Celebrating Refugee Week
The Law Centre celebrated Refugee Week 2015 by speaking at the launch of the week at Belfast City Hall, and running two events of our own.
On Monday 15 June, we held an event with British Red Cross and NICRAS to mark new regulations allowing access to GP and dental services for certain groups of vulnerable migrants previously barred from using them, such as refused asylum seekers awaiting their appeal. Prior to the changes, these people had to wait until their medical condition deteriorated and then present at A&E. The Department of Health has commented that the new measures ensure access to healthcare at the most appropriate setting.
Refugees and human rights lecture
On Friday 19 June, Professor Colin Harvey gave an inspiring lecture at the Law Centre on asylum, human rights and the future of international protections in the UK. He was introduced by Mr Justice Stephens. This was also a fundraising event for NICRAS and Homeplus, which raised £230.
Professor Harvey set out the international context of forced migration before explaining the legal framework in the UK which, contrary to public opinion, makes it very difficult to successfully apply for refugee status and keeps many in destitution in the process. He urged the audience to stand by the Human Rights Act, an important tool for those most in need of protection.