News on migration and asylum from around the region - Nouvelles de la région sur les questions de migration et d'asile

Thursday, November 20, 2014

[TURKEY] Amnesty International: Border abuses and destitution aggravating plight of Syria refugees

20 November 2014

The international community’s failure to deal with the growing number of Syrian refugees fleeing into Turkey has led to a crisis of unprecedented proportions with refugees facing push-backs and live fire at the border and hundreds of thousands living in destitution, said Amnesty International in a new report published today. 
Struggling to Survive: Refugees from Syria in Turkey documents serious human rights risks faced by the 1.6 million people who have sought refuge in the country over the last three and a half years. It also highlights the deplorable reluctance of the international community to take meaningful financial responsibility for the refugee crisis. 
“Turkey is clearly struggling to meet even the most basic needs of hundreds of thousands Syrian refugees. The result is that many of those who have made it across the border have been abandoned to a life of destitution. The humanitarian assistance offered by the international community has been pitifully low, but Turkey also needs to do more to request and facilitate it,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Turkey
“While Turkey has officially opened its border crossings to Syrian refugees, the reality for many of those trying to escape the ravages of war is a different story. Many are pushed back into the war zone with some even facing live fire.” 
Turkey is host to half of the 3.2million women, men and children who have fled violence, persecution and other human rights violations in Syria. So far Turkey says it has spent $4billion on the refugee crisis. Meanwhile up until the end of October 2014, only 28 per cent of the $497million earmarked for Turkey in the UN’s 2014 regional funding appeal for Syrians has been committed by international donors. 
Turkey, along with the other neighbouring countries– Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt – host 97 per cent of Syria’s refugees. 
“Turkey has shouldered a significant part of the financial burden on its own. The reluctance of wealthy countries to take greater financial responsibility for the refugee crisis as a whole and the paltry offers of resettlement are deplorable,” said Andrew Gardner