Refugee Radio opposes the hostile environment and aims to end policies that discriminate against refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. We campaign for individual people’s rights to services that they are excluded from accessing and we campaign for a change in policy.
Refugee PTSD & Resilience
Many refugees are prevented from building new lives because of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the persecution in their countries of origin. This condition is treatable but refugees are consistently misdiagnosed, prescribed the wrong medication and prevented from accessing trauma therapies. This has to stop.
We published our report on the mental-health needs of refugees and asylum seekers in 2015 and have been lobbying for improvements ever since. We run training in refugee mental health and PTSD awareness for charities and practitioners. Refugee Radio is currently part of the NHS Refugee Asylum Seeker and Migrant Working Group on Mental Health. Our work in this area has put refugee mental health on the agenda for local and national forums and created new partnerships with other charities, as well as advocating for individual service users to get the right support.
Refugee Radio started a campaign in 2012 for human rights in Cameroon and for the UK Government to uphold its responsibilities to Cameroonian asylum seekers. We broadcast a dozen hour-long interviews to highlight the human stories behind the policies, particularly for the persecuted English-speaking minority and LGTBQ+ migrants who have been persecuted for their sexuality. We have also included chapters on Cameroon in our publications, accompanied demonstrations and petitions to Downing Street and invited speakers to public events to raise awareness in our local area. Over the years we have undertaken similar campaigns around Burma and Iran, always with a focus on giving a voice to the people directly affected.
Young Asylum “Speakers”
Refugee Radio was founded to give refugees a voice and enable migrants to participate in the debate around migration so that they could combat the dehumanising effect of being silenced. In 2009 we started a campaign to support young asylum seekers to become asylum “speakers” and take control of the media. We ran radio production training sessions with hundreds of young asylum seekers in partnership with projects such as Refugees Aloud in Newington, RASP Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project in Brighton, the Red Cross R’n’B Befriending Project in Islington, Hammersmith, Croydon and Lewisham, making hours of radio programmes together and inspiring people to make their own media. We don’t want to just encourage people to tell their “refugee story” as this reduces their potential: we want to give people the power of their own voice in their own way and are proud to have inspired new projects such as Afghan Voice Radio in London and the Refugee Radio Network in Hamburg. Through our campaign we provided training in public-speaking and other confidence boosting techniques to support people to take their turn, be it on the mic or on the stage, and to fight against the stereotypes created by the tabloid media about asylum.