UK can and must meet commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees, says Refugee Action

Last updated October 30, 2015Press release

Refugee Action says doubt must be replaced by action to meet the needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable people in response to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s concerns over the UK’s capacity to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.

Paul Hook, Advocacy Manager at Refugee Action, says: “The government’s pledge to help 20,000 Syrian refugees was a direct response to the huge groundswell of public sympathy towards refugees fleeing to Europe over the course of the summer.

“Refugee Action believes this commitment can and must be met. If the proper systems and plans are put in place now then we see no reason why we cannot ensure the successful resettlement of those who have fled the horrors of war and persecution.”

Refugee Action, the UK’s leading charity on refugee resettlement highlights six essential components of a resettlement programme that, if executed properly, will meet the needs of refugees and give them 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
  • 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.

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact the Refugee Action press office.