Created on Saturday, 19 July 2008 03:32
Written by Press Release
Worldwide Call for Action from Members of the International Network of Street Papers
he International Network of Street Papers (INSP) is a global independent media movement which supports homeless people worldwide. INSP unites an international membership of over 90 street papers in 38 countries worldwide with a combined annual readership of some 100 million.
Most recently, INSP has focused on supporting and establishing new street papers in African countries, helping to launch papers in Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria and Ethiopia in 2007/08.
The following statement was sent to the UK's 'Foreign and
Commonwealth Office', The Scottish Government, representatives of the
UK media and members of the INSP (Please inform us if you decide to
print it in your paper)
The 13th Annual Conference of the INSP took place in Glasgow,
19-21st June 2008, in partnership with The Big Issue in Scotland. The
international event which is held in a different worldwide city each
year returned to Glasgow, the home of its international headquarters,
after a 4-year break. The 3-day event brought together over 100 street
paper journalists, directors and social development workers from 32
countries to get together, share ideas and learn from one another.
particular delegate from Zimbabwe was refused entry into the UK to
attend the conference, despite having travelled extensively in the past
and INSP securing funding to support his attendance. Further, the
refusal to issue a visa resulted in our inability to immediately assist
development with this delegate of a new street newspaper in Zimbabwe,
as well as a full exchange at our meeting of the deteriorating
political and economic situation within his country.
members attending the conference felt strongly that the government's
decision encroached upon the individual's right of freedom of movement,
as well as the ability to strengthen his international connections with
street paper colleagues. This view has been endorsed by the wider INSP
membership as well as by external organisations from countries such as
Burundi, Nigeria, Malawi and Brazil.
At this current time, a
senior representative from the visa section of the 'Foreign and
Commonwealth Office' had no comment, explanation or apology to issue
regarding the refusal of the visa.
The INSP therefore issues this call for action:
International Network of Street Papers believes that we exist only to
benefit homeless people and people living in poverty around the world
through the activity of our members.
We are an independent
organisation and strongly believe that our objectives and integrity
cannot be compromised by past, current or prospective funders, partners
or other bodies.
Our primary goal is to protect and develop our members and their respective beneficiaries.
hereby declare that we will utilise our combined resources to ensure
that any threats or other harmful actions to our members will not go
unchallenged and unnoticed.
The truth that our Zimbabwe
colleague was not allowed to attend this conference must be deplored
and similar actions should not be allowed to happen in the future.
We shall seek your support to highlight this issue and ask you to continue to support the INSP.
About the International Network of Street Papers (INSP)
in 1994, the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) is a global
engine for innovative poverty solutions. From its headquarters in
Scotland, INSP supports more than 90 enterprising street paper projects
in 38 countries spanning 6 continents. Based on principles of
self-help, social enterprise and independent information, INSP
addresses immediate and urgent needs through individual empowerment and
opportunity and tackles the roots of social injustice through civic
education and advocacy.
Street papers are independent
newspapers and magazines sold by homeless and severely disadvantaged
people on street corners around the world. Since 1994, INSP street
papers have enabled approximately 250,000 marginalised people to earn a
dignified income, make their voices heard and build relationships
across harmful social boundaries. Reaching 32 million global readers
every year, INSP is a strong and united voice advocating for the needs
and rights of people living in poverty. For more information, go to:
International Network of Street Papers (INSP)
Floor 3, Centrum Building
38 Queen Street
Tel: +44 (0)141 225 8036
Fax: +44 (0)141 248 8066
The International Network of Street Papers - Enterprising Solutions to Poverty
Co-ordinator, Victoria Street Newz
1027 Pandora Avenue
Victoria, B.C. V8V 3P6
Coast Salish Territory
(250) 383-5144 ext 0137