UAI in the UK – January 2021 Newsletter

Dear Members and Supporters,

We start 2021 with a focus on Europe and the situation confronting people trying to seek asylum here.

First is a  shocking reminder of the inhumanity being suffered by our fellow human beings in freezing winter weather on our very doorstep. The blog entitled “Enough is Enough. Europe Act Now” describes the desperate situation facing people trying to reach Croatia who are stranded in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been written, for UAI, by a group of medical volunteers from Germany who have been trying to bring help.

This issue also includes an inspiring interview with a young activist, Seán Binder, and our January Newsletter concludes with a link to UAI’s End of Year Message. (This is separate from the UAI in the UK message you received earlier). We are including this because it lists all the articles, blogs and statements that appeared on the UAI website in 2020, and reflects the wide range of issues now being covered by UAI. We hope it will encourage you to explore the site and to share your enthusiasm for our work with other people in your network.

Finally, if you have received this email from a friend and would like to subscribe to our monthly Newsletter, or receive information about our activities, please email us at
With our warmest wishes for a safe, healthy and happy 2021.    

The Committee of UAI in the UK                                                                            
10 January 2021

1.“Enough is Enough. Europe Act Now!”

On 24 December, when many of us had other things on our minds, the UN International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported on a fire that had broken out the day before at the Lipa refugee camp located in Bosnia near it’s border with Croatia. This has echoes of the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos that we reported on in our October Newsletter. Follow the link below for the initial UN report of the fire

In an opinion piece written by Vivianne Rau in collaboration with Sophie Meixensberger, Denise Haack, Miki Weberbauer and Rebecca Kirsche (and supported by SOS Balkanroute), she suggests action that needs to be taken to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Click on the article below to read it in full:

Enough is enough. Europe, act now!

2. An interview with Seán Binder
In the summer of 2018, Seán, a young German-Irish student from Trinity College Dublin, learnt that an international warrant for his arrest had been issued accusing him of human trafficking, money laundering, espionage and of being a member of a criminal organisation. Having handed himself in, he then spent over 100 days in jail before he was released on bail in December 2018

In an interview with UAI, Seán describes the rewards of being a volunteer with Emergency Response Centre International on the island of Lesbos, AND of the pitfalls posed by EU policies and legislation.

Click below to read the interview in full:

An interview with Seán Binder – a young humanitarian volunteer and researcher celebrated by refugee aid and human rights organisations in Europe


3. UAI End of Year Message

Click on the article below to read the End of Year message from the International Executive Committee (IEC) of UAI. In it, you will find links to all the articles, blogs and activities of UAI in 2020.

UAI International End of Year Message 2020

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