This year’s World Refugee Day will be observed on Saturday 20th June and will be marked with two important virtual events.
This year’s Refugee Week, which runs from today, Monday 15th June, to Sunday 21st June, includes the 20th anniversary of the deaths of 58 young Chinese people, found in a sealed container at Dover docks. Seeking Sanctuary will be remembering this tragic event and the subsequent deaths of all others who have died trying to reach the UK with a commemorative time of remembrance on the Dover seafront on Saturday 20th June at 11.30am, led by the Anglican Bishop of Dover, Rose Hudson-Wilkin.
In order to respect social distancing very few people will be present, but it will be live-streamed and can be followed at: www.KentPAhirestreaming.co.uk
At 10am on the same day, People Not Walls will be hosting a virtual rally on the theme of protecting and safeguarding children in and near Calais who are denied justice and exposed to unsanitary conditions whilst listening to the enticements of traffickers which lead them to undertake dangerous Channel crossings. This rally will conclude by switching to the Dover event.
To join the People Not Walls event, register free via this link: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/keep-children-from-danger-tickets-107546307902
Ben Bano, from Seeking Sanctuary, said: “The 20th anniversary of the deaths of the 58 young Chinese who lost their lives from overheating and suffocation in the back of the lorry is a sobering time and reminds of the many others who have died attempting to reach the UK. We also need to recall the lasting effects on the emergency services and other staff who had to deal with the aftermath of this tragedy. We are fortunate to be joined in our remembrance by Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin.”
Picture: Archive photo, dated 6th January 2019, shows members of the Kent Anti-Racism Network holding a vigil in Ramsgate to welcome refugees to Kent. (Gareth Fuller/PA).