At the end of 2017, 68.5 million people around the world were forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict or generalised violence with 25.4 million becoming refugees. The vast majority of refugees do not reach Europe, but at a time when providing protection and support to those forced to leave everything behind is more needed than ever, Governments across Europe have introduced policies to prevent, or to try to deter, entry into their countries. Alongside this hostile ‘strategy’, the treatment of those who do make it to Europe is deteriorating. The lecture will explore how policies relating to asylum-seekers and refugees in the UK and in other European countries serve both to obstruct entry - to build walls not bridges - and to place those who do manage to arrive at a profound disadvantage when trying to rebuild their lives.
Dr Lisa Doyle is the Executive Director of Advocacy and Engagement at the Refugee Council. She joined the organisation in 2005 and is responsible for leading the charity’s campaigning, media, parliamentary, policy, research and community engagement work. She has undertaken research on a variety of issues that affect refugees and people seeking asylum. Lisa was awarded a PhD in Geography from the University of Reading and she previously lectured in Human Geography at the University of Sussex. She is currently the representative for Western Europe on the Board of the European Council for Refugees and Exiles.