Thirteen aid and development agencies have come together to say that “while the UK government has been a leader in providing assistance to countries hosting large numbers of refugees, it has fallen short of its moral responsibility to provide safe routes to protection for people seeking refuge in the UK, and has failed to advocate for an approach that protects the rights of all people on the move”.
“Across Europe, people who have fled human rights violations, conflict, violence and hardship are living in inhumane conditions, and thousands have drowned trying to reach the continent. The current humanitarian crisis is the result of political failure. The dominant response, based on deterrence and containment, is causing enormous suffering to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
- expand the safe and legal routes to reach protection in the UK;
- improve the humanitarian response in Europe including humane reception conditions at borders and in transit countries;
- ensure access to a fair, effective and humane asylum system;
- improve conditions in countries hosting large numbers of displaced people and;
- tackle the causes behind forced displacement.
Maurice Wren is the chief executive of the British Refugee Council. He says:
“While European leaders demonstrate a collective failure of political leadership and moral courage, people who have escaped war and tyranny are met with barbed wire and tear gas, mums are forced to bathe their infants in dirty puddles, and yet more refugee children drown on Europe’s shores.
“European governments, including the UK, must take a long hard look at themselves and ask is this the best they can do? We say that it doesn’t have to be this way. Today we’re presenting a roadmap for change which prioritises saving lives, solidarity and safe passage.”
The full report can be downloaded from Oxfam website.