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'Island should reconsider taking in Syrian refugees'

MHK says situation unresolved - but CM says there will be no change

An MHK has called on the Council of Ministers to reconsider its stance on offering Syrian refugees a home on the Island.

In 2017 the Chief Minister turned down a request by four local charities, who were backed by a thousand-signature petition, to accept 25 displaced Syrians on to Manx soil.

Instead, Howard Quayle announced a donation was made of just under a million pounds to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

At the time Mr Quayle argued housing the refugees here wouldn’t be possible with the level of support and specialist assistance needed to help them.

Since its commitment in 2014 to resettle Syrian asylum seekers, the UK government has found homes for 11,000 refugees, and plans to meet its 20,000 target by 2020.

The scheme is focused on re-settling ‘vulnerable persons’, which includes the survivors of torture, those with medical needs, children etc.

Within the project, Northern Ireland has found homes for 1,096 refugees, Scotland 2,000, and Wales 397.

Revisiting the issue on the Island, Garff member Daphne Caine has tabled two written questions for Howard Quayle, asking whether the Council of Ministers would reconsider the decision.

She’s also asking how much support has been given to charities who aid the plight of Syrian refugees over the last two years.

However, in his answer, published today (Tues 18/09), the Chief Minister confirmed there are no plans to reconsider the decision not to accept Syrian refugees on the Isle of Man.

Mr Quayle says the Council of Ministers won't be changing its stance any time soon, but insists the Government will continue to look for ways to support Syrian and other refugees by providing humanitarian aid.

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