Maurice Wren– Refugee Council Chief Executive.
Imagine your neighbour’s house is on fire. You hear the screams. When the fire-fighters arrive, instead of helping your neighbours escape, they board up the windows and doors. They pretend they can’t smell the smoke.
That’s exactly how our government and other European governments treat refugees in danger. It’s virtually impossible for most refugees to reach the UK safely and legally. When war breaks out, the Government deliberately closes down refugees’ legal options for international travel. Travel visas are refused and without visas, refugees aren’t allowed to board planes.
Other harsh rules stop refugees joining their loved ones who have already made it to safety in other countries and there simply aren’t enough resettlement places to go around.
That’s why they’re forced into smugglers’ hands. Forced to put their children onto rickety boats. If they do make it across the sea that has already claimed over 400 lives this year, they are faced down with barbed wire and tear gas.
There is a way out. But we need your help. Ask your MP to #LetThemFly now.
Of course it’s important for us to ‘put out the fire’ and stop conflicts in places like Syria, but while the house burns, we must help the people inside reach safety. We must offer escape routes.
And the Government has the chance to do just that. On 30th March at a special United Nations conference on Syrian refugees, countries like Britain have the chance to let them fly.
That would mean refugees could reach a safe place legally and safely, with a valid visa in their hands.
Please write to your MP to ask the Minister for Syrian refugees, Richard Harrington, to ensure the UK offers safe passage to refugees. Filling out our simple online form will only take a couple of minutes and it could make a big difference.
Now is our chance. On 30th March international leaders will make decisions affecting the lives of Syrian refugees. Your support could help save lives.
Thank you for speaking out for refugees.