On Wednesday 26 November Student Action for Refugees joined Refugee Council, Amnesty International and other leading charities in a bid to “substantially expand the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme and help Syrians with a connection to this country to join their relatives here in the UK.”
According to recent data, the UK has only settled 50 Syrian refugees, with a non-committal pledge to help ‘several hundred people.’ In contrast, neighbouring countries Lebanon and Turkey are currently sharing most of the 3.2 million Syrian refugees. Consequently, these countries are about to close their borders.
On 9 December the UNHCR will ask countries to provide resettlement places and other safe legal routes for Syrian refugees at a global pledging conference. They will ask EU countries to collectively resettle 100,000 Syrian refugees; this is below the number of refugees that entered Turkey in one weekend in September. Resettlement specifically aims to help those in need of medical care, or who have suffered torture and sexual violence.
The STAR group spent the day raising awareness for the cause, collecting over 130 signatures for a petition asking local MP Ben Bradshaw to call on Home Secretary Theresa May to attend the UNHCR conference and resettle more Syrian refugees in the UK.
Emma Williams, CEO for STAR said Exeter’s student involvement was “brilliant, this is about getting people informed.” She urges students to continue to spread the message about the campaign.
VP Activities Matt Bate said of the campaign: “It’s amazing to see our student groups working hard in our local area to influence refugee support on a national scale.
“It seems that the UK can do much more to facilitate resettlement for victims of the Syrian crisis and I fully support the committed efforts of our students.”
Nicola Dashfield, News Teambookmark me