To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the (a) vulnerable person resettlement scheme to date; and what plans she has for future resettlement schemes after the UK leaves EU.
5 October 2020
Through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), we have worked closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to identify and resettle refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict who are in need of protection. Since the VPRS was expanded in September 2015, more than 19,750 refugees have found protection in the UK through this route and we are now close to meeting our full commitment. The Home Office continuously reviews the operation of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and uses feedback from delivery partners, stakeholders and refugees to better understand the outcomes of the refugees we resettle and to drive improvement to our processes.
In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We are evaluating how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe.