Global crisis needs global solution

More than half the world's refugees are children

On the anniversary of the death of three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, Scottish Refugee Council is  calling on the UK Government to meet its moral obligation to help people fleeing conflict and violent persecution.

Last September, thousands of people took to the streets in cities across Europe to show their despair at the avoidable deaths and suffering of fellow human beings and to call on EU governments to take immediate action.

But one year on, the global situation is more grave than ever for people in need of refugee protection.

A lack of collective, coordinated action on the part of wealthy western nations has effectively left children as young as Alan Kurdi to fend for themselves.

Figures released today by Oxfam report that 5700 people have died on refugee and migrant routes since the start of 2016. That equates to one person dying almost every 80 minutes.

More than half of the world's refugees are children. Many are separated from their parents, alone, terrified and at very serious risk of harm and exploitation.

Gary Christie, Head of Policy at Scottish Refugee Council said:

“One year on from Alan Kurdi’s death we are still in the midst of the world’s most severe refugee crisis with millions of people, including many millions of children, displaced by conflict and at risk of exploitation across the world. 

It is deeply disappointing that the UK Government is not on track to meet even its own target of resettling 20,000 people from Syria by 2020. This is  the absolute minimum the UK Government can do.

Aside from creating more resettlement places for people from Syria, the UK government must also work on securing safe and legal routes for people fleeing conflict and persecution, particularly through the family reunion process for parents and children split up en route to safety. The lack of progress on this and the fact that deaths in transit are higher than ever this year is utterly shameful.”

As two major UN summits on the global refugee crisis take place in New York in mid September, Scottish Refugee Council calls on the UK Government to commit to welcoming more refugees and to act to protect all people on the move fleeing conflict and widespread violence.