Helping organisations stay safe amidst the changing state of anti-migrant hate

June 27, 2023
Anki Deo
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Anki Deo

Anki Deo is the Community Response Coordinator at Hope Not Hate, an organisation which works to counter the impact and influence of the far right by building skills and resilience across communities and civil society organisations, and creating an alternative narrative of togetherness and unity.


Due to a 102% increase in anti-migrant activity in 2022, followed by a slew of anti-migrant demonstrations in the first few months of 2023, HOPE not hate has been working closely with the migration and refugee sector to help them mitigate the far-right threat and support the communities who are targeted. A survey we did with the Refugee Action Good Practice Data Hub revealed that, of organisations surveyed, over half had experienced far-right activity in the previous 12 months, with many reporting that this had increased. With regards to support, organisations emphasised a need for assistance with digital security, as well as wanting to keep service users and volunteers working at a service delivery level safe.

Our Resources

We decided to produce two resources - one on digital safety and one on in-person safeguarding and security (co-created with Safer Foundations) - to help organisations start to make sense of the different ways in which the far right agitate in communities. Online or offline, we want people to feel confident to respond and to seek expert help when necessary. HOPE not hate is not a security organisation, so our advice stems from principles we use ourselves, as well as what we’ve learned from experts in the field.

The recent flurry of far-right activity, accompanied by damaging government rhetoric, has led to a burnt out sector, and wherever we can reduce the burden of anxiety we should. Feedback loops between HOPE not hate and organisations on the ground in communities are essential for mapping and finding patterns in activity, as well as planning effective counter-actions. 

You can request to be sent the safety and security resources here

Other resources to support organisations can be found on our website.

Digital Safety

One concept to highlight when it comes to online safety is the importance of finding a compromise between security and exposure. Where there is a known far-right threat, careful and decisive action must be taken. However, excessive anxiety can lead to negative effects on staff and resident wellbeing. Also, being too cautious about sharing information can mean that important services become inaccessible to their users, or good work doesn’t get its rightful chance to shine. The perfect position to be in is one where there are all the right safeguards in place - privacy settings bolstered, risk assessment written, wellbeing support to hand - such that people can carry on with their work with minimal disruption, and spring into action in case of emergency. 

Get Involved

The state of anti-migrant hate continues to change, as do the ways that asylum seekers are housed in communities. It is too early to make conclusive predictions, but it will be interesting to see how community and far-right responses to asylum seekers “housed” in barges, barracks and multiple occupancy housing compared to hotels.

To build on this ongoing conversation, we are hosting an online event on 12th July 2023 with Safer Foundations and Asylum Matters titled “Safe Housing, Strong Communities: Asylum accommodation safety and security”. It would be valuable to have as many different organisations as possible represented at the event, as it will be a great chance to learn from the experiences of others. Register to join this event.

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