British Red Cross launches an online movement to pledge support to refugees
10 June 2009: British Red Cross’s online campaign for encouraging the public to look beyond the ‘refugee’ label is gaining momentum. Already, “thousands of people” have logged on to watch movie star Dougray Scott; and change their online status in support of refugees.
The campaign, www.lookbeyondthelabel.org, has been launched as a part of the annual Refugee Week celebrations commencing June 15. This is the first time a charity has created an online movement to pledge support and tackle discrimination via online profiles.
As a part of the campaign in a run up to Refugee Week, the Red Cross is asking people to pledge support to the refugees by collectively changing their online status across all social networks, instant messenger and emails to include the www.lookbeyondthelabel.org web address.
The www.lookbeyondthelabel.org address leads you to a dedicated website featuring videos, fronted by Desperate Housewives star Dougray Scott. He can be seen highlighting the issue of identity and the need to look beyond the refugee label. "As an actor I’m aware of the importance of identity, something which refugees are denied," says Scott. "We must look beyond this label to the individuals – doctors, teachers, parents and friends."
Nick Scott, Flynn British Red Cross head of refugee services, adds Refugee Week always throws up some exciting issues, and Look Beyond the Label is a great way of highlighting the massive contribution people with refugee backgrounds make to life in the UK.
"By looking beyond the label, we can begin to see the full range of skills, talents and contributions individuals have made, and are making, to society."
The Look Beyond the Label page also features video case studies of refugees, who have been helped by the Red Cross; and a ‘social media toolkit’ of downloads for Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Bebo and Yahoo! to help supporters promote the campaign on their own profile sites.
Dorothea Arndt, British Red Cross head of new media, adds: "Following the success of our digital campaigns last year, we decided online and social media should be a key focus for ‘Look Beyond the Label’.
"Tying in Dougray’s profession with the issue of identity fitted perfectly with the ‘Look Beyond the Label’ concept, and the powerful stories in the videos really challenge some of the misconceptions people have about the refugees in the UK."
Related article: Refugee Week to celebrate contribution of refugees to the UK