For the past two years, RAPAR has been an integral part of the GRIPP (Growing Rights Instead of Poverty Partnership) initiative. This partnership comprises four grassroots organizations: ATD, Intisaar, Thrive Teeside, and RAPAR. Supported by Amnesty, Essex, Just Fair, and other organizations, the project aims to conduct an evaluation of the UK government's response to the United Nations' state report.
Within the project, RAPAR's primary focus has been on examining the Right to Work as outlined in the nine different articles of the Human Rights Convention. Over a three-month period, we engaged with approximately 70 members to conduct research and gather perspectives on this specific article. Our members shared valuable insights on the right to work during this process. Here are a few notable quotes:
The findings from our research were combined with those of the other grassroots organizations, resulting in a comprehensive and unique report that was submitted to the UN in January 2023. On March 8th, two members of GRIPP had the privilege of delivering a powerful statement directly to the UN committee responsible for reviewing the UK government's response. This opportunity provided a platform for individuals with lived experiences to address the UN and ensure their voices were heard.
On March 17th, 2023, RAPAR members gathered for a celebratory meal, discussing the report's impact and implications. During this gathering, many members expressed curiosity about the next steps and hoped for a direct response from the UK government regarding the questions we raised in our report. They asked:
1. Why are people seeking asylum not allowed to work?
2. Why is the weekly support limited to £40, despite the increasing cost of living?
3. Why are displaced individuals not considered for additional government support?
Although we have conducted extensive research into many issues of poverty and injustice, and submitted the first GRIPP report, our fight is far from over. We remain committed to seeking satisfactory answers to these questions, particularly during this period of the escalating cost-of-living crises that affect everyone, but especially displaced individuals. We urge the UK government to genuinely listen to our voices and take appropriate action.
Finally, and notably, Amnesty International amplified GRIPP's work and voice in their Summer magazine.