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Welcome to Cork City of Sanctuary Movement


Vision and Aims

Terms of Reference


The Cork City of Sanctuary (COS) movement is committed to making Cork a place of welcome, support and safety for Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants and persons of migrant origin, where diversity is recognised and celebrated.

The movement will also promote the building of an inclusive and cohesive society. It will action and lobby for the changes necessary to enable and sustain inclusion and equality.


Values / Principles:

Inclusiveness and Openness

Cork will welcome and respect people regardless of their place of origin and cultural background.

There will be a commitment to openness of cultures, where sharing of custom and tradition is valued and celebrated.



Cork will respect and appreciate diversity and promote intercultural understanding in our city.

Furthermore, our city will commit to the combating of racism and all forms of discrimination and to supporting intercultural understanding across all communities, sectors and services in the city.



Cork will work towards ensuring that all communities are encouraged to lend their voice to, be heard in, and become leaders in decision making processes. Cork will move towards ensuring the participation of newcomers in our public services, community groups and civic society.


Equality of Access, Opportunity and Treatment


Cork will create opportunities for all our citizens to grow talents, explore their potential and follow their aspirations.


The work of the Cork City of Sanctuary working group and sub-groups is also guided by the City of Sanctuary Charter 2017.


  • To promote and protect human rights and equality in Cork by promoting a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding.
  •  To create meaningful opportunities for X grouping to flourish within our city through promotion of the right to work, education and participation in social and cultural life of the city.
  • To ensure that local government, public bodies, state agencies, community and voluntary organisations across the city sign a resolution of support for the vision and principles of Cork City of Sanctuary, and actively seeks ways to implement and promote the vision.
  • To welcome, publicise and celebrate the contribution made by *X Grouping* to the fabric of our city, to Irish culture and society and to challenge hostility, discrimination and lack of understanding about and against them.



Is open to all who actively support the inclusion and integration of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants to Cork city.



The work of the Cork City of Sanctuary movement will be a multi-stakeholder project and will be operated, on a collaborative basis as part of Pure Cork, the Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) and of the function of the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC).

The following structures will be maintained:

  • A long-term ‘working group’ who will meet on a monthly (?) basis. This will comprise representatives from multi-sector organisations, from across the city.

The working group will oversee the progress of the application and overall execution of the City of Sanctuary work.

Representatives from the following organisations must sit on the Working Group:

  • Cork City Council Social Inclusion Unit
  • Migrants and Person of Migrant Origin
  • City Libraries
  • Health Services Executive
  • Cork City Partnership
  • Cork City Public Participation Network
  • An Garda Síochána
  • University College Cork
  • Cork Institute of Technology
  • Education and Training Board
  • Community Education providers
  • Migrant support and advocacy organisations


  • Sub-groups will undertake project planning and implementation under various headings. Topic specific sub-groups may evolve and change over time, according to the needs and challenges arising. In this way, sub-groups are open and fluid. They will identify how to function and develop their own process.

Sub-groups will strongly link with the Research sub-group on the needs and the content of the research study and also link strongly with the Advocacy sub-group.

  • Sub-group leaders will meet as required to coordinate actions and implementation.


Terms of Reference:

Questions for Consideration

  • What kind of structure do we want for our
    • working group
    • Leaders’ group
    • Sub-groups?
  • Who should provide administrative support for the working group?
  • How often does the working group meet?
  • How will decisions be made/formalised?
  • How does the group determine the need to invite new members on board?
  • Is COS aiming to reach a point where it can employ a coordinator?
  • Who has responsibility to ensure the work is monitored and evaluated in a meaningful way?

The structure of COS is flexible and indeed is required to adapt to the changing needs of the group and the movement. Terms of Reference and structures should be reviewed periodically.