Western governments meeting in Geneva this week have pledged to increase the number of Syrian refugees they are accepting through resettlement and other humanitarian mechanisms.
The UN’s Refugee Agency UNHCR now expects the total number of places for Syrian refugees available to reach 100,000. This includes 62,000 places already made available by governments.
For every person currently struggling to survive in the countries neighbouring Syria, the increased chance of a resettlement place is life changing news.
Shamefully, the British Government again refused to increase the scale of its resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees.
In response, on Wednesday Labour called an urgent parliamentary debate specifically on this issue, with MPs from all parties speaking up on behalf of Syria’s refugees. Sadly, the Government refused to listen, insisting that British people can be proud of the UK’s efforts to resettle refugees from Syria.
We are not proud; we are ashamed at the scale of Britain’s woefully inadequate resettlement scheme.
Refugee Council Advocacy Manager Anna Musgrave said: “While other European countries have pledged to open their doors to more of Syria’s refugees, Britain’s, disgracefully, remain under lock and key.
“Britain should be offering safety to thousands, not hundreds of refugees from Syria; in this case, numbers speak louder than words. Failure to act swiftly will leave more refugees struggling to survive in the region and a permanent stain on Britain’s reputation for offering safety to people in their hour of greatest need.”