Robin Walker has commended the arts, cultural and educational events that will be taking place in Worcester and across the country to encourage better understanding between communities.

The theme of Refugee Week 2019, ‘You, me and those who came before’, is an invitation to explore the lives of refugees – and those who have welcomed them – throughout the generations.

People escaping war and persecution have been welcomed by communities in the UK for hundreds of years, and their stories and contributions are all around us. The UK offered protection – in the form of grants of asylum, alternative forms of protection and resettlement – to 15,891 people in 2018, which was up by 8% compared with the previous year. Of these, 42% (or 6,628) were children. According to UNHCR statistics by mid-2018 there were 124,018​ refugees, 33,035​ pending asylum cases and 106 stateless persons in the UK.

Robin has long championed the UK’s responsibility to uphold international commitments to refugees and has listened the strong support expressed by Worcester residents urging the UK to do more. Robin was vocal during the refugee crisis in 2015 in Syria and delivered a speech in the Chamber outlining the Government’s actions overseas; providing food, shelter, medical care and clean drinking water, for hundreds of thousands of people affected by the conflict, both inside Syria and for refugees across the region.

Speaking about Refugee Week, Robin said:

“Refugee Week is a time when we can all reflect on and celebrate the contribution that refugees have made to the UK, and indeed to Worcester, over the years both culturally and economically. It is a celebration of the diverse contribution of refugees to our society, whether through expanding our understanding of global affairs or enhancing our national cuisine. It is a week with an important role to play in fostering an even greater relationship between all our communities”

“I am proud to be involved with Refugee Week this year, and I look forward to seeing people from Worcester join in with the festivities. Together we can show local refugees they are welcome and valued.”

“We have an extensive and proud history of welcoming refugees and we must continue to do so. The United Kingdom must, where appropriate according to both domestic and international law, assist in humanitarian relief efforts wherever possible. We must provide refugees and asylum seekers with the support they need to fulfil their potential and make their own full contribution to British society.”


Notes to editors

For more information on Refugee Week 2019, please see:

For more information on Robin’s previous statements on Refugees, please see: