Church teaching has consistently demanded the rights of workers to a just wage. This means in practice that they should have enough to meet their needs and those of their family if they have one. One organisation which has campaigned hard in this area is London Citizens.
London Citizens is a powerful grassroots charity working with local people for local people. Their goal is social, economic and environmental justice. They meet that goal by training people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds to take action together for change. Their dynamic campaigns, such as Living Wage, have secured many victories for the people of London. Beginning their journey twelve years ago as TELCO, their membership today includes over one hundred civil society organisations across the city.
Part of London Citizens is a project called Strangers into Citizens which is a national campaign calling for a one-off regularisation of long-term irregular migrants in the UK. There are an estimated 500,000 irregular migrants in the UK, these include failed asylum seekers, visa overstayers and those that entered the UK without claiming asylum or going through immigration procedures. They face exploitation and uncertainty. They want to work, integrate and be able to contribute to life in the UK as full members of our society.
Halyna is part of the Strangers into Citizens scheme, listen as she tells us what life is like for her. She asks us to put ourselves in her shoes. As she says: “We are not doing anything bad. We are just asking for the right to live, the right to work, the right to be human beings.”
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