With wars ongoing in Syria, Iraq and Libya, millions of refugees have poured into Europe to escape the fighting and reach safety. European countries have been tasked with helping these people, offering them asylum, and supporting them by providing homes, education, healthcare, etc. The previous government agreed to accept 4,000 Syrian refugees a year over a course of 5 years (20,000 in total), and so it had to make arrangements to accommodate them. Local councils have a big role to play in making arrangements for these refugees. Considering the number of refugees that are going to be accepted, however, the government has looked for ways to allow other people and organisations to contribute, complementing the work of local councils.
The Community Sponsorship Scheme was launched in July 2016, providing the means for ‘community groups including charities, faith groups, churches and businesses to take on the role of supporting resettled refugees in the UK’. The timing on this one, however, is key because when the government announced its intention to “establish schemes” in 2017, it was implying that it would do so once elected, in other words after June 2017. Since the Community Sponsorship Scheme was already up and running, we can’t attribute this work to the present government. Instead, we are looking to see if any work has been done to establish new schemes. Since there has yet to be any government action on this one, we are marking this off as ‘not started’.
Want to know more?
- UK to accept 20,000 refugees from Syria by 2020 – BBC
- Migrant crisis: What is the UK doing to help? – BBC
- Refugee crisis explained – CAFOD
- Community sponsorship scheme launched for refugees in the UK – Gov.uk
- Background to the Sponsorship Scheme – The Catholic Church of England and Wales
- Third of councils in England refuse to take in Syrian refugees – The Independent