Amnesty Says Britain “Complacent” in its Response to Refugee Crisis

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)


Britian’s Home Affairs Committee published a report on Wednesday that suggested to the European Union to create an agreement with Libya that will reduce the number of refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Amnesty International said it is not possible for Europe to work with Libya at that capacity as the official Libyan government, known as the Government of National Accord (GNA), in Tripoli does not have sufficient control over its borders.

“An EU deal with Libya to tackle people smuggling is very dangerous and fails to address the absence of any effective government with which to deal,” said Amnesty.

The UK Program Director for Refugees of Amnesty International, Steve Symonds, raised concerns about the British recommendation. Symonds appealed to the EU member states asking them “not (to) perpetuate the horrific human rights abuses from which refugees and migrants in Libya are so desperate to escape, by striking unsafe deals with a country itself plagued by widespread lawlessness.”

Struggling European countries like Greece, says Amnesty, should not be left to take care of the refugee crisis alone.

Amnesty is calling on the British government to take on “more leadership and responsibility” by responding the the humanitarian needs of the refugees, fleeing violence, oppression and torture. Instead the British government seems to be looking for a scapegoat avoiding its humanitarian instincts.

“Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, Britain hosts less than 1 percent of the world’s refugees and that is just not good enough.”

Amnesty is hopeful that at September’s UN summit on refugees Britian will “rise to its responsibilities.

In a report published by the Home Affairs Committee Migration Crisis criticised Chancellor Philip Hammond, Britain’s former foreign secretary, for dealing with the refugee crisis in a “complacent” way.

“These figures show many local authorities are not pulling their weight in resettling Syrian refugees, and there is scant evidence that the government is on track to meet its commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrians by 2020,” said the report.

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