- Published: Tuesday, 25 July 2006 11:26
The Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups, FARR, is an umbrella organization for individuals and groups working to strengthen the right of asylum. Individuals and groups who, each in their own way felt that people fleeing persecution were not treated in a humane and legally secure manner formed FARR in June 1988. A national organization was needed for consultation and exchange of experience in support of asylum seekers.
Today the association is needed more than ever. In Europe there are powerful forces that want to override the right to protection; others want to condition it. The EU has a common refugee policy that it is our responsibility to pay attention to and try to influence. In Sweden we can enjoy a large political commitment to refugee rights and a positive attitude towards asylum seekers, but many people get into trouble and racism exists also here.
FARR today is a politically and religiously independent network that consists of, assists and coordinates groups and individuals working to strengthen the right of asylum.
More than 50 local groups are connected to FARR, some of them asylum committees dealing with individual refugee cases, other are activist groups protesting against deportations or local networks or congregations that support undocumented. Many people are engaged in all these ways.
FARR is a grassroots’ organization where all the work is done on a voluntary basis. Membership dues and gifts pay expenses. The local groups are experienced in asylum law and rules. They also engage in social support and networking for youth and adults, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. The local groups gather experiences on how the law is interpreted, who are protected or denied protection and the consequences for those affected. Among the members are also a number of law firms and several hundred individual members, some of whom they are undocumented or have experience as asylum seekers.
FARR as a national organization wants with advice, education and representation support those who work daily for asylum seekers and undocumented around Sweden.
FARR publishes the magazine Article 14 and tries through this and other media bring the experience of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in the public debate.
FARR summarizes the knowledge and experiences of refugees, activists and local groups to influence the authorities and politicians and examine government proposals concerning refugees.
FARR produce facts materials and organize courses, campaigns, and other projects for the benefit of all who are involved in refugee issues, and gives publicity to local arrangements and partnerships.
FARR works with other organizations in Sweden and internationally to get influence in refugee policy.
FARR works for Sweden to comply with the international conventions for protection of human rights and the Swedish asylum and refugee policy in its practical application to be characterized by humanity, solidarity and the rule of law.
FARR's work is based on a belief that all people have equal rights and equal value regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, religion and political views. We see ourselves as part of the anti-racist movement and renounce all forms of discrimination, oppression and violence against people because of their origin, status or other group affiliations.
FARR's annual meeting, which is open to all members, elects the Board, decides on the organization of joint operations and finances and what should be pronounced in FARR's name. In contrast, the national organization does not determine member groups or members' local operations in general.
FARR, Box 391
SE-101 27 Stockholm
Telephone +46 (0) 8 710 02 45
e-mail to FARR: info(at)farr.se
Chairman: Sanna Vestin
e-mail to chairman: sanna.vestin(at)farr.se