Receiving Syrian refugees at the local level - a look at recent discussions in the UK city of Sheffield...

UNHCR has called on states around the world to provide 100,000 places for Syrian refugees via resettlement or other forms of admission during 2015-16.  This is in addition to the 30,000 places UNHCR previously called for states to provide during 2014, just under two thirds of which have been offered to date by 20 European countries (plus an open-ended number to the United States of America). 

Additional to this programme, the UK has created the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS), via which several hundred Syrian refugees  - including women and children at risk, survivors of torture and violence and those with medical needs  - are expected to arrive in the UK over the next three years as part of the UK’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

States' ability to make good on their pledges of places for Syrian refugees is dependent on many factors, including the agreement of cities and municipalities to providing housing, reception and integration support and a welcoming environment for new arrivals.  Recent media reports on the possibility of the UK city of Sheffield  - the lead city partner in the first SHARE Project and host city for the SHARE City Exchange Visit Programme - receiving Syrian refugees as part of the UK's VPRS programme, have provided an interesting insight into national-local discussions about city participation in resettlement, humanitarian admission and other forms of temporary admission for vulnerable refugees. 

Follow the links below to read press articles and releases, and to listen to a radio interview with the Leader of Sheffield City Council, Julie Dore.  To find out more about Sheffield's resettlement programme, download the SHARE publication 'Welcome to Sheffield: Reflections on 8 Years Experience of Receiving Resettled Refugees at the Local Level'.

Links & downloads:

'Nick Clegg accuses Sheffield council of refusing to take Syrian refugees' (1 April 2014)

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/apr/01/nick-clegg-accuses-sheffield-council-syrian-refugees

'Local councils forced to reject Syrian refugees without more Government funding' (1 April 2014)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/local-councils-forced-to-reject-syrian-refugees-without-more-government-funding-9231232.html

Councillor Julie Dore interview, BBC Radio Sheffield (April 2 2014): https://soundcloud.com/share-network/councillor-julie-dore-bbc

Sheffield City Council Press Release (2 April 2014)