A couple of weeks ago, a group of interested organisations and people were in at the birth of a new movement to combat the growing demonization of migrants, so much in evidence during the recent local and European elections. We have called our campaign #MigrantsContribute. It will use the media to challenge negative and false coverage about migrants by providing fair and evidenced based narratives, which tell the truth about the contribution migrants make.
We are all extremely upset to hear how political parties are quite prepared to use lies and distortions about migrants, which are far from the truth, to gain votes and encourage a hostile response to migrants. We know how eager migrants arriving in the UK are to work hard to create a better future for ourselves and our families. Despite the odds being stacked against us and the struggles we have with language barriers and a lack of information, which prevent us from accessing basic services, made worse by exploitative conditions of work and low wages even when we are highly qualified. Despite all this we still work hard and contribute to society. We make the UK our home and just like any other citizens we contribute by paying our taxes, working hard and helping the economy to grow, as well as bringing our knowledge, skills and desire to succeed.
If you agree with us that migrants deserve to be represented correctly in the media and in the political statements made by politicians, either because you are a migrant or friends of migrants, we want to welcome you and urge you to join us. We are working together:
- To challenge the lies and distortions we too often hear about migrants with the true facts about what we contribute in taxes, filling gaps in the job market, bringing new ideas
- To provide a platform for migrants from all generations and walks of life, to speak out about our real lives and stories
- To challenge political leaders and the media to support our positive campaign about the real lives of migrants and the real contribution we make
- To find means of challenging political parties who deliberately play on people’s fears and anxieties about recession and austerity to blame these problems on ‘foreigners’
We believe the public deserves to be treated with respect and to be provided with the facts.
#Migrants Contribute tackles the negative and harmful myths of “scroungers”, “criminals” and advantage takers that so often go unchallenged… We contribute much and are happy to do so, and we have the right to be presented truthfully! Add your voice to ours and together let’s get the truth across and help make a fair and justice society a reality!
Latin American Women’s Rights Service