Government must do more to help Syria’s refugees, says Emma

September 11, 2015

Emma Lewell-Buck 17smallEmma has called on David Cameron to expand Britain’s commitment to help people fleeing the conflict in Syria, in her latest column for the Shields Gazette.

Writing in the local paper, Emma said that the images and stories emerging from the country had had “a profound effect on the British public.”

She praised the response of the British public, and said that she had received a large number of emails from people in Shields and local community organisations who wanted to know what they could do to help.

But Emma warned that the Prime Minister was not rising to the scale of the challenge, pointing out that the UK’s commitment to take in 20,000 refugees by 2020 was dwarfed by that of other countries. She said that the David Cameron “is behind the public on this issue.”

Nearly 4 million people have fled Syria since the start of the country’s civil war in 2011. Hundreds of thousands have travelled to Europe seeking asylum, fearing that they cannot return to their home country.

David Cameron has refused to sign up to a UN scheme aimed at resettling refugees, and instead established Britain’s own scheme, the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. However, so far only 216 people have been resettled under that scheme.

Labour has called for Britain to make a bigger contribution to alleviating the Syrian crisis by accelerating the resettlement of refugees and doing more to work with other European countries facing their own refugee crisis. Emma voted for a motion supporting further action in Parliament on Wednesday.

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