People in the UK among the world’s most welcoming to refugees, Amnesty survey says

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SHAFAQNA – British people are among the most welcoming to refugees fleeing conflicts and war, with three in 10 willing to accept asylum-seekers in their own homes, according to a global survey commissioned by Amnesty International.

The Refugees Welcome Index, based on a survey of more than 27,000 people across 27 countries, found out that people in the UK were the second-most willing to welcome refugees in their houses after China.

On top of that, another 47% of Brits said they would accept refugees into their neighbourhood and the vast majority (87%) would let refugees into the UK.

The Refugees Welcome Index ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 = all respondents would refuse refugees entry to the country and 100 = all respondents would accept refugees into their neighbourhood or home.

IMAGE: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Overall, 66% said their governments should be doing more to help refugees while 80% said they would accept refugees living in their country.

“These figures speak for themselves. People are ready to make refugees welcome, but governments’ inhumane responses to the refugee crisis are badly out of touch with the views of their own citizens,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty.

In Germany, which hosted 1.1 million asylum-seekers in 2015, a staggering 96% of respondents said they would accept refugees in their country.

China and the UK were first and third respectively on the Welcome Index, with Germany in second place.

“The Refugees Welcome Index exposes the shameful way governments have played short term politics with the lives of people fleeing war and repression. Governments must heed these results, which clearly show the vast majority of people ready and willing to make refugees welcome in their country,” Shetty said. 

“Governments cannot allow their response to the refugee crisis to be held hostage by headlines. Too often they use xenophobic anti-refugee rhetoric to chase approval ratings. This survey suggests they are not listening to the silent majority of welcoming citizens who take the refugee crisis personally.”

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