Oxfam: Stop violence, not refugees fleeing it

Oxfam says millions of Syrians are prevented from reaching safety due to increasingly hostile policies by rich countries around the world.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A Syrian man who lives in Cyprus meets his relatives after they arrived at a refugee camp at Kokkinotrimithia outside of the capital Nicosia. (February 4, 2017)

A report released on Monday by the international confederation of charities, Oxfam, warned that millions of Syrians are paying the price of hostile and restrictive policies of rich countries towards refugees.

Six years after the uprising against Bashar al Assad began, Oxfam said those fleeing the violence have had "doors slammed in their faces," with the US, UK and EU imposing rules which prevented them from reaching safety.

"A new international consensus is emerging to stop Syrians fleeing violence, rather than stopping the violence that is causing them to flee," said Oxfam's Syria Crisis Response Manager, Andy Baker.

"The result is civilians in the firing line and under crippling military siege, vulnerable refugees left with no resettlement options, and attempts to return Syrians to a conflict zone."

The report says there are approximately 78,000 people still trapped along the Syria-Jordan border, and hundreds of thousands more are prevented from entering Turkey.

Oxfam says the US and EU member states, including the UK, have changed or cancelled their refugee policies since the end of January.

The confederation called US President Donald Trump’s recent travel ban on Muslim-majority countries "another attempt to slam the door on thousands of vulnerable refugees who desperately need help."

Click here to read the full report.