iaIGO Welcomes Britain’s Move to Take in Thousands More Syrian Refugees

iaIGO Welcomes Britain’s Move to Take in Thousands More Syrian Refugees 07 September 2015

The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights (iaIGO) welcomes the UK’s move to take in thousand more Syrian refugees in response to the grave humanitarian crisis faced by millions fleeing the war torn country.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron, recently announced Britain’s resettlement plans to assist thousands of Syrians refugees amid mounting pressures to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis. The new arrivals in Britain will not come from among those already in Europe but from a program already in operation that resettles refugees in camps bordering Syria.

Based on the announcement, the UK government is willing to act with “head and heart” to help those most in need. Under the resettlement scheme, priority will be given to refugees who have been victims of torture or sexual violence or are too elderly or disabled to survive in the camps. The Prime Minister also mentioned that the UK has pledged a further £100m in humanitarian aid for those in camps in Syria, Turkey, Jordan and the Lebanon.

The 1951 UN Refugee Convention recommends that its member states should continue to receive refugees into their territories especially those fleeing from persecution, torture and violence and that they act in concert in a true spirit of international co-operation in order so that these refugees may find asylum and the possibility of resettlement. The UK which is a state party to this convention has acted in line the clauses of this treaty and hasso far resettled 216 Syrians, with a further 5,000 who have travelled through their own means having been granted asylum by the British government between the start of the crisis in early 2011 and the second quarter of 2015. The latest resettlement plans is a great move which needs to be commended and serves as an example to other affluent Western countries to open their borders to these desperate refugees.

This decision by Britain to take in more Syria refugees comes after touching images of a drowned Syrian toddler (three years-old) named Aylan Kurdi made waves on the Internet. The boy’s dead body together with those of his mother and 5 year old brother washed up this week on a beach in Turkey. Their story highlights the plights of Syrian refugees fleeing persecution and violence and making the perilous journey to Europe. Many of those refugees have fled Syria’s ongoing civil war which is in its fifth year, in which more than 250,000 people have been killed and some 11 million — half of the country’s population — driven from their homes. According to the UN refugee agency, it is estimated that more than 300,000 people so far this year have used the dangerous sea-routes to reach Europe. As a result, about 2,500 or more have lost their lives in the process.

iaIGO therefore urges on rich nations and the international humanitarian community to empathize with Syrian refugees and allow them into their territories. iaIGO further calls on world donors and the international community to donate the needed funds in providing these refugees with shelter, food, proper sanitation and drinkable water, and education to children which are in effect their rights as stated under human rights laws. The UN Security Council should step in to provide necessary assistance to the Syrian people and end the human rights violations against them by the ruling regime.