Faith leaders: shame of freezing refugees in Europe

“News that refugees have started freezing to death should shame us in 21st-century Europe.”

That’s a sobering statement from a letter in today’s Daily Telegraph that has been signed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and other Christian and Jewish faith leaders.

There have been reports throughout January highlighting the tented camps in Greece and rough sleepers in Belgrade. Temperatures dipped as lo as -15C during parts of January due to icy winds from the artic.

“There is in Greece a pressing humanitarian crisis … children should not be walking barefoot on icy roads.”

Amnesty International are running a campaign to ask the President of the European Union Jean-Claude Juncker to address the people living in tents in Moria and Samos, conditions that are at odds with Europe’s values of “freedom, democracy and respect for human rights”.

Premier Radio note that “at least four refugees in Greece and Bulgaria have succumbed to recent freezing weather, with humanitarian aid workers warning thousands more are at risk”.

The letter also calls on the prime minister Theresa May and the home secretary Amber Rudd to act to ensure the Lord Alf Dub’s amendment is used to grant child refugees in countries like Greece safe passage to Britain.

While nearly 200 vulnerable children were welcomed to Britain last year under provisions of the amendment, it’s thought not a single child fleeing to Greece or Italy has benefited.