Monday, August 10, 2020

One World One People

Boris Johnson has been accused of scapegoating people who are risking their lives by crossing the Channel to seek asylum in the UK and using “inaccurate and inflammatory” language to describe their plight.
Humanitarian groups and charities criticised the prime minister for describing the migrant crossings as “very bad and stupid and dangerous and criminal” on Monday. They urged the government to offer safe and legal routes to Britain for people seeking refuge from violence and persecution.
Lisa Doyle, director of advocacy at the Refugee Council, said: “It’s incredibly disappointing to hear the prime minister using such inaccurate and inflammatory language to describe men, women and children who are desperate enough to make perilous journeys across the busiest shipping channel in the world.
“Seeking asylum is not a crime, and it is legitimate that people have to cross borders to do so.

“Instead of scapegoating people in desperate circumstances, the prime minister and his government could address this by ensuring that people do not have to take these risks.”
Rosie Rooney, of Safe Passage International, said “We recently asked the prime minister if he would meet with a group of young refugees, and so far we’ve had no reply.
“Perhaps if he took the time to speak with people arriving in the UK, he’d realise they are anything but stupid.
“Those getting in dinghies, including hundreds of unaccompanied children, are not, as the PM has suggested, ‘criminals’ and they are not ‘illegal’. They are fleeing war and persecution in the hope that this country will help them. The least stupid decision that the government could make would be to stop its inhumane policies and offer those seeking asylum a safe and legal way to do so.”
Stephen Hale, the chief executive of Refugee Action, said: “The government needs to move on from soundbites and focus constructively on serious and long-term solutions.

“Britain is better than this. We have a proud history of welcoming people fleeing some of the most violent and oppressive regimes in the world and we can’t stop now.”
Among the safe and legal alternatives suggested are a stronger resettlement programme, humanitarian visas and reformed family reunion rules.

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