This afternoon the Prime Minister pledged to resettle ‘up to 20,000 refugees’ from Syria over the course of this parliament.
In response, Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action said:
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s change of direction. But where is he going? The British people want their government to act now.
“We need an action plan with clear targets, starting now. It must be developed with local government and the voluntary sector. Up and down the country, people want to see refugees welcomed into their towns and cities. It must be properly funded, so that refugees receive the support they need to build independent lives in the UK.”
Stephen Hale, Refugee Action’s Chief Executive is available for interview.
For further information please contact the Refugee Action Media Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7952 1560. For out of hours enquires call 07703 609094.
Refugee Action’s experience of refugee resettlement
Refugee Action has been the leading charity in Britain supporting the resettlement of refugees for over thirty years. We were established to support refugees fleeing Vietnam in 1979 and supported the resettlement of thousands of refugees from Bosnia and Kosovo in the late 1990’s. We are currently the leading provider of the Gateway Resettlement Programme in the UK.
In our extensive experience, there are six essential components of a resettlement programme that will meet the needs of the refugees who will be given the opportunity to rebuild their lives in the UK.
A successful and sustainable resettlement programme must:
- Fund all essential costs such as health, education, community care and English classes
- Set up programmes with a focus on fostering independence and not creating dependency, and front loading support that is tailored to refugees’ particular needs
- Ensure refugees have access to mainstream, community-based housing upon arrival so that they can begin the process of integrating straightaway
- Provide support in a way that helps refugees access existing mainstream services and enhances these services’ ability to support the refugees, rather than replicating services or putting additional pressures on them
- Involve long-standing resident communities where refugees settle, through providing information and enabling positive relationships to form
- Enable local people to play a part in supporting refugees, with appropriate training and support