- Title: Amnesty slams rich nations for "shirking" refugee responsibilities
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY GENERAL, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, SALIL SHETTY, SAYING: "Leaders have failed us, we now need to have a plan B. Our plan B essentially is to say that there has to be a new system of global responsibility sharing. We can not expect 30 countries to....there's 200 countries or so in the world, you can not expect 30 countries, of which ten of them are bearing more than 50 percent of the responsibility. If we just share this out, say 60 to 90 countries share the responsibility, we could be in a very different situation. It's a big problem but it's a very solvable problem."
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 20:55
- Keywords: Amnesty International refugee crisis Salil Shetty migrants
- Location: ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP AND HADALAT, JORDAN/ ADASEVCI AND SID, SERBIA / TORONTO, CANADA / LESBOS, GREECE / LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP AND HADALAT, JORDAN/ ADASEVCI AND SID, SERBIA / TORONTO, CANADA / LESBOS, GREECE / LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00552L81TZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Amnesty International accused wealthy countries of showing a complete absence of leadership in the refugee crisis, in its annual report released on Tuesday (October 4).
Just 10 countries are sheltering 56 percent of the world's refugees and they are among the poorest nations, accounting for less than 2.5 percent of the world GDP, the report says.
"I think the irony of the situation is that ten countries who happen to be in the neighbourhood of where the refugees are coming from are hosting more than 56 percent of the refugee population in the world. And the richest countries in the world, who can absorb many more refugees are doing close to nothing," said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty.
"And the UK is a rather sad example of this, that since 2011 the UK has only taken about 8,000 refugees, whereas a country like Jordan, which is much smaller, is ten times smaller than the UK, has 655,000 Syrian refugees," he added.
Amnesty is proposing that the burden of hosting refugees is shared out fairly, according to each country's land mass, wealth and current population.
Shetty said it was time for the world to come up with what he called a "plan B" for dealing with the world's 21 million refugees.
"If we just share this out, say 60 to 90 countries share the responsibility, we could be in a very different situation. It's a big problem but it's a very solvable problem," he said.
"Once you share it out in a much more even basis, the numbers are not so big. You know you are talking about 0.03 percent of the world's population," he added.
According to recent U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) data, neither China, Russia or any Gulf states have resettled Syrian refugees since the war began.
Amnesty highlights Germany and Canada as good examples of leaders putting pledges into practice and urged other wealthy nations to follow suit.
"It's not a question of just talking about numbers because behind these numbers are real people. I think what we are finding really frustrating is that this is a big problem on the one hand but it's a problem that can be solved," said Shetty.
The UNHCR has said the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide this year was likely to have "far surpassed" a record 60 million in 2015, including 20 million refugees, driven by the Syrian war and other drawn-out conflicts.
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