Amnesty welcomes arrival of first Syrian refugees which 'should be first of many'
Responding to news that the UK is due to receive the first Syrian refugees today as part of a resettlement scheme Amnesty International UK’s Refugee Programme Director, Jan Shaw, said:
"Amnesty is hugely relieved that some of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria are finally being granted lifesaving asylum here in the UK.
“We welcome the government’s decision to uphold its moral responsibility to offer this vital help.
“With people literally starving to death in some besieged areas, the situation in Syria is truly horrendous.
“5,000 desperate people flee Syria every day – 75% of them women and children – often arriving with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
“It took a long time for the UK to finally agree to take in a small number of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees. The people arriving here today should be the first of many.”
On 28 January the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that the UK government would resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees from the Syria conflict. Until that announcement the government had repeatedly refused to participate in the resettlement to the UK of any Syrian refugees, instead saying that it was “fulfilling its obligations” by committing £600m in aid to help refugees in the region. However, in January the Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he was willing to “look again’ at the issue, following a campaign from human rights groups including Amnesty.