Syrian refugees: "It shouldn't have taken a photograph to get politicians to do the right thing, but this is a positive step forward"

Responding to David Cameron’s announcement that the UK will take in 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years, Amnesty International UK’s refugee expert Steve Symonds, said:

“It shouldn’t have taken a photograph to get politicians to start to do the right thing, but this news offers a vital lifeline to thousands of Syrians. If acted upon urgently, it will be a truly positive step forward.

“However, it does not address the huge challenge facing Europe right now - countries like Greece and Hungary cannot cope alone. Nor does it offer a solution to the many Eritreans, Afghans and others, forced to flee bullets, bombs, torture and overcrowded refugee camps elsewhere.

“We all need to acknowledge there is no single measure that can immediately solve the current crisis, and no one country can achieve its resolution all by itself. So far the UK has been unwilling to share responsibility for refugees arriving in Europe. This position undermines efforts to secure a comprehensive response - saving lives, tackling people smuggling and resolving conflicts and other crises at the heart of this exodus.”

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