At its meeting on Monday 22nd July, Oxford City Council voted unanimously to pass a motion pledging support for plans to make Oxford a recognized ‘City of Sanctuary’. Importantly, it also sets out some concrete steps which we hope will benefit the lives of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Oxford. The cross party motion stated “This Council reaffirms its commitment to being a City of Sanctuary. We uphold the principles of dignity and respect for all, welcome the paper “Oxford’s Commitment to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants” and ask the Leader of the Council to sign it on the Council’s behalf.”
Members of the public were also given time to speak in support of the motion. Among them was Adam Khan, a refugee from Afghanistan who was supported by the social services when he arrived in Oxford as an unaccompanied asylum seeking children. You can listen to their powerful contributions here and readers can access the full version of the passed motion here.
The Council has also appointed a new Migrant Champion, Cllr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, to oversee these commitments. Oxford residents are encouraged to get involved by signing a statement of commitment here.