Manchester becomes 11th Council to pass motion against asylum destitution!

On 26 March 2014 Manchester Council voted unanimously in favour of a motion against asylum destitution, becoming the 11th Council to take this step and join the growing call for change!Manchester Town Hall Clock

The motion raises concerns about Home Office decision making, the pervasive culture of disbelief, and the effects of poverty and homelessness on the dignity and spirit of people who have come here to seek safety. It also raises specific concerns about the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people fleeing persecution.

The speeches made by Cllrs Bev Craig and Susanne Richards in support of the motion were heartfelt and moving and were woven through with local stories of people who have come to Manchester to seek safety and the many obstacles that have been thrown in their way.

Getting to this point has been a truly collaborative effort. For all the people who have bravely shared their stories and shown such strength in impossibly difficult circumstances… for all those people and groups who stand in solidarity and give practical support to those facing destitution… for everyone who has met with, called, and written to their councillors… and for all those of you who have tirelessly raised awareness about the shameful treatment of people who have come to Manchester to seek safety only to be forced into poverty and homelessness – this motion could not have happened without you!

Manchester Town Hall

And now… Manchester Council is seen as the lead on migration and asylum in the north west, so this motion should make it much easier to convince other councils to jump on board. If you live or work anywhere else in Greater Manchester please get in touch for the latest on where the Dignity not Destitution campaign is up to in your area. Follow @RAANorthWest and visit: for the latest.

The wording of the motion is Manchester Council motion on destitution 26.3.14

All eleven Council motions can be found on the website under Resources.


3 thoughts on “Manchester becomes 11th Council to pass motion against asylum destitution!

  1. I am posting this from Malawi. The motion which your ill-informed councillors have signed states the following:

    “The deteriorating situation for LGBT people in Uganda, Nigeria and Malawi has been heavily documented.”

    What deteriorating situation do we have here in Malawi which has been heavily documented?

    It is true that there are sections of the Penal Code which criminalise consensual same-sex acts, but about two years ago, the authorities stated that they have no wish to prosecute anyone. Furthermore, the judiciary here on its own initiative has started a process to see how the “sodomy laws” sit with a section of the constitution on human rights, and may declare them unconstitutional.

    If anything, the situation for LGBTs in Malawi is improving, rather than deteriorating.

    • Dear Peter,
      Thanks for your comment.

      All the other Councils which have passed motions have restricted themselves to asylum seeker destitution in the UK. Manchester City Council passed a motion which widened the debate to include LGBT rights.

      We understand that the three men convicted in 2011 by a Magistrate’s court in Blantyre are still serving long jail terms ranging from 10 to 14 years. The Muslim Association of Malawi are calling for homosexual people to be given the death penalty. In this context the Councillors supported a motion calling for fair treatment.

      We certainly hope that the situation for LGBT people in Malawi is improving.

      Tony Openshaw
      ASHA (Manager)

    • Bwana Openshaw,

      1. With regard to the three men, can you tell me what exactly they were convicted of? You see, the “sodomy laws” are used to prosecute homosexual RAPE, and I hope you will agree that rape should be prosecuted. Do you not find it odd that each of the three cases involves only a single individual? That suggests to me that the sex acts were not consensual. There is nothing in the media about the details of the three cases. Perhaps you went to the Registry at Blantyre Magistrates Court and have looked at the dockets for the three cases and know better than me. Myself, I wanted to find out more about them and was told by someone in the Judiciary how I could arrange to see the dockets. However, living about 500 km from Blantyre I had to decline the offer.

      2. With regard to the statement from the Muslim Association of Malawi that call was completely out of order, and unjustifiably publicised by the gutter-press here. MAM was condemned by Government and others. Be aware that Muslims make up only ~15% of the population here, so their call in no way represents the majority view. You really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to reach that bit of dirt.

      3. Death penalty? That has not been carried out for more than 20 years.

      4. I notice that you have made no reference to any heavy documents to substantiate the dirt that you are throwing at Malawi.

      5. I would like to see consensual, same-sex acts decriminalised in Malawi, and LGBTs treated no differently from anyone else. However, my support for that wavers when I read snotty, comments such as you have posted here. If you want to continue to condemn Malawi, then do not waste time talking about stuff like corporal punishment (abolished), or the cyberfib USSD ….34% blackmailed … CEDEP because those are easily refuted.

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