Oxfam attacks UK for not taking ‘fair share’ of Syrian refugees

© Umit Bektas
Britain is failing to take its fair share of Syrian refugees, a scathing new report by the humanitarian charity Oxfam claims.

The charity has branded the UK’s failure to take on its proper quota of refugees as “shocking.” 

So far only three countries – Canada, Germany and Norway – have pledged to exceed their share, while the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Sweden and others have not.

In a statement on the charity’s website, Oxfam GB Chief Executive Mark Goldring said: “while people continue to flee Syria most countries have failed to provide a safe home for the most vulnerable.

Although the British government has provided “generous” amounts of financial aid, it had “only offered to resettle 20,000 people by 2020, approximately 5,000 people a year,” he said.

This is simply not good enough and Britain can and should do more,” Goldring added.

The report claims 1 in 5 people in Lebanon are Syrian refugees. Displaced Syrians now also constitute 10 percent of the Jordanian population.

As these nations struggle to cope, “rich nations should be doing more to share the responsibility and offer refuge to some of the most vulnerable women and children affected by this crisis,” said Goldring.

The report is also critical of the use of refugees as a bargaining tool, arguing that “political deals, like the recent EU-Turkey deal, are deeply troubling and pose political, ethical and probably legal questions.

Resettlement should be about providing a home to vulnerable refugees, not a method for managing migration or justifying harsh asylum policies,” the charity added.

The Turkish/EU deal was struck on March 18 and will see all refugees crossing the Aegean sent back to Turkey, a regime which has been branded increasingly authoritarian by a raft of human rights NGOs.

Responding to the deal, Global Justice Now Director Nick Dearden said EU leaders have abandoned “any pretense of the EU’s principles” and that the bloc is being threatened by Turkey.

What we call a ‘migrant crisis’ is actually a crisis of global injustice caused by war, poverty and inequality. To demonize those making a rational choice on the part of themselves, their family and their community obscures the truth,” he said.

Migration is bringing those of us in Europe face-to-face with the reality of the world our leaders have constructed.