Zrinka Bralo, Citizens UK spokesperson said: “We believe that a consequence of increased air strikes in Syria, which the UK will now be directly involved with, could be a further increase in the number of civilians forced to flee their homes. We recognise the huge financial contribution committed by the government to provide aid in the region, but we know from the experts working in the refugee camps that there are hundreds of thousands of innocent people in desperate need of resettlement.
“We call on the government to increase the number of refugees the UK will resettle from 20,000 to 50,000 over the next five years via the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. These are families with severely ill children, victims of torture and sexual abuse. Even if they wanted to, they are unable to make the perilous journey to the safety of Europe on their own. Last winter children died avoidable deaths in refugee camps because of freezing temperatures; the need to act is urgent.
“As the Prime Minister commits the UK to military action we ask that he also recognises our obligation to help Syrian families whose lives have been ripped apart by the regime, by Da’esh and now by the impact of increased air strikes. We have a proud tradition of offering sanctuary to those in need, and communities across the UK are ready and willing to welcome Syrian refugees into their neighbourhoods.”