Public figures join Refugee Action's call for the UK to help more Syrian refugees

Friday 25th March 2016 

More than 100 leading public figures have joined Refugee Action and Citizens UK in asking Prime Minister David Cameron to pledge more help for refugees from Syria. 

Published in the Guardian ahead of a high level UNHCR meeting next week, their joint letter implores the Prime Minister to take decisive action to protect greater numbers of vulnerable Syrians forced to flee by the ongoing conflict in their homeland.

Read the full text of the letter below.

Dear Prime Minister

The conflict in Syria has now entered its sixth brutal and deadly year. Nearly twelve million Syrians have fled their homes; almost five million of them to Syria’s neighbouring countries. The suffering they have endured and continue to endure can barely be imagined.

We applaud the UK for committing substantial aid spending to help these refugees, as well as resettling 20,000 of the most vulnerable by 2020. But as the crisis grows so too must our response.

Many organisations and public figures have stepped up to help protect children in Calais, but across Europe thousands of refugee children are still stranded without hope or support. In the UK, Syrians with close family in refugee camps or conflict zones often cannot legally bring their relatives to safety.

We are seeing the reality of this human crisis play out on our TV screens week after week.  Families are desperate to reach their loved ones. Traumatised children have no-one to protect them. Men, women and children are putting their lives at risk to seek safety.

We know the UK has a proud history of protecting the victims of war. As the UNHCR convenes a high level meeting calling for world leaders to step up and do more to help Syrian refugees, we urge you to continue that legacy by urgently doing more to protect these vulnerable refugees. We call on you to increase our resettlement commitment and to strengthen family reunion policies to help separated children and divided families.

Yours sincerely

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Adrian Lester, Akram Khan, Aminatta Forna, Andrew Garfield, Andrew O'Hagan, Andy Serkis, Sir Anish Kapoor, Anoushka Shankar, Anthony Barnett, Barbara Broccoli, Baroness Beeban Kidron, Ben Bailey Smith (Doc Brown), Ben Drew (Plan B), Benedict Cumberbatch, Benjamin Zephaniah, Caroline Flack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Cleave, Chris O'Dowd, Clare Morpurgo, David Edgar, Sir David Hare, David Lan, David Morrissey, David Nicholls, David Oyelowo, Dawn O'Porter, Dinos Chapman, Dominic Cooper, Dougray Scott, Edna O’Brien, Elif Shafak, Emma Freud, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Gillian Slovo, Guy Garvey, Dame Harriet Walter, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Henry Porter, Hussein Chalayan, Jake Chapman, Jameela Jamil, Jamie Byng, Jason Isaacs, Jefferson Hack, Jeremy Thomas, Jesse Quin, Jim Carter, Joe Wright, John le Carré, John McCarthy, Jude Law, Juliet Stevenson, Kate Mosse, Ken Loach, Laura Bailey, Lauren Laverne, Lee Hall, Lisa Appignanesi, Livia Firth, Mark Haddon, Mark Rylance, Baroness Martha Lane Fox, Michael Bond, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Palin, Mike Leigh, Natalie Abrahami, Natasha Walter, Sir Nicholas Hytner, Nicole Farhi, Noel Clarke, Paloma Faith, Sir Patrick Stewart, Phyllida Lloyd, Rachel Weisz, Richard Curtis, Sir Richard Rogers, Riz Ahmed, Ruby Wax, Lady Ruth Rogers, Sabrina Guinness, Sam Mendes, Samantha Morton, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Samuel West, Sarah Solemani, Shami Chakrabarti, Sienna Miller, Stephen Daldry, Stephen Frears, Steve Coogan, Susie Orbach, Tess Morris, Tim Rice-Oxley, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Toby Jones, Tom Chaplin, Sir Tom Stoppard, Tracey Seaward, Dame Vivienne Westwood

Major Nick Coke, Raynes Park Salvation Army and Citizens UK

Stephen Hale OBE, Chief Executive, Refugee Action

With support from Good Chance, Help Refugees and Letters Live

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