Mayor George Ferguson
(January 24, 2013, UK, Refugee News Network)-On 15 January 2013, Bristol City Council has passed motion to end destitution at their full council meeting. Earlier on June 2011, Bristol has officially declared itself a ?City Of Sanctuary?.
The motion was approved by 80% of the councilors which include support from the Labor Party, Liberal Democrats and Green Party groups.
It was supported by the Lord Mayor and the new City Mayor.
City Mayor George Ferguson said ?We should not tolerate destitution in our city for any reason?.
Bristol City of Sanctuary worked together with other local organizations to mobilize support for this motion.
Bristol council agrees to seek further support for this motion and actions via the Local Government Association and encouraging other councils in the UK to follow Bristol?s lead.
Bristol Council welcomed the Glasgow City Council initiative in passing a motion, highlighting the concerns for refused asylum seekers and the lack of support and facilities UK wide.
The Mayor calls on all Bristol MPs to support the content of this motion and to raise the matter in the House of Commons, and support a change in current laws regarding asylum applications by removing restrictions on local authorities in the support they can provide to destitute asylum seekers.
The city council stressed that it will? work closely with the voluntary sector through a designated officer to provide help, support and advice to applicants and enable a coordinated response to be easily available to those in need at this vulnerable time of their lives.
It is reported in different media that thousands of people who have fled some of the world?s most dangerous countries are being forced into destitution, begging and prostitution on British streets because they cannot be sent back.
During Human Rights Day, in the report, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, the Refugee Council urges the Government to offer rejected asylum-seekers from such nations a special form of protection until their home countries are considered safe for their return.