From top: Refugee Info Network logo; ‘The Jungle’ in Calais, France
Sinéad Williams writes:
“I have set up an initiative called the Refugee Info Network (RIN). The aim of this project is to provide asylum seekers with information on asylum application processes across Europe in plain and simple language. We want to empower people by giving them access to information on their rights and options. We hope to be able to provide this service in as many languages as possible.”
“RIN was set up after I visited and worked in the Jungle camp in Calais, France for a number of weeks at the end of 2015. Ultimately, most of the refugees in Calais and surrounding camps will not be able to fulfill their aim of getting to the UK to claim asylum because of legal impediments and the sheer danger involved in making an illegal crossing.”
“Therefore, we would like to encourage people to choose an alternative route – namely, applying for asylum in another EU state and moving to the UK (or elsewhere) once they have obtained refugee status and citizenship. It is a much more time consuming method, but infinitely safer (and more practical for those with families in the camp). We also want to make people aware of the realities of asylum systems across Europe – rights, entitlements, waiting times, acceptance rates, etc – so that they are prepared for what to expect.”
“We currently require more volunteers to help us carry out research, fact-checking, editing and translation work. If any of your readers think they’d be interested in getting involved they can email email@example.com for more information.”
Meanwhile, anyone who wishes to support some of the Irish volunteer efforts in Calais may wish to note that Dublin youth worker Karen Moynihan is trying to establish a youth centre in Calais.
Karen is appealing for donations here.
Thanks Caoimhe Butterly