This year, as we celebrate 10 years of the Right to Remain Toolkit, we are also taking the time to reflect and contemplate the future of this invaluable resource. Our Toolkit was used by nearly a third of a million people last year, and is regularly used by hundreds of groups across the UK, who stand in solidarity with people going through the UK’s asylum and immigration system.
Between May and July 2023, we conducted a reflection exercise with a small number of trusted colleagues and organisations whom we know are regular users of the Toolkit.
They shared their current thoughts about the asylum sections of the Toolkit in 4 key areas:
- Their experience of navigating the (online) Toolkit
- Their habits when using and sharing the Toolkit
- The positive impact that the Toolkit has had upon their work and/or community
- How they think we can do better
The groups identified the following as the positive impact of the Toolkit:
- The Toolkit boosts knowledge and level of understanding in their staff and volunteers – both within their organisations and across the wider sector – supporting our field’s capacity to create impact.
- The Toolkit directly assists the groups’ work, including their interaction with people going through the system.
- The Toolkit leads to positive and valued activities and experiences for the groups through interactions with Right to Remain. How Right to Remain works via the Toolkit is critical in equipping and galvanising our colleagues to build more solidarity in and out of our community. Our work is relational and people and groups who come into direct contact with us recognise its power.
- The Toolkit acts as a general educational tool, particularly for people who have
less experience in the migration justice sector when they begin to understand the restrictiveness of the asylum system, and the impact this has on people seeking safety. This demonstrates that the Toolkit is functioning as intended: a portal to bring more people who are unfamiliar with the issue into our migration justice movement.
This reflection exercise reaffirmed Right to Remain’s conviction that we are doing the right thing for our community.
We feel the heavy weight of responsibility and expectations that falls on our micro team, as one of the key anchor organisations in this field. The Toolkit and our workshops act as a portal through which people can enter the shared struggle for migration justice and start taking collective action to change the system – because you need to understand the system to fight it, just as our community said when we developed the Toolkit over ten years ago.
For Right to Remain, some of the actions we will be considering moving forward and building into our strategy are as follows:
- Stress the agency of people going through the asylum system in everything we do.
- Shift our efforts upstream.
- Promote the Toolkit as a human, not digital, solution.
- Locate the Toolkit directly in the lived-experience community.
- Bring the Toolkit pages to life.
If you want to know more about the above or share your reflection on the Toolkit with us, please feel free to contact our Director, Eiri Ohtani at email@example.com
We would like to thank the following organisations who shared with us valuable comments and insights which made our reflection possible. We have valued their companionship and solidarity in our journey together for migration justice. Asylum Link Merseyside, Evesham Vale Welcomes Refugees (EVWR), Channel Info Project – L’Auberge des Migrants, the Migration Justice Project at the Law Centre NI, the No Accommodation Network (NACCOM) and Refugees at Home and one anonymous reviewer.
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