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The refugee crisis: official MNHQ thread to discuss next steps for a campaign

(140 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Sep-15 14:55:46

Hello

Following on from previous threads (here and here), we've spent a couple of days looking in to this. As you can imagine, lots of the organisations working on this are extremely busy at the moment so it's taken us a little while to pin down some relevant info - sorry for the delay.

On search and rescue in the Med: the UK government now contributes what several organisations say is a pretty sizeable package of resources to the EU's Mediterranean search and rescue effort. One organisation told us that 'the UK has totally stepped up; we now have more resources in the water than any other EU country'. The thinking seems to be that given the size of the Med, and the desperately unsafe boats/dinghies that are being used, there is just no way to guarantee that people will not drown; the consensus seems to be that the best focus would be on providing safer routes to countries of refuge in the EU, and a better welcome for refugees once they're here.

That doesn't mean we can't focus on search and rescue if you still think we should. There are organisations like Medicins sans Frontieres and MOAS, who are using donations to run their own search and rescue missions, and we can give them a big push and help you to encourage more private donations to them. But it's worth noting that most organisations in the field seem to think that if there is an insufficiency in EU search and rescue, it's not because of the UK government.

There is also a current initiative by Save the Children that we could swing behind, and perhaps do some joint campaigning on. It's based on a five-point plan of action for EU governments, calling for the following:

- maintaining search and rescue, and making sure EU operations have adequate resources and the right mandate (ie that they concentrate on saving lives, not on border protection);
- providing safe and legal routes into Europe for refugees, with a particular emphasis on the rights and safety of children;
- providing proper reception and support for refugees in EU countries, including minimum standards for things like shelter, medical treatment, legal advice, and access to health and education facilities;
- an effective, balanced and mandatory relocation and resettlement agreement for refugees, involving all EU countries (eg mandatory quotas for numbers each country must take); and
- tackling the root causes of unsafe migration. This involves things like putting international pressure on the warring parties in Syria to end the conflict; supporting Syria's neighbouring countries (where most refugees from Syria are living, often in camps) by fully funding the Regional Refugee and Resilience plan (currently only 40% funded); and assisting the World Food Programme to re-start its food aid programme in Jordan, which was recently suspended due to lack of money.

Save the Children are also asking the UK government to commit to taking in 3000 unaccompanied child refugees, who sadly are already in Europe without any adult protection.

Let us know your thoughts working with Save the Children on these two things (the 5-point plan, and asking the UK government to commit to taking 3000 unaccompanied child refugees from within the EU). It seems like a comprehensive proposal to us, but of course ultimately it's up to you.

We've also got this page full of links to various actions you can take if you want to do something on an individual basis.

Thanks
MNHQ

overthemill Fri 11-Sep-15 15:20:31

Yes I support the Save the Children initiative and would like MN to get behind this and ask UK Government to take in 3000 child refugees - but I'd like more refugees too if possible

claig Fri 11-Sep-15 15:31:28

'asking the UK government to commit to taking 3000 unaccompanied child refugees from within the EU'

Can you ask the UK government what is being done about the millions of refugees in camps in Lebanon and Jordan who have had the value of their food vouchers cut by half or have had all help ended because the UN is short of money to help them? This has been known about for months.

"The World Food Programme (WFP) will halve the value of food vouchers given to Syrian refugees in Lebanon this month and may cut all help for the 440,000 Syrians in Jordan in August, the cash-strapped UN agency has said."

www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jul/01/syria-refugees-food-vouchers-cut-lebanon-jordan-wfp-un

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Sep-15 15:34:42

claig

'asking the UK government to commit to taking 3000 unaccompanied child refugees from within the EU'

Can you ask the UK government what is being done about the millions of refugees in camps in Lebanon and Jordan who have had the value of their food vouchers cut by half or have had all help ended because the UN is short of money to help them? This has been known about for months.

"The World Food Programme (WFP) will halve the value of food vouchers given to Syrian refugees in Lebanon this month and may cut all help for the 440,000 Syrians in Jordan in August, the cash-strapped UN agency has said."

www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jul/01/syria-refugees-food-vouchers-cut-lebanon-jordan-wfp-un

Claig, this is covered explicitly by point 5 of the Save the Children plan that we're asking you whether you want to support:

'- tackling the root causes of unsafe migration. This involves things like putting international pressure on the warring parties in Syria to end the conflict; supporting Syria's neighbouring countries (where most refugees from Syria are living, often in camps) by fully funding the Regional Refugee and Resilience plan (currently only 40% funded); and assisting the World Food Programme to re-start its food aid programme in Jordan, which was recently suspended due to lack of money.'

claig Fri 11-Sep-15 15:36:20

Thanks, I didn't know that was part of the Save the Children Plan. I support it.

catsrus Fri 11-Sep-15 15:41:42

Great idea to get behind the Save the Children plan. Fully support this.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Fri 11-Sep-15 15:42:17

Save The Children initiative looks good (as good as any in the circs, I know no one has magic wands).

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Fri 11-Sep-15 15:42:59

Sorry, ie I support MN aligning with Save The Children.

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 11-Sep-15 16:10:39

I support the alignment with Save the Children.

antimatter Fri 11-Sep-15 16:23:28

Save the Children are also asking the UK government to commit to taking in 3000 unaccompanied child refugees, who sadly are already in Europe without any adult protection.

Do we know how did they arrive at this figure?

SerendipityDooDah Fri 11-Sep-15 16:31:39

I think it would be very appropriate for Mumsnet to support the Save the Children plan.

SeamstressfromTreacleMineRoad Fri 11-Sep-15 16:32:20

I support getting behind the Save the Children proposals

catzpyjamas Fri 11-Sep-15 16:42:26

I also support getting behind the Save the Children campaign

Tornupinside Fri 11-Sep-15 16:49:52

Does anyone know how I could find out who will be looking after the children?! I'm just wondering if there will be an appeal for Arabic speaking/ families with Arab roots and links to foster these children?

Tiredoftiredness Fri 11-Sep-15 17:07:07

Agree the save the children initiative sounds good, I'd support MN supporting it!

tribpot Fri 11-Sep-15 17:07:30

Save the Children look to have a solid plan, and they feel like a natural partner for Mumsnet. I know we aren't all parents, and we aren't solely moved by the plight of children (and indeed parents) in this crisis, but this seems to fit well.

coffeeisnectar Fri 11-Sep-15 17:09:40

Fully support the save the children plan. The thought of kids being alone in a strange country with no support, no home or safety is heart breaking.

RhubarbRhubarbRhubarb Fri 11-Sep-15 17:10:29

I would support MN backing Save the Children and their plan.

PolterGoose Fri 11-Sep-15 17:15:18

Yes, I'd support this.

slicedfinger Fri 11-Sep-15 17:19:28

I agree with supporting the Save the Children plan.

Isitmebut Fri 11-Sep-15 17:19:56

Looking through Save the Children looks right in so many ways, as they both need help now and could one day be Syria's future.

Accepting the 3,000 already in Europe is clearly against UK government policy, but no one can say the children set off on their own, and need help now, for whatever reason - a noble cause.

TeaPleaseLouise Fri 11-Sep-15 17:23:08

Yes, fully support Mumsnet backing the Save the Children plan.

ThomasRichard Fri 11-Sep-15 17:26:56

Yes I'd support the Save the Children campaign.

Youarentkiddingme Fri 11-Sep-15 17:31:48

I'd also support this.

Robertaquimby Fri 11-Sep-15 17:36:46

I think backing the Save the Children campaign is a great idea.

Thank you Mumsnet.

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