Dave Prentis, UNISON’s General Secretary has condemned the government’s insensitive attitude towards the refugee crisis in Europe and called on members to contact their MPs* to put more pressure on ministers to ensure that the UK does everything possible to help the thousands of families fleeing the violence in the Middle East and Africa.
Speaking today he said, “The daily images of desperate men, women and children fleeing the escalating violence have shocked the world.
“Yet the government continues to display a completely insensitive attitude towards the refugee crisis. It is only through pressure that the Prime Minister has now reluctantly agreed to accept some refugees.
“It is inconceivable that the pleas of these desperate people should be ignored. We can no longer sit idly by. Thousands are risking their lives everyday to get to a place of safety. But if they survive the perilous journey, they are forced to wait in dire, inhumane conditions while Europe’s leaders argue about what must be done.
“The refugees have had no choice but to head to Europe and it is our duty to accept as many as we can and not criminalise them. The government must help find a solution to the crisis in Syria and Africa to avoid an even greater humanitarian disaster from happening.”
UNISON believes that the UK has both a moral and legal obligation under international and EU law to receive refugees and should significantly scale up its resettlement programme.
*If you don’t know who your MP is or what to find out how to contact them this website will help. All you need is your postcode. http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/