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2004 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
24 September 2004

Conference notes with concern the rise in attacks on asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.

Conference condemns those politicians and media whose use of stereotypes and myths create a climate in which attacks on asylum seekers and the abuse of their human rights is seen as a valid response. Recent reports by Oxfam Scotland and the Greater London Authority conclude that negative press reports on the issue of asylum creates an atmosphere of hostility and tension against asylum seekers in those localities. Conference also notes with alarm Michael Howard’s suggestion that there should be a ‘quota system, which will substantially reduce the numbers of those claiming asylum’.

Conference notes that increased vilification of asylum seekers and racist activity in our communities has coincided with increased activity by the far right, including the British National Party. The far right are whipping up tensions against asylum seekers, to turnout a racist vote at the ballot box. The election of the BNP to council seats represents a threat to many minority communities, including the Black Communities and also to the LGBT community, women, and trade unionists. Conference rejects the torrent of abuse of asylum seekers and the view that only a punitive approach to asylum will help tackle the rise of far-right parties.

Conference reaffirms its commitment to the human right of those fleeing persecution to seek refuge and instruct s the National Lesbian and Gay Committee to work with the NEC and Labour Link to lobby the government to ensure that all of their policy decisions are in line with the Geneva Convention and Human rights laws both nationally and internationally.