This week the Lower Sixth pupils welcomed Irene Austin from Amnesty International. Irene spoke to the pupils about the refugee crisis that has emerged since the 2011 Syrian uprising. The talk began with the history of human rights since the Declaration in 1948. Facts and figures were given to help the students understand the scale of the Syrian refugee crisis. Irene spoke about the work of Amnesty in the UK and the support that they are giving to the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. This is a government scheme that aims to help the most vulnerable people who are at risk, in severe need of medical care, and survivors of torture and violence. Irene also mentioned that Hertfordshire welcomes the Syrian Families Plan, which urges local councils to welcome refugees by identifying suitable accommodation and forming a supportive network for refugees when they arrive. It was wonderful to hear about some of the people who have been successfully accommodated in the local area. A young Syrian man who came to St Albans a few years ago, is now taking up a place at Hertfordshire University in September, to continue his studies.
The students responded with some thoughtful questions throughout Irene’s presentation. A number of students in Lower Sixth are keen to support Amnesty International through their campaigns for human rights and the refugee crisis.
Miss S. Brooks