Good news and bad for Europe’s refugees

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© James Gordon Wikimedia
Iraqi refugee children.

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron has showed a softer side by finally giving in to pressure from the opposition and children’s campaigners, pledging to do more to protect the most vulnerable refugees among the hundreds of thousands on the move.

The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuennssberg writes that “calls from the Liberal Democrats and Labour, and campaign groups like Save the Children” have forced Mr Cameron to “open Britain’s doors to 3,000 children.”

The Dublin Convention dictates that the UK must take 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020; however, the 3,000 children will be accepted in addition.

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The government announced the plans just hours after the Prime Minister took heavy fire from Jeremy Corbyn for using the expression “a bunch of migrants,” to describe asylum seekers

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire confirmed that the focus of the scheme would be those children “whose best interests would be met through protection in the UK,” and it is believed that the Prime Minister will prioritise youngsters who are separated from families during conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as vulnerable migrants from Eritrea.    

Money from Britain’s overseas aid budget will also be set aside for children facing “additional risks.” £10 million will be channeled through the appropriate UN agencies and NGOs, in addition to the £1.1 billion already given in Humanitarian Aid during the Syria crisis.       

Meanwhile in Scandinavia, the Swedish government is preparing to expel some 80,000 refugees whose applications have been rejected, and has promised to provide chartered aircrafts for the purpose of “repatriation”. 

The country’s interior minister Anders Ygeman confirmed the move, saying “the country must get ready to send back tens of thousands of the 163,000 who sought shelter in Sweden last year.” 

Forty-five per cent of applications are currently refused in Sweden, one of the top destinations for asylum seekers in 2015, and one which has taken to most refugees in relation to its modest 9.8 million population.

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