Would You like a feature Interview?
All Interviews are 100% FREE of Charge
The Interior Ministry is forcing them to risk their lives across the Channel in small boats, breaking promises to take in more “vulnerable refugees” through legal channels. I analysis show.
The number of refugees resettled in the UK through the government’s official partnership with the United Nations plummeted by 77% last year compared to the same period in 2019, with only 967 accepted in the first three quarters of 2022. did not.
There are bespoke legal routes from Ukraine (approximately 135,000 arrivals), Afghanistan (6,300) and Hong Kong (144,000), but the only other legal route is when UNHCR referrals are accepted by the UK. is the case. From the first 9 months of 2019 to the same period of 2022 is just 967 months.
new home ministry UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS)which will start in 2021 and work with the United Nations to enable “scaled-up resettlement of vulnerable refugees around the world”.
Instead, in nine months, only nine from Iran, just 14 from Eritrea, 54 from Afghanistan and 126 from Sudan were hospitalized.
The numbers are rising even as Rishi Sunak prepares to announce tough new laws to detain and deport persons who arrive “illegally” asylum seekers through “legal channels”. It highlights the great difficulty of reaching the UK to
Campaign groups, Anglican bishops and trade unions say failure to help desperate people living in refugee camps is the root cause of the surge in dangerous channel crossings, which has sparked a new crackdown. urged
“The government promised to expand resettlement programs to help vulnerable people around the world reach safety in the UK, but they have not delivered,” said Mark Davis, campaign director for the Refugee Council. Stated.
The Home Office has defended the collapse in numbers, pointing to a reduction in plans to resettle 22,842 Syrian refugees in the UK between 2016 and 2019.
However, the figure shows that the number of people admitted from other countries and conflicts has halved from 1,022 in the first three quarters of 2019 to just 495 in the same period in 2022.
The total number of resettled refugees declined steadily through 2022, standing at just 279 in the third quarter and reaching 510 in the same quarter in 2021, shortly after the UKRS was introduced.
Refugee groups have denounced the lack of a specific resettlement goal, a lack of will to act, and the strict acceptance standards set by the UK, while criticizing the crisis of the asylum system. It also points to ripple effects.
Thousands of Afghans are still being held in hotels 17 months after being displaced following the Taliban takeover, and more than 200 children are said to be missing in the hands of criminals. Concerned.
British Red Cross Senior Policy Officer Sohini Tanna said she welcomed the new plan but hopes were dashed. Only 9 Iranians and 14 Eritreans have been resettled, even though they are 1,000,” she said.
Labor’s immigration spokesman Stephen Kinnock said: “Conservative ministers have closed many of the safe and legal routes for asylum seekers making the perilous journey across the Channel. , disingenuously insist that asylum should be applied for through safe and legal routes.”
The Bishop of Durham also warned that Britain’s “moral standing” had been hit, and urged ministers to introduce humanitarian visas that refugees can apply for without risking the sometimes deadly journey. I was.
“Humanitarian visas will also disrupt smuggling routes across Europe built on the exploitation of desperate people, including children,” said Rt. Paul Butler.
The Home Office will weigh available funding and accommodation when considering requests from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR identifies refugees it considers suitable to come to the UK.
Campaigners have called for the UK to resettle 10,000 refugees each year by dramatically increasing referrals from UNHCR.
But in a speech in December, Rishi Sunak insisted there would be no expansion of legal routes until the government stopped the small boats and “got illegal immigration under control.”
He promised new proposals in the coming weeks to ensure “the only way to come to Britain for asylum is through safe and legal routes”.
The crackdown will make it clear that “if you enter the UK illegally .
Davies added: “The lack of safe routes such as refugee visa schemes and the declining numbers of people coming through resettlement schemes are forcing more people in desperate need to cross a dangerous strait.”
The Red Cross also highlighted a 36% reduction in visas for refugees to reunite with spouses and children under the age of 18 in 2019 compared to last year.
When the controversy arose in the House of Lords, the Minister of Home Affairs pointed to “local government capacity” as a factor in deciding whether to accept a referral by UNHCR.
Lord Murray of Bridworth also agreed that “direct applications from people in Syrian refugee camps” would be preferable to attempts to enter the UK illegally, saying “that is the purpose of the UK’s resettlement scheme”. claimed.
However, he dismissed criticism of the low number of admissions, telling his comrades:
“Since 2015, UNHCR has referred the most vulnerable refugees from around the world for resettlement to the UK, through its global UK resettlement programmes, community sponsorships and mandate schemes, to help people from areas of conflict and instability. It has resettled more than 28,000 refugees.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who really need it, through safe and legal routes. We have provided space to more than 440,000 men, women and children seeking safety, including refugees and families of refugees.”