Iraqi refugees: our responsibility? - Refugee Council
September 26, 2007

Iraqi refugees: our responsibility?

This was the title of our lunchtime fringe meeting – no small topic to discuss over a few sandwiches in one hour.  The Iraqi refugee crisis has hit the headlines over the past few months and we held a lively and moving lunchtime debate, hearing from a range of excellent speakers.

Amnesty researchers who have just returned from the region launched a shocking report about the worsening crisis.  Mazin, an Iraqi asylum seeker gave a moving account of his experiences – he has seen friends murdered and has been threatened for working for the coalition forces in Iraq.  Jeremy Corbyn, Donna Covey (Chief Executive, Refugee Council) and Tom Porteous (Human Rights Watch) all gave passionate speeches about the human suffering going on in the region – there are now 2 million refugees in Jordan and Syria, yet in 2006 the UK only gave refugee status to around 100 Iraqi asylum seekers.  All speakers and the audience agreed that it is high time for our government to face up to our responsibilities to refugees in need.

The website Labour Home came to film the event, so check out there website to see if footage from the meeting has been uploaded.  And definitely take some time to read Amnesty International’s telling report about the crisis, and tell your MP about their recommendations what our government should do.

I’m off to a fringe meeting about children in detention now, so will report on that tomorrow….