Dear Robert Goodwill MP and Rt Hon Rory Stewart MP,
Nearly half of the 560,000 Palestinian refugees registered in Syria before the start of the devastating civil war have lost their homes. Three thousand have been killed, and over 100,000 have fled to countries like Lebanon and Jordan. Many have even attempted the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to seek safety in Europe.
Even before the Syria crisis began, UNRWA services for Palestinians were stretched by a funding deficit, especially in neighbouring Lebanon. As these double-displaced Palestinian refugees are unable to register for UNHCR services, they represent one of the most vulnerable groups affected by the conflict. Ultimately, the right of return for Palestinian refugees – as enshrined in UN Resolution 194 – is inalienable, and realisation of this right would provide safe refuge. We call on the UK government to ensure that its humanitarian response to the conflict in Syria provides equal protection for all refugees, including Palestinians, by:
One in five of Syria’s 560,000 Palestinian refugees have now fled the war to neighbouring countries and beyond.
In Lebanon, their civil rights are severely curtailed, and many struggle to access jobs, education, or adequate healthcare.
Vulnerable Syrians are able to apply for schemes which will allow them to resettle – safely – in Europe, with the UK government pledging to take 20,000 such people by 2020. Palestinians fleeing the same war are excluded from this programme, and many are instead choosing to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean in hope of a better future in Europe.
We need your help to urge the UK Government to ensure that Palestinians are not left out of the UK's humanitarian response to the Syria crisis.