UK Government’s approach to resettlement of Syrian refugees still shameful one year on
A year ago, on January 29 2014, the British Government agreed to resettle the “most vulnerable” Syrian refugees in the UK. A year later, and only 90 Syrian refugees have arrived in the country as part of this pledge. Caabu believes that the Government’s position is both shameful and untenable. As the number of Syria refugees in neighbouring countries has now reached over 3.7 million, including over 1.2 million refugees registered with UNHCR in Lebanon alone, this is simply not enough.
Commenting on this, Caabu’s Joseph Willits said:
“Only 90 Syrian refugees being resettled in the UK is a humiliating stain on the British Government, highlighting a shameful attitude towards Syria’s refugee crisis. It is particularly appalling, given that in Lebanon, a country smaller in size than Wales, is at breaking point with a de facto Syrian refugee population of 1.2 million. In Jordan too, with a long history of taking in refugees from regional conflict, there are believed to be over 1 million Syrian refugees, the majority of which are in desperate situations.
In the discussion about the refugee crisis, one of the most frightening arguments to not taking in more Syrians is that they would like to remain in the region. It is everyone’s hope that Syrians will be able to return to Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Daraa, but as this is not going to happen any time soon, to use this as an argument not to resettle Syrian refugees in the UK (as the Government has done) is deeply disturbing.
As Britain gears up for the General Election in May 2015, Syrian refugees are not pawns for political parties to use in debates over immigration and foreign policy. Many in the British public are calling on the Government to do more. For the sake of Syrians, they should listen.”
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]
2) Call for the UK to take in more than 90 Syrian refugees http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/syria-crisis-celebrities-call-on-david-cameron-to-take-more-refugees-as-one-young-mother-tells-of-torture-by-assad-regime-10001689.html
3) Letter to the Prime Minister from Caabu and other agencies calls on UK to take refugees from Syria - published in the Independent 18 January 2014http://www.caabu.org/news/news/press-release-letter-prime-minister-caabu-and-other-agencies-calls-uk-take-refugees-syria-
4) Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – 20 January 2015 http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2015-01-20b.74.0#g74.2
5) Caabu welcomes UK decision to take in most vulnerable Syrian refugees – 31 January 2014 http://www.caabu.org/news/news/caabu-welcomes-uk-decision-take-most-vulnerable-syrian-refugees