- Category: Campaigns
- Published on Tuesday, 20 May 2014
- Written by Luke Cooper
Syria refugee scheme “disgracefully insufficient”, say campaigners
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The government is refusing to say how many Syrian refugees it has relocated to Britain in a move campaigners say may mean the number is “embarrassingly low”.
The Home Office has refused a Freedom of Information request to disclose the number of Syrian refugees brought to Britain under its Vulnerable Person Relocation programme.
Luke Cooper, of the Syria Solidarity Movement, said:
There are over 2.5 million refugees who have fled Syria and 6.5 million internally displaced, making Syrians one of the largest refugee populations in the world. The Home Office response to this catastrophe is disgracefully insufficient.
The Vulnerable Person Relocation scheme was announced with much fanfare. But we know from Freedom of Information requests that it intends to take a mere 500 Syrian refugees over two to three years and only 150 this year.
Now the Home Office has refused to say how many people it’s assisted so far. Should we infer the number is embarrassingly low?
Guy Taylor, of the Movement Against Xenophobia, said:
The contempt with which this Government treats potential immigrants is breath-taking. This is designed to keep numbers low and help the Government meet an arbitrary net-migration target. Its a contempt liberally applied to those seeking to work here, reunite families here and, shamefully, as in the Syrian case, try to come here to preserve their very lives.
Refugee rights and Syria campaign groups have joined forces to call a protest at the Home Office on the 16th June to coincide with the start of Refugee Week.
Notes to editors
1. The campaign groups Movement Against Xenophobia, Syria Solidarity Movement, and No One Is Illegal have called the “Syrian Refugees Welcome Here” protest at 18.30 on the 16th June at the Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF
2. The Freedom of Information request that the Home Office refused can be read here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/205473/response/510524/attach/html/3/140429%20response%20FOI%2031331.pdf.html