Green members vote to welcome climate refugees

23 October 2021

The definition of a refugee should be extended to include those forced to leave their homes as a result of the Climate Emergency, the Greens have agreed at their conference in Birmingham [1].

As the government seeks to introduce a Borders Bill [2], described by some human rights lawyers as the “biggest legal assault on international refugee law ever seen in the UK” [3], the Green Party is seeking to extend rather than further restrict the rights of refugees.

The motion, which was voted for by Green Party members at their conference, also agreed that the definition of refugees should go beyond that contained in the UN Convention to include those persecuted on the grounds of any characteristic protected in this country under the Equality Act 2010 such as LGBT rights.

Benali Hamdache, Green Party Migration and Refugee Support spokesperson, said:

“What Green Party conference agreed today is a compassionate antidote to the cruel hostility this government is showing towards refugees and asylum seekers. Indeed, the Borders Bill could be in breach of international human rights law.

“Greens have agreed we need to go even further in protecting and welcoming refugees who are displaced due to the climate crisis, something that is a reality for tens of thousands of people already. We will also offer sanctuary to those persecuted on any characteristic protected in this country by UK law.

“The overwhelming support for this motion shows that for Greens refugees are welcome here.”

The Party also agreed that the UK should accept at least 10,000 refugees annually under the UK Resettlement Programme, in addition to those seeking asylum.




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