Refugees and Migrants from Asia and Africa — Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:47 pm on 9th July 2015.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench 4:47 pm, 9th July 2015

My Lords, without exception we have heard a series of hugely knowledgeable speeches, tackling a range of complex themes. I was particularly struck by the references made to imaginative ideas, which the Minister just described as ambitious thinking. In the 18th century that led, for instance, to the creation by Britain of a new city, Freetown, in Sierra Leone and in the 19th century to the creation of a new country, Liberia, to help those who were trapped in slavery at that time.

Let me end by referring to the awesome courage, dignity and determination to survive of so many refugees and migrants. Just yesterday, I heard from a young

North Korean who had been tortured, imprisoned and forced to scavenge on the streets. He escaped from a country where 200,000 are in concentration camps. After being given asylum in the UK and having had two years in a UK university, yesterday Timothy received British citizenship. His greatest desire is to use that freedom and education to return to his own country and help to rebuild it. That is the greatest longing of most refugees and I hope that today’s important debate will give encouragement to those such as Timothy who read it. I reiterate my thanks to all noble Lords who have taken part.

Motion agreed.