8th August 2017
A Green Party MEP is calling for greater clarity around how refugees are chosen for relocation to the UK under the Government’s flagship Vulnerable Persons Relocation Programme.
New figures, published by the Independent today, show that only 5.2% of the refugees resettled under the scheme between January 2014 and April 2017 were registered as disabled – despite an estimated 22% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan having serious impairments. 
This is partly thought to be a result of councils selecting the types of families they want to resettle, and excluding the most at-risk groups.
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, says:
“The British Government has repeatedly insisted that it is helping the ‘most vulnerable’ Syrian refugees. However, this new data shows that isn’t always the case. While its flagship scheme, the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Programme will throw a crucial lifeline to 20,000 refugees, we urgently need greater transparency on how individuals are selected for relocation to the UK. Who decides which refugees get onto the programme, and what role do local authorities play in this process?
As a result of the Government’s crippling spending cuts, local authorities are on their knees. They are struggling to provide the funds or resources desperately needed to support existing residents with disabilities, let alone welcome resettled refugees with serious impairments. If the Government does not provide clear guidance and generous financial support, the resettlement scheme will fail to achieve its stated goal – once again allowing those who most desperately need its help to slip through the net.”