As the UK news covers the approach of the US government attitude to refugees, it is spending very little time interrogating its own paltry record on helping children and adults fleeing violence and human rights violations. An example of this is the UK government arguing that trafficked Europeans may have to pay to stay in the UK. These are victims of modern slavery being asked by the 5th largest global economy to pay for help, which puts them in a vulnerable position again.
What about the UK approach to children who are refugees? The media has heavily criticised the approach of the USA and I routinely see press about this. There has been little if any coverage of what the UK is doing. Well, only 20 unaccompanied children have been allowed into the UK over the past two years under a scheme to resettle vulnerable refugee children from conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa. Even local councils have said they have capacity to help more children. As conditions in refugee camps across Europe continue to deteriorate and become breeding grounds for further exploitation of refugees, it is offensive that the UK government continues to do so little – especially given it’s part in most of the conflicts in the regions concerned.
And why does the UK spend so much time looking at what the US is doing instead? Surely not the traditional colonial approach of shining the light elsewhere to detract from its own immorality. It’s amazing that this strategy still works. The majority of the world’s refugees are hosted and supported by countries in turmoil who barely register on the economic powerhouse scale. These countries are: Bangladesh, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Gaza, Jordan, Sudan. There are almost 70 million displaced people globally, largely due to war, atrocities, violence fuelled by the economic demands of highly industrialised economies and because of political game-planning to converge wealth and resources for the few. It is unacceptable that the media continues to perpetuate the myth that it is not an issue the UK is part of.