Criteria for a City of Sanctuary
To be recognized as an official Town or City of Sanctuary, the local City of Sanctuary working
group will need to achieve these four essential goals:
- Resolutions of support from a significant and representative proportion of local groups and organisations. These should include a commitment to welcoming and including people seeking sanctuary in the groups’ activities, and evidence of practical efforts to build relationships between those seeking sanctuary and local people.
- The support and involvement of local refugee communities, and refugee representation on the local City of Sanctuary working group.
- Evidence of sustained engagement with the City Council (or other Local Authority).
- A strategy, agreed by the main supporting organisations, for how the city is to continue working towards greater inclusion of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Continued progress will be measured by a three-yearly review process.
In addition, the town or city should be able to demonstrate public awareness and involvement in support for people seeking sanctuary, through meeting a range of goals from the following list (or similar):
- Workshops for schools on sanctuary issues.
- Other awareness raising events
- Social and cultural events where people seeking sanctuary and local people interact.
- Concerts and drama productions by refugee artists.
- Interfaith events promoting sanctuary and hospitality.
- Community conflict resolution services for areas experiencing tension over new arrivals.
- Work with local media to publicise positive stories of sanctuary seekers
- Positive programmes for new arrivals in the city.
- Refugee community involvement in festivals and cultural events.
- Programme of events and activities for Refugee Week.
- Programmes for employment training and voluntary work.
- Other projects which help refugees to feel more welcome and included.
Proposed Process for recognition of a City of Sanctuary
- The local working group develops its own goals and strategy for meeting the criteria outlined above, in a way that is relevant to their situation. The group maintains regular contact with their regional network in order to share reports on progress, ideas and resources.
- When the local group believes it has achieved its initial goals, it submits an application to the City of Sanctuary Recognition Group, detailing how it believes it has met the above criteria. The Recognition Group shall be chaired by the National Coordinator. Other members shall
- The Chair or a committee member of an already recognized City of Sanctuary, preferably from the applicant town/city’s region.
- A representative of the local refugee community.
- A national Trustee (in addition to any who may be represented in another capacity).
- A representative of national refugee organisation.
The Recognition Group considers the application: this may involve email communication between the members, a phone conference or, in some cases, a meeting.
- The Recognition Group may ask questions, make suggestions, or recommend further work that may need to be done before awarding official recognition.
- Recognition is awarded.
- Following recognition as an official City of Sanctuary, the local group will continue to support the development of a culture of hospitality and to monitor continued progress. Recognition as a City of Sanctuary is not the end of the process, since there will always be further work to do towards the aspiration of being a fully inclusive town or city.
Continued recognition shall be subject to a three yearly review process in which recognized
towns and cities will be required to submit evidence of substantial ongoing activity against
the above criteria, along with any additional criteria subsequently agreed by the National Trustees.
Further Comments from Trustees Meeting 3rd September 2012
The Trustees agreed to continue this revision through a small working group. It was agreed that the most important test for being a city (or town etc) of Sanctuary is the experience of sanctuary seekers. It was also agreed that the process is optional for groups, and that if pursued, should be subject to regular reviews.