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World News

Christians need to step up so refugees aren't left to uncertain fates, says Amnesty International

by Hannah Tooley

Amnesty International is telling nations to do more as it launches a special eight point plan to respond to the refugee crisis.

It claims that only one tenth of the most vulnerable refugees are being resettled and 86 per cent of refugees are being hosted in developing countries.

It has also said that wealthy countries have offered resettlement places to only around a tenth of the 1.15 million people who need them, however developing counties are hosting millions of refugees with almost no support.

The eight point plan includes sufficient funding for the refugee crisis as well as fulfilling resettlement needs, safe and legal routes for refugees to use and taking action to prosecute gangs who traffic people around the world.

Speaking to Premier, Steve Symonds from Amnesty said that politicians calling for only Christian refugees to be taken in is unfair: "It's plainly a dangerous and counterproductive game that make those calls are playing.

"This country, rightly, calls for Christians around the world to have their rights to practice their religion respected and to be free of persecution.

"How on earth can we say to countries around the world that they must respect Christian rights, if we are to turn our back on the plight of refugees, including those of other faiths, who need our assistance now?"

Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said: "The unprecedented multiple global refugee crises are leaving millions of people in desperation, but the response of wealthy countries is a catastrophic failure.

"This is a pivotal moment which will define current world leaders' legacy for generations to come - history will judge them very harshly unless they change course.

"The international refugee protection regime drawn up as a crucial safeguard after World War II risks being left in tatters if world leaders continue in their deplorable failure to protect vulnerable people fleeing war and persecution.

"Refugees have an international right to seek and enjoy asylum."

He continued: "Instead of rising to the challenge of this unprecedented crisis, many governments have been busy devising ways to keep people outside their borders while thousands are dying at sea or enduring squalid conditions in the shadow of razor-wire fences.

"This is moral bankruptcy of the highest order."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Steve Symonds here:

Amnesty's 8 point plan:

  • Continuous, sufficient and predictable funding for refugee crises
  • Fulfilling all resettlement needs identified by the UN Refugee Agency
  • Safe and legal routes for refugees
  • Saving lives
  • Ensure access to territory for refugees arriving at borders
  • Combat xenophobia and racism:
  • Combat trafficking
  • Global ratification of the Refugee Convention and developing robust domestic refugee systems
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