As European and world leaders begin picking up the pieces following Paris’ deadly terrorist attacks, the Refugee Council is warning against a backlash against refugees.
EU President Jean-Claude Juncker issued a strong statement on Sunday that people should not mix up terrorists and refugees; a sentiment the Refugee Council strongly supports.
This year, over 800,000 refugees have arrived in Europe, having been forced to flee brutal conflict, persecution and the murderous advance of ISIS. Due to a lack of safe and legal routes available for refugees to reach safety in Europe, men, women and children are being forced to place their lives in the hands of smugglers.
With the first charter flight of resettled Syrian refugees due to arrive in the country tomorrow, the Home Secretary strongly reminded the public that Syrian refugees arriving in Britain through the resettlement programme will have undergone rigorous security checks.
The Refugee Council has been calling for further safe and legal routes to be implemented to prevent people from being forced to travel irregularly.
Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said: “The Refugee Council condemns the abhorrent attacks which occurred in Paris on Friday. Our thoughts are with the French people and all of those affected. We see daily the impact terror, persecution and conflict has on ordinary people.
“The world was moved by the response of Parisians who rallied round to help each other – opening their doors to people fleeing the murderous attacks. We should follow this example by offering safety to others who need it. We cannot leave refugees fleeing to Europe from these very same terrorists without safe haven.
“Of course it’s in nobody’s interests for refugees to be forced to travel by irregular means but Europe’s current immigration policies leave them with little choice. European governments must urgently offer refugees safe, legal and well managed alternatives.
“We cannot use these deplorable events as an excuse to turn our backs on vulnerable refugees; compromising our most cherished values in the face of terror. We cannot let them divide us. We cannot let hatred and fear win.”