Suella Braverman vs UN vs Christian Tradition

Remember your responsibilities as a citizen for the conduct of local, national, and international affairs. Do not shrink from the time and effort your involvement may demand.

-Quaker Advices and Queries 34

Suella Braverman has added to her rhetoric of anti-immigration, anti-refugee ideology this Tuesday, with a speech declaring that being LGBTQ+ or a woman is not a good enough reason to claim asylum in the UK. Within the speech Braverman declared that in coming to the UK, asylum seekers are using a “pick and choose” mentality for where they claim asylum. This in itself is problematic, as it has been widely accepted by the UN and other countries that refugees are not required to resettle in the first safe country they come to. If this were the case, all of the countries on the edge of ‘disaster’ zones would be overwhelmed. Instead, Braverman seems to be using this idea to shirk the UK’s responsibility, instead of accepting our place in the global community.  

On top of this, Braverman has claimed that “migrants are trying to game the system”, suggesting that asylum seekers are pretending to be gay in order to re-settle in the UK, though any proof of this has yet to be seen. According to Home Office data, sexual orientation formed part of the basis for an asylum claim in just 1% of all applications in 2021. It is clear there is an attack being formed on some of the most vulnerable in our society. Through her words Suella Braverman is not only creating hostility, but also showing her commitment to making sure that refugees and asylum seekers do not feel welcome in this country. However, she does not speak for me - and might not speak for you either! Therefore, we have created this handy resource to help navigate through the speech Braverman delivered. In the resource you can follow what Braverman said in her speech and subsequent interviews, what NGOs and the UN have said in response to these issues, and what Christian tradition and Church teaching offers. It is important that when someone is trying to divide a community that we stand up and stand together for others. 

Call to action: continue researching how you can best support refugees and asylum seekers. This could be through donating clothes and resources, or donating your time. Email Suella Braverman detailing your response to her speech;, write letters to or email your local MP on the issue. Remain informed so you can best be an ally to refugees and asylum seekers.