Refugee Council welcomes Syrian refugee commitment

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28 Jan 2014

The Refugee Council is welcoming the Government’s commitment to offer resettlement places to vulnerable refugees including women at risk of sexual violence and survivors of torture.

The Refugee Council has been campaigning since July 2013 for the Government to work with the UN Refugee Agency to offer safe haven to the most vulnerable refugees fleeing Syria.

The campaign has received huge public support, from 24 leading charities including Amnesty International, Oxfam and Save the Children, and from celebrities including Refugee Council Patron Emma Thompson and politicians from all sides of the House.

While the UK has committed an unquestionably generous £600 million in aid to the region, the Refugee Council has been calling for the Government to deploy a full spectrum of solutions given the scale and gravity of the humanitarian crisis in the region.

The Refugee Council urged the Government to offer a lifeline to people who are struggling to survive in makeshift shelters in the region’s freezing conditions: torture survivors in need of specialist help, women at risk of sexual violence and families with children in need of special assistance.

Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said: "This news, quite simply, will transform people’s lives.

 "What’s more, it also sends an important message to the rest of the world: Britain has a proud tradition of protecting and welcoming refugees and we will continue to lead the way in offering refuge to people in their greatest hour of need.

"We commend the Government for upholding this reputation by going the extra mile and offering protection to some of the most vulnerable refugees who will now have chance to rebuild their lives in safety.

"We hope other countries now follow the UK’s lead by providing resettlement places to those who so desperately need it.”

Photo courtesy of UNHCR UK