The plight of refugees and asylum seekers is set to take centre stage with a week of special events in Oxford.

Refugee Week starts tomorrow and runs until next Sunday.

A host of events are planned, including plays, film screenings, a meeting featuring key speakers including writer, journalist and film-maker Tariq Ali, a jamboree and this year's Oxford Mela.

It has been jointly organised by East Oxford-based charity Asylum Welcome and Student Action on Refugees (Star).

Asylum Welcome volunteer Emma Cockburn, 24, from Botley, is helping to organise the events.

She said: "There is a whole range of things going on, from things that will appeal to families to more serious talks.

"We would like to raise awareness of the positive contribution that refugees can make to communities and bring about a bit more community cohesion in Oxford.

"We want to get the debate going and talk to people about refugees and involve people who would not normally be involved."

The week starts, tonight, with a production of Asylum Monologues, at The Gardeners Arms, Plantation Road, at 7pm, which shares first hand accounts from asylum seekers.

Tomorrow, The Art of Flight, a guerilla documentary about Sudanese refugees, will be screened at the Ultimate Picture Palace, Jeune Street, with tickets costing £3.

The key event is a public meeting at Oxford Town Hall, in St Aldate's, on Monday, in which Afghan refugee Hasan Bamyani will read from his new book of poetry.

Jenny Allsopp, from Star, said: "We are really pleased to be working with Asylum Welcome again to co-ordinate this important week.