Faith leaders urge new PM to accept more refugees

boat 998966 1920sMore than 100 faith leaders – including those from the United Reformed Church – have written to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking him to honour a commitment towards welcoming refugees.

The open letter refers to a commitment made by the Home Office on 17 June when it announced that the UK will welcome up to 5,000 refugees between 2020-2021, following the expiration of the current resettlement programmes.

In the letter published by The Guardian on 26 July, the leaders seek assurances from the new Prime Minister that he will “ensure this recent announcement is not a one-off, but rather the start of a lasting commitment by the UK to welcome its share of people seeking sanctuary globally."

The leaders also suggest that the number of refugees being allowed to resettle in the UK could be increased. 

“We believe that the UK can and must resettle more refugees. The Refugee Council, British Red Cross and others recently called for resettlement to be expanded to at least 10,000 refugees each year,” the letter states. “Today, there are families living in refugee camps who may be there for generations. There are people in conflict zones whose lives are in constant danger.

“There are children surviving in carparks and on the side of motorways in Europe; preyed on by traffickers and others who seek to do them harm. These are people who deserve a chance to rebuild their lives and to become part of British society, like so many refugees have before them.”

Read the letter and full list of signatories here.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay