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Refugee issues under the spotlight at University of Leicester

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Refugee issues under the spotlight at University of Leicester

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Communities and also in Education

University of Leicester students will hold a week of public events to raise awareness about refugees and the UK asylum process from Monday, February 25.

The University’s second Refugee Week will highlight the challenges facing refugees in the UK and aims to raise funds for Leicester City of Sanctuary, a charity that provides practical support to refugees and asylum seekers.

The week runs from Monday, February 25 to Sunday, March 3, and follows on from the success of the first student-led Refugee Week held at the university last year.

The week will kick off with a panel discussion on "Gender, Sexuality and the Refugee Experience" in Attenborough Lecture Theatre 3 from 6pm.

The panel will feature charity workers, social workers, immigration lawyers and refugee law tutors.

There will be a presentation from the University of Leicester’s Politics and International Relations Society on the Syrian conflict on Tuesday, February 26, in the Attenborough Seminar Room 002 from 6pm.

On Wednesday, February 27, there will be a screening of two short films about life for asylum seekers in the UK at The ARC, within the Students’ Union Building on University Road, from 4pm.

This will be followed by a presentation from Leicester City of Sanctuary and a performance by the Zimbabwe Association Choir.

Many members of the choir escaped persecution and violence in Zimbabwe, and they will share stories as well as performing songs and dances.

Dr Leah Bassel, of the University of Leicester’s Department of Sociology, and poet Jonathan Taylor will give presentations on the theme of “Refugee Women's Experiences in Fiction and Non-Fiction” on Thursday, February 28 in Attenborough Lecture Theatre 3 from 6pm.

There will be a networking event aimed at bringing together staff and students from the University, members of the public, refugees and supporting organisations on Friday, March 1 at the ARC from 6pm.

Over the weekend, there will be various activities aimed at encouraging students and the public to learn more about refugees and asylum seekers.

The week was organised by BA International Relations student Iqra Mazhir and Ambrose Musiyiwa, who was a journalist and a teacher before escaping from political persecution in his native Zimbabwe.

Ambrose, 39, who is studying for a Master of Laws at the University, said: “Refugees and asylum seekers are coming from situations where they risk imprisonment or where they risk losing their lives because of their religious beliefs, their political opinions or their sexuality – things that we take for granted here in the UK.

“We hope this week will help remind everyone that refugees and asylum seekers are here because they need protection. We also hope to raise some money for Leicester City of Sanctuary who are doing very good work with refugees and asylum seekers here in Leicester.”

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the Facebook Page: University of Leicester Refugee Week 25th February - 3rd March 2013.

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