Our Mission

At GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) we offer support to those seeking asylum in Gloucestershire, welcoming them when they arrive, advocating for them in their daily struggles, supporting them if they face being sent back as well as helping them adjust to their long term future if they are recognised as refugees.

Contact Information

Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS)
The Trust Centre
Falkner St

Telephone: 01452 550528
General enquiries: info@garas.org.uk
Administrative enquiries: admin@garas.org.uk

Adele Owen

Thoughts on The Geneva Convention

June 21, 2023

When I think of Refugee Week I am reminded about how migration, the fluidity of human movement, and the evolution of human rights law have recognised the fundamental human desire to create community out of dire circumstances. Celebrating Refugee Week is not only a recognition of the bravery of the individuals we work with everyday at GARAS, it is also a celebration of the diverse and resilient communities that have emerged all over the world as the result of the formalisation of the asylum process in the early 20th century.

While the notion of refugees existed long before this, it is undoubted that the Geneva Conventions had a profound impact on a rapidly changing and dynamic international community that had seen the devastation of two World Wars. In the poignant language of the conventions the authors recognised the worth of a dignified human life, and its entitlement to live without fear of any state or non-state actor.

In an ever-increasingly hostile environment for refugees and asylum-seekers here in the UK, it would seem that this document and its remarkable words prove to be a grounding force, a reminder of the importance of protecting and fighting for those who suffer persecution. While in this period it is easy to be discouraged by the political aims of those who want to diminish the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, it also has shown me just how committed those who support refugees and asylum seekers are to fostering a community out of hardship. It is the reality and responsibility of understanding that any one of us could become a refugee in our lifetime and perhaps if you look far enough, that maybe our own family or friends trees have grown from the sacrifice of leaving a home for safety.