the refugee crisis: Britain is not overwhelmed and here is what you can do to help out

I’d like to firstly credit one of my beautiful friends for giving me this writing prompt (Ellie if you’re reading – you’re fab and thank you!). Politics and what’s going on in the country I live in is a topic that wavers in and out of my interest. I want to know about our government and what they are doing so I know who to vote for in future elections (cough ‘anyone but conservative/UKIP’ cough) but sometimes the negative things in politics can be quite depressing, however being ignorant isn’t always a good idea so I’ve decided to write a quick factual post on the current situation of the refugees fleeing from war-torn countries.

“Refugees are taking over. aaaAAAAH PROTECT THE JOBS!!! ”
This past few weeks the news, media and David Cameron are dead set on trying to convince everyone that our country is going to be overpopulated with refugees and that all of our jobs, homes and socks are going to be stolen by refugees. First of all, that is definitely not the case and if you know how biased and money grabbing the Conservatives can be, you’ll know that the media is twisting how the situation is and trying to brainwash you into fear.

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Our country is not a generous one, although the media and people around you might try to make you believe. “Why can’t other countries take in these refugees, why are they coming all the way to us?”. This year Britain has only taken in 143 Syrian refugees. However let’s compare that to other statistics:

  • Germany has welcomed about 100,000 Syrian refugees since 2011.
  • Britain only had 10,050 positive decisions last year. Sweden had 30,650.
  • France had 14,815 positive decisions last year.
  • Italy had 20,580 positive decisions.
  • The UK is one of the countries with the highest rejection rate for 2014. With 15,820 rejections out of 25,870 decisions.

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Kind of startling right? Why are we so damn picky about helping people? The refugees heading for Britain are such a tiny percentage of the amount of refugees trying to flee war-torn homelands and yet we act like we’re the most generous country in Europe and we want to ‘give up being kind’. We have a very stuck up society who doesn’t realise it’s flaws when it comes to helping human beings.
Some very useful blog posts I have found helping debunk the brainwashing the media is trying to spread on the refugee crisis include this honest and well spoken article on the British Red Cross site by Sophie Offord. Some facts from her post include:

  • Refugees and asylum seekers head to the UK mainly down to the fact they have family and friends they long to see again in the safety of the UK. It could also boil down to the fact they can speak English. If you were willing to risk your life to get away from danger wouldn’t you head somewhere that you have a good chance of surviving and being able to fit in?
  • In the UK only 0.24% of the population are made up of refugees and asylum seekers. That is a very tiny number despite what David Cameron wants to convince you.
  • Asylum seekers are five times more likely to head to Germany than the UK.

Another article I found includes this article written by Cahal Milmoin this article more claims made about the refugees are debunked, including extreme accusations like ‘the migrants are armed and dangerous’ – to date there have been no prosecutions of migrants/refugees or asylum seekers for such attacks, in fact there are more reports  of truckers and French police being brutal towards these people.

But of course despite all the proof, our government is still quite skeptical.

David Cameron, before giving in to the cries from the public demanding Cameron changes his views, described the refugees as ‘a swarm of people’. Making himself look very disgusting, the negative connotation behind ‘swarm’ (e.g insect swarms), very much shows the true colours of conservative views. They don’t care unless you’re born rich. Keep the rich, rich and keep the poor; you probably get the point.

The refugees will probably stay on the news for a good while now and personally it’s good that we are getting an insight on what is going on with them and their situation however next time you sit down and the media describes the country of being ‘overwhelmed’, remember that is a massive over exaggeration and that no innocent human being should be treated lesser.

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Interesting ways to help the refugees and help their voices be heard include signing petitions, sharing honest media and statistics and donating your time and money towards them. Here are a few of the links I have found:

The Jungle Library is a small bookshop that are taking in books and money donations to try to create a library in Calais. You can send second-hand books to the address on the blog page or even click the Donate button to donate money for books!

You can donate to Asylum Aid! They are working to secure protection for people seeking refuge in the UK.

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You can support Doctors of the World by donating or even looking into fundraising for them!

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The Refugees Welcome campaign is a petition website where you can sign petitions based on your postcode/local area to show David Cameron you want to help the refugees!

I hope this blog post helped increase awareness of the statistics behind the refugee crisis and maybe even link you to some interesting ways for you and your family to help. Please feel free to share this post!

Thanks for reading
Lenah x x

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