UK to Take in “Most Vulnerable” Syrian Refugees
Some of the most affected victims from the Syrian civil war will be able to come to the UK seeking refuge, in a deal agreed last night. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, has said that those most traumatised by the conflict will be resettled temporarily in the UK.
The civil war in Syria has been taking place for almost three years now, and after weeks of talks between the Tories and Lib Dems about just what the British government can do, a plan has finally been announced by the Deputy PM.
The “most vulnerable” – women and children who had been subject to physical abuse, elderly and disabled people, torture victims, for example – will be offered asylum on a case-by-case basis, overseen by the UN.
“I am pleased to announce that the UK will be providing refuge to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees,” Mr Clegg stated. “Sadly, we cannot provide safety for everyone who needs it, but we can reach out to some of those who need it most.”
There are almost 12 million people inside Syrian and neighbouring countries who need food, shelter and medical treatment. The United Nations already has a scheme in place to try and get some of those people out of there called the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Some Western European countries have agreed to take in a number of refugees as part of the scheme. Though the UK is not actually taking part in this scheme, and the resettlement programme is separate, around 1,500 people have been able to come to settle in the UK if they have family ties there.
Under the resettlement programme, 500 Syrians are expected to be coming to stay in Britain. The refugees will be issued with temporary visas meaning they will be able to stay in the UK for around three years, by which time it is hoped that things will have settled down peacefully and gotten back to normal in Syria, when they can start to rebuild their lives.
Maurice Wren from the Refugee Council said the government needed to act immediately to get the ball rolling “to secure safe passage for the people who are struggling to survive in the harsh conditions of the region”.
The Deputy PM said that a formal announcement is expected to made tomorrow and that the British government is still supporting peace talks currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland. “As conflict continues to force millions of Syrian’s from their homes, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can,” he said.
“This move is long overdue,” said Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen, “but of course, it’s never too late to do the right thing.”