Immediately restore rescue operations in the Mediterranean and accept more refugees.

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Immediately restore rescue operations in the Mediterranean and accept more refugees.

This petition had 5,558 supporters

We call on the UK Government to accept responsibility and show leadership and compassion in the current refugee crisis.

"I had to pick and choose who to save, the mother drowning or the children who couldn't swim, or the father drowning because his whole family was clinging onto him. Yesterday, we managed to rescue 242 people in total, but over 50 died. I saw them die. It was horrendous. We are broken, physically and psychologically. And I'm ashamed of Europe." - Oscar Camps, volunteer lifeguard on Lesbos island

The undersigned are asking the UK Government to step up, show leadership and recognise its responsibility in the current crisis. Volunteers on the Aegean islands are fighting a desperate battle to save the thousands of refugees arriving on rubber boats every week from drowning. Europe looks on. Today, bodies of drowned children are washing ashore Lesbos island

I have lived in London for over a decade and I feel as British as I am Greek. I've seen the desperation of refugees in my home country and the UK's reluctance to do anything to help. I have seen the devastation of those losing their loved ones at sea after fleeing war. This is why I started this petition. 

 In September, more than 440,000 UK citizens signed a parliamentary petition urging the UK Government to accept its fair share of refugees. The Government responded with a commitment to resettle a mere 20,000 Syrian refugees over 5 years. The UK is therefore accepting less than 1% of the share of refugees arriving in Europe. In comparison, more than 500,000 refugees have arrived in the bankrupt Greek state in 2015 alone. 

These people have no way back: they are fleeing war. On October 25th, ex Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that our decisions to take part in the Iraq War was based on false intelligence and may have contributed to the rise of ISIS and the current instability in the region. The UK has also been involved in illegal airstrikes over Syria despite a parliamentary decision not to do so. 66% of refugees in the current crisis come from Syria. 

At the same time as the crisis intensifies and seas become rough over the winter months, the UK has taken the catastrophic decision to ax support for Mediterranean rescue operations.

The UK is one of the European countries most responsible for the humanitarian crisis on our doorstep and the one least willing to protect those suffering as a result.

We are asking The Rt Hon Theresa May to:

 -       Immediately reconsider the numbers of refugees the UK has agreed to resettle and offer asylum proportionately to the scale of need in the current crisis.

-       Aid the building of safe reception and transit centres in Greece and Italy with facilities that can cope with the harsh winter conditions.

-       Immediately restore and increase funding for Mediterranean rescue operations to prevent further deaths at sea.

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This petition had 5,558 supporters