The Government's official website says that to be recognised as a refugee, you must:
- be unable to go back to your own country (if you are stateless, this is the country you usually live in) because you fear persecution
- be unable to live safely in any part of your own country
- have failed to get protection from authorities in your own country
- political opinion
- membership of a particular social group that puts you at risk because of the social, cultural, religious or political situation in your country, e.g. your gender, gender identity, sexual orientation
The UK government waived these criteria for a limited group of Syrian refugees when it launched the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) for Syrian refugees in March 2014. Since then, just over 200 people have benefited from the scheme. Last week it increased the targeted number to 20,000 over five years while at the same time confirming there would be no significant change of policy. The official website stated: "The Government believes the UK can add most value through a complementary scheme, focusing on helping the most vulnerable refugees who cannot be supported effectively in the region." http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06805/SN06805.pdf
LATEST ADVICE FROM THE GOVERNMENT
"The best way to help refugees is to donate cash to humanitarian organisations or charities. Cash donations are the fastest, most efficient way to get help to vulnerable people ... Cash donations enable relief agencies to cater to the specific needs of the affected population as quickly as possible. They also allow relief agencies to buy goods in the affected region, helping to regenerate the local economy.
"Many international organisations are working in the UK, across Europe and in the countries refugees are fleeing from to provide aid and assistance. Recommended and experienced humanitarian and relief agencies that you can support include:
- British Red Cross Appeal
- Save the Children's Child Refugee Crisis Appeal
- UNHCR's Emergency Appeal
- The World Food Programme
- Refugee Action’s Emergency Appeal – the money raised will support refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK"