Govt to look again at resettling refugees

By by Jackie Turley jackie.turley@iomtoday.co.im Twitter: @iomJackie in Politics

The Council of Ministers will review whether the island could take in vulnerable Syrian refugees under the UK’s resettlement scheme.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle made the commitment as he accepted a petition presented on Monday by four charities.

The petition, with more than 1,000 signatures, calls on the government to reconsider taking in ’a fair share’ of Syrian refugees that have fled war and persecution through the UK’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

Campaigners say it would mean about 25 refugees coming to live in the Isle of Man by 2020.

Mr Quayle said while there was a ’clear desire’ in the community to help it ’is not simply a case of opening our doors to accept a relatively small number of refugees’.

’There are many factors to consider and our focus must remain on providing support in the most effective way possible,’ he said. ’Our current approach is to direct funds to established appeals operated by respected and experienced charities that already have people on the ground. However, I think it is appropriate for the new Council of Ministers to review the direction provided by the previous government and we will look again at what is a complex and highly emotive issue.’

The petition was presented by representatives of the One World Centre, Amnesty International Isle of Man, Refugees Welcome Isle of Man and Manx Support Refugees.

They have compiled a list of more than 50 individuals, charities, church groups, businesses and other organisations committed to providing practical or financial help.

Since 2013 the Council of Ministers’ International Development Committee has given £544,417 to charities supporting Syrian refugees.

In June former Chief Minister Allan Bell said the island could not provide the level of support and specialist help needed to offer them a home.

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FightTheFear · 23 days ago · Report

Another IOMToday comments section lacking in even a single ounce of compassion for those who's life's have been decimated by war. It also seems to be entirely void of facts, logic or reason and full of fear, conjecture and caps lock. I'm pretty sure sending your fellow Islanders to a war zone, keeping humans in need away and bemoaning how your privileged quality of life will be affected are not the answer.

Clock Weights · 24 days ago · Report

I've got a better idea,Why don't the 1000 people who signed the petition move to Syria instead?

Chris · 24 days ago · Report

1000 people sign a petition and MHK's shame they take little notice of the economy there is not one Department that has its full Budget available Jobs are leaving and things are getting worse. We have our own who need help or there would be no need for a food bank. The Island is failing we need to sort our problems first . The Syrian refugees should be left to the UK who have the resources to look after them, and the problems that they bring with them. An island culture is not suited to them

anno · 24 days ago · Report

it wont just be 25 they will keep coming, I don't mean to sound nasty but we cant handle the people we have here now never mind getting more and are they going to learn English?????????????

Clock Weights · 24 days ago · Report

A petition signed by over 1000 people has been handed in supporting the taking in of Syrian refugees. I would suggest that this would indicate that the remaining 79000 residents of this beautiful island would rather we didn't!

Onchan Resident · 24 days ago · Report

In the long term this will only lead to trouble, you see this in other countries. How would a UK person feel that has a WP rejected and then 25 foreign nationals are brought in with benefits? How can that be right? Collect money and direct it to where there are proper recourses this is the help we can provide. Lets also be realistic, it would not be 25, they will want other family members etc. to join them, then the babies start arriving etc. and so it goes on. This is not the right place.

anon · 24 days ago · Report

Keep em out.

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