Britain to give emergency sanctuary for Syrians
UK to provide emergency sanctuary for vulnerable Syrians
Home Secretary Theresa May tells the Commons that the Government will be launching a new programme to provide “emergency sanctuary in the UK for displaced Syrians who are particularly vulnerable”
1:52PM GMT 29 Jan 2014
Britain’s programme to admit Syrian refugees will be targeted on the most vulnerable victims of the country’s brutal civil war, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.
In a Commons statement, Mrs May confirmed that the UK will provide emergency sanctuary to “several hundred” people forced to flee the fighting, including survivors of torture and sexual violence.
Her announcement came after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg disclosed last night that the Government had dropped its previous opposition to admitting refugees directly from the region.
Following pressure from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and some Tory backbenchers, David Cameron assured MPs at Prime Minister’s questions that the Government would now act with the “greatest urgency” to implement the new vulnerable person relocation scheme.
Mrs May stressed that there would be no quota for the number of refugees to be admitted and that it would operate in parallel to the refugee relocation programme run by the UNHCR – the United Nations refugee agency.
“We are determined to ensure that our assistance is targeted where it can have most impact on the refugees at greatest risk,” she said.
“Some of the worst abuses in the Syrian conflict involve the use of sexual violence, including in regime detention centres We will be providing emergency sanctuary to people who are most at risk, including victims of torture and violence.”