September 14, 2015
Saturday was such a fantastic day of action in support of refugees. Wilsons are very proud to have supported the London demonstration. It is an outrage that people fleeing for their lives are dying at Europe’s borders. They are not just Syrians, but from many other conflicts or unstable repressive regimes. The UK can and must do very much more, both in terms of providing protection and searching for solutions to the conflicts. When over 100,000 people, from all walks of life and backgrounds come together and demand action we hope that the government will listen. Germany has shown the way, the UK must follow.In 2014 the UK took only 143 displaced Syrians – a paltry response to a humanitarian crisis that has forced 4 million to flee. Look at Turkey – where 2 million Syrians have fled and Lebanon (with a miniscule population of 4 million) who are hosting nearly 1 million Syrians. In 2014 the UK received only 24,914 asylum applications in total. A miniscule number by any measure and far lower than Germany, Sweden, Italy and France. Our rejection rate is far too high (around 60% are refused) and the Home Office error rate, exposed on appeal, is an incredible 28%). Our treatment of asylum seekers is also pretty shocking – with more than half being put in immigration detention at some point in the process. As for the policy of removing unaccompanied children when they reach the age of 17 years and 6 months – that is a shameful scandal. The demonstration on Saturday was truly unprecedented. It was a recognition that we face the greatest refugee crisis since 1945. The UK has to do a lot more and a lot better. We simply must respond.
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