“Modest expansion” of the UK’s resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees is a positive step, but not enough
Caabu welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron of an increase in the number of Syrian refugees to be resettled in the UK. The Government has made a positive step, and should be commended for this, but to fully address the scale of a crisis where over 11 million people have been displaced from Syria (4 million in neighbouring countries), a more substantial and increased resettlement effort is urgently needed.
On 19 June 2015, the Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the Government would “modestly expand” its resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees (part of which only 187 people have been taken in) and increase it “by a few hundred more” over the next two years. The Government needs to continue in this positive vain and offer even more places for Syrian refugees in the UK.
Commenting on this, Caabu’s Joseph Willits said:
“In increasing the number of Syrian refugees to be resettled in the UK, the Government is heading in the right direction. It comes at a time where compassion for those fleeing Syria is declining rapidly, with a YouGov poll saying that only 47% of the British public think Syrian refugees should be given refugee by the UK. However, there are many people across the UK, angry and saddened that so far, the UK has only resettled 187 Syrian refugees. People can see that Germany has pledged to the resettlement of some 30,000 people, and can rightly ask, ‘why isn’t the Government offering more places?’ The Government can demonstrate its further commitment to the plight of Syrian refugees in resettling more people.
The scale of the crisis is clear, and every day we see images of desperation, people risking the Mediterranean, or climbing through the chicken wire across Syria’s border with Turkey. There are millions of Syrians in need, and on a visit to Lebanon in March 2015, UNHCR told stories of Syrian refugees who urgently need resettlement. These included women who were victims of sexual violence, a disabled gay man who had been raped by the Syrian regime, another man who had been tortured and contracted Hepatitis C as a result, children suffering from cancer, and other children having to work the streets to provide an income for their families. These are just a few stories of Syrian refugees who the British Government should provide sanctuary for, as part of Britain’s proud record of providing shelter for those fleeing conflict.”
Notes to editors:
1) For more information or interviews contact Joseph Willits on (+44) 207 832 1325 or (+44) 7860 860 777 or [email protected]