EU told to open its borders to Syrian refugees
The United Nations and the European Commission have urged the European Union to accept the temporary settlement of Syrian refugees inside the EU borders.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has registered more than 2.1 million refugees in Syria’s four neighboring countries, namely Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, the Guardian reported on Monday.
The UNHCR office said that hundreds of thousands more people are living outside Syria’s borders with no access to aid.
The UNHCR, European Commission and British Refugee Council warned that the Syrian refugee crisis would become a humanitarian and political catastrophe if the EU does not open its doors.
The three bodies also called on the EU leaders to acknowledge the crisis posed by conflict in Syria and relax their immigration policies.
The appeal came after the UN issued an urgent call to resettle 30,000 of the most vulnerable Syrians worldwide. However, there has not been a positive response.
“I have been repeatedly calling on all countries, particularly in Europe and the extended Middle East, to allow Syrians to access asylum and enjoy quality protection,” said UN Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
Michele Cercone, spokesman for the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, said that if “all member states would get involved into an EU resettlement exercise and make available a proportionate number of places, we would be able to resettle thousands people more from refugee camps.”
Crisis has gripped Syria since March 2011. According to statistics compiled by the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced due to the turmoil.