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Thousands petition UK government to accept more refugees

AFP , Wednesday 2 Sep 2015
Refugees
Syrian refugees rest at a makeshift camp in an underground station near the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary September 2, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)
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Over 20,000 people had signed a petition to the British government by Wednesday calling on it to accept more refugees, as Europe faced an unprecedented influx of mainly Syrian refugees.

The petition called for Britain to accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugees.

"There is a global refugee crisis. The UK is not offering proportional asylum in comparison with European counterparts," the petition read.

"We can't allow refugees who have risked their lives to escape horrendous conflict and violence to be left living in dire, unsafe and inhumane conditions in Europe."

The government is obliged to respond as the petition has over 10,000 signatures, and if it reaches 100,000 the issue will be considered for debate in parliament.

Opposition politicians have called on Prime Minister David Cameron to increase the numbers of refugees accepted in Britain, which accepts a lower number of asylum seekers as a proportion of its population than most other EU countries.

The issue of immigration is one of Britain's most sensitive political issues.

The British government resisted calls for a quota system to share refugees across the 28 member states of the European Union this summer.

In a separate petition, "A safe haven for Syrians" hosted by Avaaz.com, 1,400 people have signed up as volunteers in Britain to welcome new refugees, help them with integration, offer housing and lobby for local governments to accept them for resettlement.

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