Skip to main content

Asylum: Syria

Question for Home Office

UIN 214593, tabled on 17 November 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had on UNHCR's request for more resettlement places for Syrian Refugees in 2015-16; if she will make it her policy to expand the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme ahead of UNHCR's global pledging conference in December 2014; and whether she or another Minister will attend that conference.

Answered on

25 November 2014

With over 3.2 million Syrian refugees now in Syria’s neighbouring countries, the Government believes that humanitarian aid and actively seeking to end the conflict are the most effective ways for the UK to help the majority of those
displaced, rather than large scale resettlement. We have made our position on this clear in relevant discussions with international partners and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). We are aware that states have
responded to the crisis in different ways; it is right that the international community should consider all available means to relieve the suffering of Syrians displaced by the conflict.

To complement our humanitarian aid, we operate the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme to relocate the most vulnerable displaced Syrians who cannot be supported effectively long term in the region to the UK. The scheme is
based on need rather than fulfilling a quota; however, we expect it to help several hundred people over three years. This is in addition to our consideration of asylum claims lodged in the UK under our normal rules. However, we strongly believe that we should continue to focus on aid rather than resettlement as the best way for the UK to maximise our impact, and we therefore have no current plans to expand the scheme.

I am pleased to confirm that Karen Pierce, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN and Other International Organisations, Geneva will represent the UK at the UNHCR Global Resettlement Pledging Conference on 9 December 2014.

Answered by

Home Office