The Syrian Civil War, which has lasted for three years this March, forced refugee status onto masses of Syrian civilians. Prime Minister, David Cameron, told Members of Parliament, on the 29.01.2014 during the PMQ’s: “I think we are fulfilling our moral obligations to the people of Syria…I don’t believe that you can solve a refugee crisis of this scale when you’ve got almost half of the nine million population of Syria displaced or at risk of displacement with a quota system where countries are taking a few hundred refugees…Britain always plays the right role in these desperate humanitarian crises.”
In recent weeks the UK government has been reluctant to admit Syrian refugees into the UK. Currently, the government has administered humanitarian aid directly to refugees in the affected areas rather than offer asylum within the UK.
But with the upcoming elections next May, Conservative PM David Cameron is beginning to show a change of heart in terms of British acceptance of refugees. During the PMQ’s, Cameron stated that ‘I don’t believe that you can solve a refugee crisis of this scale when you’ve got almost half of the nine million population of Syria displaced or at risk of displacement with a quota system where countries are taking a few hundred refugees.’
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stated that Britain had a moral responsibility to help Syrian refugees, supported Cameron. The most underprivileged refugees including particularly the disabled and victims of sexual violence would be permitted asylum within the UK. However, the bracket definitions were left ambiguous. The “yardstick” by which “neediness” of Syrian refugees is to be measured was not clarified beyond those two categories. Additionally, there was no classification of length of stay either.
The government is sticking to its guns with the refusal to partake in a resettlement scheme run by the UN High Commissioner for refugees. This agency welcomed the government’s offer to provide asylum to a few hundred refugees, stated they would cooperate with them helping to identify the most vulnerable Syrian refugees.
As much as Cameron’s new resolution will be beneficial to Syrian refugees it seems to be a classic political “spin doctor” initiative. It appears to be a typical positive public relations stunt which seems to have been decided upon in order to gain public support for the Conservative party. But, perhaps that is too biased?
And yet, later in the week Cameron proclaimed that it is his priority to resolve the new threat of chemical weapons in Syria because he believes that is a much more pressing issue. It is perfectly understandable that chemical weapons are a major social threat. BUT, is it really more significant than the human beings put at risk for long political talks to commence especially, when they never actually reach any real resolution…?