Guest Blog: Refugee Action
Image Credit - Refugee Action
With the devastating and harrowing events happening in Ukraine at the moment, we felt it was the right time to update a blog we wrote three years ago on Refugee Action - a charity helping people forced to flee their countries from war and persecution.
We are in the midst of another refugee crisis, with over 3.9 million Ukrainian citizens desperately fleeing everything they know to undertake brutal journeys to find safety. For over a month, the world has been watching families fight to board trains in frantic crowds, fathers kissing their children goodbye, and the fear and exhaustion on the faces of all those trying to get to safety.
Here at Lilla Rugs, we want to make a difference, so £10 of every online order gets donated to Refugee Action. We have written this blog to help you understand what you are contributing toward and the extraordinary change your donations make to people's lives.
HUMANITY CAN WIN
Image Credit (left to right) - Welsh Refugee Council, Refugee Women
As the refugee crisis worsens, millions of men, women, and children face an uncertain future. Our partnership and your support make a massive difference, here's why your contributions matter. Whether you donate, join an event, or put on a fundraiser to raise cash, every penny helps keep Refugee Action running, so they can help people in need.
Refugee Action has supported refugees since 1981 - fighting to ensure people seeking asylum are safe, far from the horror they have fled. The charity vision is: All refugees will be welcomed, get the justice they deserve, live free of poverty, and successfully rebuild their lives.
Through appointments, group activities, and outreach work, the most vulnerable people receive the support they need. The dedicated staff at Refugee Action cultivate each individual's understanding of UK systems and advocate fiercely on their behalf to ensure they access their rights and are empowered to rebuild their lives.
Let's take a look at two cases Refugee Action have so kindly shared:
Image Credit (left to right) - Twitter, The Guardian
What is a refugee?
According to the UN Refugee Convention, the definition of a refugee is someone who…
‘Owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country’ (Article 1, 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees).
What is an asylum seeker?
The definition of an asylum seeker is someone who has arrived in a country and asked for asylum. Until they receive a decision as to whether or not they are a refugee, they are known as an asylum seeker. In the UK, this means they do not have the same rights as a refugee or a British citizen would. For example, asylum seekers aren’t allowed to work.
The right to seek asylum is a legal right we all share. It isn’t illegal to seek asylum, because seeking asylum is a legal process. It also isn’t illegal to be refused asylum – it just means you haven’t been able to meet the very strict criteria to prove your need for protection as a refugee.
Are there many refugees and asylum seekers in the UK?
No. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), by the end of 2017 there were 121,837 refugees, 40,365 pending asylum cases and 97 stateless persons in the UK. That’s around one quarter of a percent (0.25%) of the UK’s total population.
All our rugs are ethically and sustainably sourced directly from their country of origin. Most of our rugs come from Central Asia, the popular weaving areas being Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Caucasus.
At Lilla Rugs, we don’t just sell Persian and Oriental Rugs; by reducing our impact on the environment, we are committed to helping local artisanal communities preserve their traditional craftsmanship.
Supporting artisanal communities and our chosen charity - Refugee Action, are equally important to us as a brand. So, if you're looking for an eco-conscious way to update your interiors, we have selected three striking Persian and Oriental rugs for this season.
If you'd like to contribute without buying a rug, or even to give more than our designated £10, please do so here.