Amnesty International report slams EU over failing Syria refugees

Amnesty International report slams EU over failing Syria refugees

PanARMENIAN.Net - European leaders should be ashamed by the paltry numbers of refugees from Syria they are prepared to resettle, human rights group Amnesty says, according to BBC News.

Only 10 member states have offered to take in refugees and even then only 12,000, it complains. The UK and Italy have offered no places at all, it adds.

But the UK government says it is focusing on the region and is one of the biggest international donors.

European Union aid has reached $1.7bn, officials say. The bloc says its priority is providing help to Syria's internally displaced people, now thought to number 6.5 million, and those hosted in other countries.

The UN estimates almost 2.3 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries since March 2011.

Most Syrians who have fled their country have travelled to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. But some 6,000 this year have reached EU member state Bulgaria, which has appealed for financial help from Brussels in responding to the influx.

In September, Sweden became the first EU member state to offer Syrian refugees permanent residence. More than 14,000 Syrians have sought asylum there in the past two years. Germany has resettled 1,000 refugees and plans to admit another 9,000.

The UK says it has no plans to resettle or provide temporary protection to Syrian refugees, although individual asylum claims are considered on their merits.

"Instead, we are giving as much help as possible to people in the region. Our $817m pledged so far is more than the other EU member states combined," a spokesman told the BBC.

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