Places of Sanctuary Ireland (PoSI) is the ‘umbrella’ body for the City of Sanctuary groups in Ireland, north and south, providing a focus for coordination and development of the network. This contributes to building a wider Sanctuary movement. In addition to undertaking City of Sanctuary activities and initiatives at an all-island level, the role of the organisation is to ensure that there is good communication across the network(which includes villages, towns, cities and regions across the island, and others engaged in Streams of Sanctuary, Sanctuary Awards and activities intended to welcome people seeking sanctuary), to coordinate decision-making and to help raise the profile of the City of Sanctuary movement overall. We work closely with our partner organisation City of Sanctuary UK.
City of Sanctuary Groups
When a group first registers with Places of Sanctuary Ireland, they agree to:
- Work towards making their city, town or county into a City, Town, County or Area of Sanctuary by creating a culture of welcome and hospitality for people seeking safety.
- Work to connect people seeking sanctuary with other local people and to celebrate their contribution to our communities, towns and cities.
- Seek to be inclusive in generating a culture of welcome, involving different sectors such as education, local government, health, sports and arts, as well as refugee organisations.
- Work as an alliance between local people and sanctuary seekers to run the group wherever possible and appropriate.
- Be prepared to share successes, ideas and learning with other groups and the network.
- Join in regional events where possible.
- Avoid bringing the name of City of Sanctuary into disrepute, in particular by not engaging in abusive, racist, discriminatory, exclusionary, offensive or dangerous behaviour.
- Identify between three and five contacts to enable the City of Sanctuary to keep in touch and keep the team updated when changes to these contact details occur, providing full name, telephone and email details for each contact where possible.
There is no single formula for developing a successful and effective City of Sanctuary group. In general terms groups should work towards undertaking the following actions:
- Develop a strategy, agreed by the main supporting organisations, for how the city, town or county is to continue working towards greater inclusion and equality for refugees and people seeking sanctuary, as well as greater public awareness, through a range of initiatives, projects and activities;
- Gather resolutions of support from a significant and representative proportion of groups and organisations;
- Encourage supporting organisations (whether formally pledged or not) to turn their commitment into actions;
- Engage with other groups across the network, in the expectation that such a conversation will lead to a mutually beneficial sharing of good practice;
- Support and work alongside refugees and people seeking sanctuary in the City of Sanctuary group, including representation on its steering group or committee;
- Wherever possible sustain engagement with the local authority or other relevant authorities.
Groups may, if they wish, apply to Places of Sanctuary Ireland for sanctuary recognition for their city, town or county by submitting an application for appraisal.
Please visit City of Sanctuary UK’s page ‘How to set up a group’ to find out more about why and how to register as a group.