Britain is looking at how it can take in vulnerable Syrian refugees, Foreign Secretary William Hague said today. Home Secretary Theresa May is work...
"If you can't stop the war then at least send us steel shelters so children have somewhere to hide, and send us some food so that people don't starve. The children in Syria are so hungry they are eating mud." These are the stark words of 12-year-old Syrian refugee Zeina to world leaders ahead of peace talks this week, which will determine her country's fate.
Globally, there are 100 million homeless. Last week saw some bizarre and disgusting news reported about their fate, which made me think about the wide range of reasons people become homeless, the various fates that await them - and the urgency with which we must safely and affordably house our populations.
All any of these families want is to go home, to return to what they knew, to resume normal lives. The only way this will happen is for the conflict to end, for peace talks to begin to allow a safe return to pick back up the lives left behind. No one is suggesting that is likely to be any time soon.
If Hermann's proposal gets approved in the near future, the "Berlin Wall of Pot" dividing the city's residents will come down, tourists will flock to the culture capital not just for the cheap living and turbulent nightlife but for cannabis cafes, and everyday Berliners will be able to pick up their ganja from a store counter, along with their milk and brötchen.
Another Syrian refugee, nine year old Samar from Daraa, drew a woman who was smiling and crying at the same time, holding a flower in one hand while her other hand was missing. When Samar talked, she alternated between sharing the feelings of fear and hopelessness she experienced in Syria and the security and stability she is now feeling in Lebanon.
It's just after midnight in Tripoli, Lebanon. I'm on my way home from a lovely evening in Beirut with friends. I am nearly home. The streets are empty. Out of the car window I catch a glimpse of a little figure. A young boy leaning on a car with one hand, dozing off with a bunch of roses and gardenia flower chains in another...
While the government is taking important steps both here and abroad to address violence against women, its harsh asylum policies are still leaving thousands of women a year exposed to unacceptable levels of violence here in the UK. This is a well documented problem which has existed for far too long.
There will always be poor and oppressed people, struggling, seeking safe havens. To stop people from seeking legitimate asylum from persecution is to engage in it and perpetrate it. If you had to stand by and watch Jewish children loaded onto wagons for the concentration camps, what would you do? What could you do? I have no muscle and a small voice. But I'm raising it in anger and frustration.
In the 1960s our country stole a nation and destroyed the lives of its people. Now is the time to put things right. The British government expelled the people of the UK-owned Chagos Archipelago almost 50 years ago with the purpose of allowing the US to build an airbase on the largest island, Diego Garcia. It has been host to America's largest overseas military base ever since.
Cyber City is notable because many of the people there are actually Palestinians from Syria, ie people who were historically already refugees from Palestine. In other words, they're 'double refugees'. If this wasn't bad enough, they're even caught in a sort of geopolitical administrative loophole. As Palestinian refugees they're supposed to fall under the care of the UN's Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and not the main refugee agency, the UNHCR. It means that if you're one of the 9,000 Palestinians from Syria who've fled to Jordan you will not be eligible for UNHCR aid.
Syria is the greatest refugee crisis of our time. The numbers are shocking. More than two million refugees have spilled into neighbouring countries, over half of whom are children. The UK's response to date has been serious and substantial... But given the scale and the gravity of the tragedy unfolding across the region, financial assistance alone will not be enough.