Refugee Council hosts Conference in London

Theme: Integration: Building a Life in the UK
24th March 2009: Refugee Council is holding a Conference on 25th March in London with the theme “Integration: Building a Life in the UK”. The Conference will be held at: Inmarsat, 99 City Road, London, EC1Y 1AX.

Refugee Council says that the economic recession is putting extra pressure on community relations. Now more than ever, it’s vital that the UK gets the right policies – and carries them out – to ensure that communities flourish and refugees don’t find themselves scapegoated as unwanted migrants.

The Home Office retains responsibility for integration through 2011. The government is reviewing its strategy this spring – and Phil Woolas, Minister for Borders and Immigration will be speaking for the first time about the government review at the conference.

UKBA have agreed to respond to the key points which will emerge from the conference – and has asked Refugee Council to include how they as practitioners can be involved in the solutions.

This landmark conference brings together the top experts from leading organisations working with refugees in the key areas of housing, education and employment, volunteering and children and families. Conference delegates will work together during workshops and joint discussions to create recommendations to present to government.

Key speakers include: Phil Woolas, MP, Minister of State for Borders and Immigration; Trevor Phillips, Chair, Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and Donna Covey, Chief Executive, Refugee Council.

A panel discussion of key partners will debate the conclusions reached by delegates to be proposed to government. The panel will include: Adam Sampson, Chief Executive, Shelter; Alan Tuckett, Director, NIACE; Julian Walker, UK Director of Policy & Research Unit, Barnardo’s; Helen Walker, Chief Executive, TimeBank, and Donna Covey, Chief Executive, Refugee Council.

A report focussing on the key recommendations developed during the conference will be produced and presented to the UKBA for their consideration. The report will include an indication of how organisations could help to implement the recommendations that arise.

The conference will hear direct testimony from refugees giving their perspective on their personal experiences. It will be chaired by leading Guardian journalist Alison Benjamin.

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