffirm its commitment as a ‘City of Sanctuary’ and commit to actions which practically support those seeking sanctuary within our community.
Organisations and individuals from across Sheffield have welcomed the Council’s commitment to defend the right to seek safety. City of Sanctuary Sheffield organised a rally outside Sheffield Town Hall prior to the motion being debated, a large crowd of supporters held placards with messages welcoming refugees and supporting the Lift the Ban Campaign. They listened to speeches (from councillors, charities and community organisers) before going into the Council Chambers to listen to the debate, filling both the public gallery and the downstairs overflow room.
City of Sanctuary Sheffield, alongside many other organisations, will continue to work with the Council to ensure that practical actions continue to be taken that create safety and welcome within our city.