AVID Training
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This year's Holocaust Memorial Day theme is "Ordinary People" and focuses on the role of ordinary people in standing up against genocide and other atrocities. This theme is a powerful reminder of the importance of individual action in the face of human rights abuses.

The Holocaust was one of the most tragic events in human history, which saw the systematic extermination of millions of Jews, Romani people, people with disabilities, and others by the Nazi regime.

Every perpetrator was an ordinary person, in a position of power. Every Victim of genocide was an ordinary person. They simply had an aspect of their identity that the perpetrators did not like, making them targets for persecution. Every bystander was ordinary, letting the genocide take place around them. Even the rescuers were ordinary people who did extraordinary things, risking their lives, livelihoods, and families to help others.

We must remember, Holocaust was not just the work of a few evil leaders but was carried out by ordinary people who were willing to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others or actively participated in the atrocities. This is a reminder for all of us to make decisions to challenge prejudice, stand up to hatred, and speak out against identity-based persecution.

Similarly, this year's theme is particularly relevant to the ongoing abuse and mistreatment of individuals in immigration detention in the UK is not just the work of a few rogue actors but is the result of a system that allows for the abuse and degrading treatment of vulnerable individuals. The UK's immigration detention system is one of the most punitive and inhumane in Europe, and it is a system failing to meet individuals' fundamental human rights.

As Manston residential holding room is a recent example, people are often held in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions and denied access to legal representation and other support services. This can devastate their physical and mental health and make it even more difficult for their families or loved ones to communicate directly with them.

Our visitors play a small part as ordinary people around the country to provide human connections to people incarcerated in these detention centres. It is the responsibility of every individual to speak out against such abuse and mistreatment and to demand that the government take immediate action to address the problems that have plagued our humanitarian values in our society and the immigration system.

We call on the public to join us in calling for change.

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