Standing Together for Croydon

A response to the recent attack in Croydon from members of the Croydon Young Refugees Network 

As a network of organisations working with young refugees in Croydon, we utterly condemn the appalling and vicious attack on a young Kurdish-Iranian asylum seeker last weekend.

We are ashamed and saddened at this demonstration of hatred on our doorstep, we admire the courage of those who went to help him and are grateful for subsequent expressions of support.

We are unhappy at the revealing of his identity, placing a vulnerable young person in an even worse position.  As someone who fled to this country alone, seeking safety, like every other asylum seeker, he deserves our compassion, our support and above all, our protection. He was an innocent victim of a despicable crime, in a borough known for its acceptance of those of many backgrounds.

We want to affirm that this is not the Croydon that we know and work in, and that there is no place for hatred in our multicultural borough. Croydon is proud to welcome refugees and asylum seekers, particularly those arriving alone without parents or carers, like this boy.

Our organisations are currently supporting him, his friends and others in the community, to come to terms with their shock, distress, and fear. We will continue to work with young asylum seekers and refugees here, to enable them to build new lives in a safe environment, and in a fair society.

We will also seek to counter expressions of ignorance and intolerance of those from different backgrounds, and to stand alongside all those working for human rights and human dignity.

The Croydon Young Refugees Network is an umbrella group of around 30 organisations working to improve opportunities and outcomes for young refugees and asylum seekers in the Croydon area. We are involved with hundreds of young people from all over the world and have many years’ experience.

Last year there were around 3,000 unaccompanied young people seeking safety and protection in the UK.