How a small migrants’ rights charity is using their lived experience to tackle division
The Migrants’ Rights Network is a UK charity which stands in solidarity with migrants in their fights for rights and justice. We believe that words form the foundation of everything. They dictate the structures of the world around us, how we view others and make sense of our own identities. Long before the already infamous comments by Home Secretary Suella Braverman about the so-called invasion of migrants in the UK or revelations about the conditions at Manston detention centre, we were campaigning against the damaging rhetoric used by politicians, media and even other charities through our innovative Words Matter campaign.
Migration and refugee issues are often looked at as siloed, separate issues. At MRN, we feel this approach does not get to the root of migration push and pull factors. Instead, we examine the role that identity and history play in contemporary migration. As a diverse team with intersecting identities and experiences, we campaign on migration by raising awareness of how race, religion, sexuality, gender, nationality or class intersect to create immigration discourse. When Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, it highlighted a truth that was well known to us at MRN. That Europe’s immigration regimes are inherently racist. The way that Ukrainian refugees were perceived and welcomed by Europeans stood in stark contrast to how people fleeing Syria or Afghanistan are treated. In this article, we share some of the words we are tackling through our Words Matter campaign and share some of the lived experiences within our charity.
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