Talking about refugees, migration and displacement

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

An online toolkit of resources to help teachers and parents talk to children about refugees, migration and displacement has been published by The British Red Cross.

The resources include age-appropriate activities for adults to do with children to help approach this subject and includes materials to help when discussing the Russian war in Ukraine.

New research for the British Red Cross, published to coincide with Refugee Week this week (June 20-26), shows that 57% of primary school teachers said they are worried that talking to their pupils about refugees and the impact of conflict and persecution could make them feel anxious. Furthermore, while 83% said they have seen an increase in questions about refugees from pupils in the last year, 37% don’t feel well equipped to talk about it.

The research also spoke to parents and found that 51% of UK parents with school-aged children fear talking to their children about refugees and the impact of conflict and persecution will make their child anxious. Despite this, 65% said it was important to have conversations with their children about refugees.

Among the resources on offer from the charity, teachers and parents can find basic information about migration and refugees and tips for how to talk to young people about conflict.

There are also specific resources on the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine as well as a resource focused on migrants who decide to risk the dangerous journey across the English Channel.

The charity’s resources cater for primary and secondary students. The primary age support includes a focus on empathy and kindness, the secondary age support looks at decision-making. There are also cross-curricular resources.

Alex Fraser, director of refugee support at the British Red Cross, said: “Dedicating time to talk to young people can help ease their worries, build empathy for others, and help create a safe space to learn about what is a very unsettling time for everyone.

“Every day we are hearing from and supporting people, just like you and me, who have been forced to make treacherous journeys and leave their country due to war and persecution, chronic hunger, or extreme weather disasters.

“It is vital to keep shining a spotlight on the importance of making Britian a place that is kind and compassionate to people who seek refuge here and ensure our next generation grow up with human kindness at the heart of everything they do”

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