Monday, January 04, 2016

The Shame of Europe

A drowned two-year-old boy became the first known refugee casualty of the year after the crowded dinghy he was travelling in hit rocks off a Greek island

Cameron's response to the refugee crisis is "clearly inadequate", aid and refugee agencies claim. The group of 27 charities - including Oxfam and Amnesty International - say the UK should take a "proportionate" share of refugees. The letter, coordinated by the British Refugee Council, asks Cameron to show a "new resolve" to deal with the crisis, which saw nearly 4,000 people drown last year and hundreds of thousands more face danger and hardship while fleeing violence and oppression.

The group, which also includes the International Rescue Committee, Liberty and ActionAid, wrote, "The UK can and should be doing much more to ensure that refugees are not compelled to take life-threatening journeys or forced into smugglers' hands…the solution must not be to spend another year impassively watching on while desperate people drown or are forced to endure a march of misery across the continent as they try to find a safe haven or to be reunited with their loved ones."

They endorse principles set out by 350 former judges and lawyers in October which include taking a fair share of refugees and establishing safe and legal routes to the UK for those seeking protection.

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