Amnesty response to Theresa May's speech to the Conservative Party Conference

Refugees Welcome march in London in September © Ventoura/Amnesty International

Responding to the Home Secretary’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference today, Allan Hogarth, Amnesty International’s Head of Policy, said:

“Theresa May’s claim that mass immigration has undermined public support for refugees flies in the face of reality. Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK have signed petitions, tens of thousands took to the streets and many more have written to their MPs to say that people fleeing war and persecution should be welcome in the UK. Meanwhile, the Home Secretary sets out to make it harder and harder for desperate people to claim the protection they need and the UK has a duty to offer.

“Whether Theresa May likes it or not the only practical way to start to turn around the current refugee crisis is a coordinated European response. Trying to create a two tier hierarchy of refugees in the minds of the public is grossly irresponsible. Whether they are in camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey or have made the long journey to Europe, people escaping conflict and human rights abuses must be given protection.  

“The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Instead of producing divisive rhetoric, the Home Secretary should direct her energies into ensuring these desperate people are given protection, as hundreds of thousands of people have asked her to.”

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