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Syrian Refugees To Arrive In Britain, Charities Hope They'll Be 'First Of Many'

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Human rights groups have expressed hope that the handful of Syrian refugees set to arrive in the UK tomorrow will be the "be the first of many.”

The Independent reported that around a dozen will arrive in Britain on Wednesday.

The group were chosen by a government scheme aimed at targeting the most vulnerable refugees from the country's bloody civil war, which is now entering its fourth year.

The Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme was announced by Nick Clegg in January, a government u-turn after pressure from Labour, and an open letter from human rights activists, signed by 25 organisations.

syria refugee

Vulnerable Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in the UK tomorrow

It will allow several hundred Syrian into Britain, including people suffering the after-effects of torture, orphans, those will severe illnesses and girls at risk of sexual violence.

Until that announcement the government had repeatedly refused to participate in the resettlement to the UK of any Syrian refugees, instead saying that it was “fulfilling its obligations” by committing £600m in aid to help refugees in the region.

The UK has not signed up to take a quota of refugees under the United Nations sanctuary scheme to resettle up to 30,000 vulnerable Syrians in Western nations, but Clegg said the UN High Commission for Refugees backed the Government's plans.

Amnesty International UK’s Refugee Programme Director, Jan Shaw, said she was "hugely relieved that some of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria are finally being granted lifesaving asylum here in the UK.

“We welcome the government’s decision to uphold its moral responsibility to offer this vital help.

“With people literally starving to death in some besieged areas, the situation in Syria is truly horrendous, 5,000 desperate people flee Syria every day – 75% of them women and children – often arriving with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

“It took a long time for the UK to finally agree to take in a small number of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees.

"The people arriving here today should be the first of many.”

David Hanson, Labour’s shadow immigration minister, told the Indy it was “shameful that the most vulnerable refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict have had to wait four months for help all because David Cameron insisted on a parallel system to that run by the UN.”

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