65 years after signing the landmark Refugee Convention and European leaders are now “ripping it up”

Thursday 28th July 2016 marks the 65th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention - the UN treaty signed in the aftermath of World War Two that obliges its signatories to offer asylum to people fleeing danger.

On the 65th anniversary of the Convention, Mike Noyes, Head of Humanitarian Response at ActionAid UK said:

“The last time Europe faced challenges of movement on this scale, Churchill and other European leaders signed the landmark Refugee Convention promising to help refugees fleeing war and persecution. Today’s European leaders are ripping it up.

“In the desperation to seal their borders European leaders have passed agreements with repressive regimes instead of protecting women, men and children fleeing from war. Shirking their responsibilities by signing up to the potentially illegal EU-Turkey deal and sending refugees back to a country which is not safe.

“The UK and European governments have so far failed to take in their fair share of refugees, and as reports this week show, fundamentally failed to receive and protect thousands of refugee children. Today must serve as a wake-up call, we made a commitment 65 years ago to support people fleeing danger and if we don’t honour this commitment history will judge us.”