Save Syrian Refugees!
We propose to the British Government three simple ways to save the lives of Syrians fleeing a murderous regime:
1. Expand the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme:
Announced in January 2014 as a special programme for Syrians, the scheme had admitted as few as 90 refugees up to December.
Statement by Minister for Security and Immigration James Brokenshire MP, House of Commons, 10 Dec. 2014.
2. Contribute to expanding Operation Triton for Mediterranean rescue:
The UK needs to join Operation Triton, the European patrol force for the Mediterranean, so that it can be expanded and its role shifted from border control and surveillance to saving migrants’ lives.
3. Work with the EU to allow safe routes for Syrians entering Europe:
The Dublin Regulation, under which asylum seekers must seek asylum in the first country they enter, puts an excessive burden on first port of entry states, and creates extra burdens for refugees as they are arbitrarily restricted in their choice of asylum and unable to move to locations where they may have family, friends or relevant language skills. The Dublin rules have outlived their usefulness, and need review in light of the unprecedented numbers fleeing Syria in what is the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.
Safe routes measures should include such things as speedy processing of visas for family members, students, and other non asylum routes; opening the embassies to applications for asylum; an EU wide declaration of emergency humanitarian access.
Lebanon Jordan and Turkey have been generous; now it is time that Europe played its part in hosting some of the millions of Syrian refugees. That can be accomplished only by Europe-wide planning and cooperation.
Note on the revised Dublin Convention (or Regulation)
Amnesty International Report July 2014