Refugee Action has today called on EU leaders to prioritise providing ways for refugees to reach safety, rather than creating new ways to keep them out.
As European and African leaders meet at the Valletta Summit, the charity says too little has been done so far to provide safe and legal routes for those fleeing conflict and persecution.
With EU leaders set to follow the summit with an emergency meeting tomorrow (Thursday 12 November 2015) to assess Europe’s response to the refugee crisis, Refugee Action is urging David Cameron to take a lead in ensuring Europe scales up its efforts.
Refugee Action Chief Executive Stephen Hale says: “Europe still hosts a tiny proportion of the world’s refugees, with 86% located in developing countries. The top priority for EU leaders should be offering refugees protection – not building more barriers.
“Over 3,000 people have drowned crossing the Mediterranean so far this year. The UK and the rest of the EU must offer the men, women and children who are fleeing unimaginable horrors, the chance to reach safety without risking their lives.
“Leaders should be using these meetings to address the root causes of why people are forced to flee; not creating new ways to stop people reaching safety in the midst of the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two.”