EU must do more to help Syria’s refugees

EU must do more to help Syria’s refugees
(Brussels, 24 October 2012) Amnesty International has urged the European Union to play a more decisive role in the Syrian refugee crisis in response to the massive displacement of people caused by the current conflict.  
 “As a recent Nobel peace prize recipient, the EU is honour-bound to take decisive action to ensure refugees fleeing from Syria are protected.” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “At present only a fraction of Syrian refugees have sought protection in Europe, while many times their number are being hosted by Syria’s immediate neighbours”.
Amnesty International has appealed to the EU and its member states to take practical measures to help people fleeing Syria. These include: 
  • Ensuring access to protection and fair asylum procedures for all Syrian asylum-seekers arriving in the EU 
  • Providing a common EU approach to determining refugee claims
  • Lifting obstacles to safety, such as visa requirements and burdensome family reunification procedures 
  • Imposing a bar on returning Syrians to Syria or neighbouring countries
  • Resettling non-Syrian refugees who have been living in Syria
  • Donating generously to the UN Syria Regional Response Plan 
Continuing violence in Syria has cost more than 24,800 lives and displaced 1.2m people within the country. Over 350,000 refugees have crossed Syria’s borders. The UN predicts that by the end of the year 700,000 refugees will have fled to Syria’s neighbours. But European countries have to date received only 16,500 of them.   
For more information please contact:
Peter Clarke 
Media & Communications Officer
European Institutions Office
Amnesty International
Tel: +32 (0) 2 548 2773