To highlight UK government rules that are separating refugee families, on Saturday (March 2) Amnesty International created a ‘family-free zone’ on London’s Southbank.
To draw attention to a petition pressurising the government to act, Amnesty cordoned off a section of the Southbank as a no-family area.
Arranged by VCCP, the surreal stunt saw two security guards patrolling the ‘family-free zone,’ separating anyone group who looked like a family, telling them if they wanted to stay together, they would be unable to pass through the zone.
Families responded to the security guards with incredulous faces, aghast at the ridiculous of the request. The stunt thus powerfully hit home the sad realities for refugees, who have to choose between safety or family – something most people in the UK would struggle to understand.
Current UK laws deny child refugees the right to bring their parents to the UK, and vice versa, where parents are forced to leave any child over the age of 18 behind.
The ‘Families Together’ campaign calls upon the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid to amend the law. Despite efforts from Amnesty last year to get MPs to vote in favour of the Refugee Family Reunion Bill - progress is stalling.
Amnesty’s ‘family-free-zone’ is an extension of last year’s Southbank installation, where families were placed in a glass box over Mothering Sunday.
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