Posted by: njs44 | December 16, 2009

Seeking refuge

The theme from yesterday’s post continues as an article in today’s Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/dec/16/yarls-wood-immigration-children sets me off again on the subject of the detention of asylum seekers and refugees. Whatever ones views on the rights and wrongs of the admission of asylum seekers, surely there can be no justification for keeping children in detention indefinitely?

There are several organisations who are working with refugees and asylum seekers. I came across a Jewish one recently, called Rene Cassin, and their website http://www.renecassin.org/ is worth a visit. A representative of this organisation spoke recently at an event I attended on Mitzvah Day. This is an annual event when the Jewish community try to do ‘good deeds’. (You can find out more about it here http://www.mitzvahday.org.uk/ )

At the Mitzvah Day event we had been asked to bring along toiletries for the people in detention centres. We duly took some shower gels and flannels, but unfortuately the lady told us that recently the regulations have been changed and they are not allowed to take liquids in any more. It is infuriating for those who work with them that the rules about what you can do to help these people constantly change. It almost seems as if someone is being deliberately petty in order to make life even more difficult than it already is.

I have finished reading Chris Cleave’s The Other Hand. It is one of those books that will stay with me for a while and make it difficult to read anything else because my head is still in that one.

My younger daughter’s purse has been stolen and she has lost her Student Rail Card and her train ticket home at the end of term. She has no money and is involved in a show over the next three days and has no time to contact banks or anyone. I feel helpless and have also effectively lost my credit card too, as we had to cancel her one which is on my account. I suppose compared to the problems of asylum-seekers, this is nothing. The question is, will they let her on the train with a replacement ticket, if she does not have the Student Rail Card to go with it? Watch this space.

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