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Saturday 24 January 2015

The neighbours are drowning

Syrian refugees welcome here!
Saturday, January 31at 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF

Facebook event page

We propose to the British Government three ways to save the lives of Syrians fleeing a murderous regime.

Four images to share – PDF versions suitable to print here:





Tuesday 13 January 2015

Syrian refugees welcome here!

Saturday, January 31at 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF

Facebook event page


Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria almost half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their home and flee for their lives in search of safety.

Thousands of refugees are struggling to stay warm and protect their shelters as heavy snow storms bringing freezing temperatures, fierce winds, and lashing rain hit Lebanon and Jordan.

Some 800,000 people, many who fled their homes in terror with just the clothes on their backs, are in need of assistance.

In addition, many desperate Syrians have decided to risk their lives to reach Europe by boat and up to October, 2014, 3,800 of those lost their lives at sea, including many women and children.

Under mounting pressure the government has reluctantly agreed to take "several hundred" of the "most destitute" Syrian refugees. But this is nothing when compared to either the scale of the refugee crisis or the commitments made by other nations.

The UK government has not joined the United Nations High Commission for Refugees re-settlement programme but has instead set up its own programme providing minimal assistance. Compare its commitment to Germany who has pledged to take 20,000 Syrian refugees as part of the UN effort. Even much smaller countries, like Sweden and Norway, have agreed to take 1,300 and 1,000 refugees respectively, and the United States has placed no limit on the number it is willing to take.

We also recognise that despite international efforts the burden of dealing with the refugee crisis has overwhelmingly been borne by the much poorer countries bordering Syria. We call on the government to dramatically increase its commitment to take Syrian refugees who are fleeing war and persecution.

We recognise that their reluctance to countenance this step reflects a wider climate of persecution of migrants and refugees, who have been scapegoated for the affects of the capitalist crisis. This has fuelled the rise of the racist UKIP part. We are determined to stand together against racism and for international solidarity with migrants and refugees the world over.

1. Expand UK refugee programme
2. UK must cooperate with EU Mediterranean rescue scheme
3. End to fortress Europe policy and creation of safe routes for Syrian refugees through Europe to claim asylum in Northern European countries

Three ways to save Syrian refugees

PDF version here.

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