Justin Forsyth statement on refugees

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Save the Children CEO, Justin Forsyth, said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK will take thousands of Syrian refugees through the official resettlement scheme is an important first step, but we need a level of ambition that matches the scale of the challenge. With more than four million refugees living in appalling conditions in the region the government should name a figure – at least 10,000 – of the number of Syrians we will take in. The UK should also be offering to rehome 3,000 of the unaccompanied children who have already come to Europe on their own from across the Middle East and Africa.

“Through the resettlement scheme some of the most vulnerable Syrian families will be given the chance of a better life in the UK, meaning they don’t have to risk their lives on treacherous sea crossings. But even if we play our part in resettling thousands of refugees, unless EU leaders take comprehensive action the reality is that desperate people will continue to risk their lives to come to Europe – and hundreds of thousands of people are already here.

“European ministers are meeting on the 14th September and we need them to agree to a five point plan including resettlement targets, greater aid to the countries refugees flee from, maintaining search and rescue operations at sea and setting up a proper system of safe routes to Europe and reception centres for asylum seekers. This is a moment of decision for our nation and our continent about who we want to be and how we treat those in need.”

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