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The largest number of Syrian refugees being resettled in Britain arrive today - Dr Hannah Jones

The largest number of the Syrian refugees being resettled in Britain following the Prime Minister’s promise to take 20,000 Syrian refugees over 5 years arrive today (Tuesday). Dr Hannah Jones, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick comments,

"1,000 refugees are expected to arrive through this scheme before Christmas, hosted by around 45 local authorities across the UK. Britain will be welcoming refugees arriving from Syria, and hopefully remembering that they are fleeing the kind of violent attacks Europe is currently mourning and in fear of following the recent terrible attacks in Paris. We must also think about the everyday violence caused by wars and inequalities that lead to deaths crossing borders and unacceptable living conditions in Britain and elsewhere.

"The government’s extension of the scheme to resettle refugees from UN camps near Syria was a direct result of public outpouring of support for people fleeing war and crossing borders in search of help and in desperate circumstances. It is worth noting that people continue to die attempting to reach safe countries, with boatloads of people – including children – drowning in the Mediterranean sea each week. Others, who have reached the UK and other safe countries and applied for refugee status, can remain in limbo for many months or years, prevented from working while their claim is decided, often without the means to feed themselves or their children. We should be aware of how violence against refugees and other vulnerable people have become an everyday condition of life in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. In the hours after the terrorist attacks in Paris this weekend, there was a large fire in ‘The Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais. Initially social media reports suggested this might be an arson attack as a reprisal following the Paris shootings. In a sense the truth was more worrying because it was more banal: the fire broke out – as did one earlier this month in the same camp – as a result of an accident due to the need for improvised heating and light in the cramped and unsafe living conditions to which 6,000 people in the Calais camp are exposed

Alex Buxton
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