Case Study

Safe Routes

Posted by Katherine Maxwell-Rose on June 8, 2023

As the subject of Channel crossings came to dominate the news, sector organisations responded by highlighting the lack of safe routes. The Syrian Resettlement Scheme, which ended in 2020, was not renewed, while the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was the first of several recent crises to create large displacements of people. 

Working with Eden Stanley, IMIX researched and published a report, The Struggle for Safety, which found that the most compelling way to raise awareness of welcoming refugees was to tell human stories. This report helped direct our strategy of supporting people with lived experience to speak to the media, both through partner charities and through our own Ambassador network. In the summer of 2021, by supporting Afghan refugees calling for safe routes, as well as founding a petition that received more than 141,000 signatures, we helped put pressure on the government to commit to an Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. In 2022, we worked with former Home Secretary David Blunkett to call for safe routes for Ukrainian refugees in The Mirror, and later provided media support for the charities tasked with delivering the Homes for Ukraine scheme.  

International humanitarian crises can prompt spontaneous demands for safe routes, but calling for resettlement in principle is often more of an uphill struggle. Working with More In Common, sector stakeholders and people with lived experience of safe and irregular routes, IMIX developed messaging to help campaigners describe what a safe route is in concrete and clear ways.