Last January, the Home Secretary Theresa May announced the Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme. This scheme was launched keeping in mind the terrible situation in Syria. The very first refugees being granted asylum in the United Kingdom arrived in the country. It is a great humanitarian step that the United Kingdom government has decided to take considering the typical Conservative war against immigration. This scheme was announced after the United Kingdom refused to sign up for the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees led scheme to relocate Syrian nationals. It was announced after Theresa May received considerable flak for not supporting the international effort and preventing the country from doing its bit.
Though the Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme is a very kind initiative, it will only support a few hundred refugees over the period of the next three years. Considering that countries need to share a burden of nearly two and a half million refugees from Syria, this number is dismal. Cynics have cast their doubts with regards to its actual effectiveness. Apart from this scheme, some Syrian nationals have been granted political asylum in the United Kingdom. The asylum system works independently of the Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme. The impact of the scheme is bound to be extremely limited to nearly non – existent. This becomes obvious when you consider that a total of three thousand and eight hundred Syrian refugees have started calling the United Kingdom their home since the start of the Syrian conflict, but, according to press reports, only ten to twenty of these were brought under the Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme.
The conflict in Syria is a terrible situation that has stemmed from the Syrian people’s desire to be free of a corrupt absolutist government. The main issue was that the President Bashar al – Assad after assuming power in 2000, refused to bring about any reforms for a new Syria. He continued to maintain unitary power and was, in effect, a dictator. Though technically the leader of a political party, he refused to take opinions from anyone. When, in 2011, the people had had enough, they revolted. These revolts turned very violent. The death toll was estimated at a 130,000 in September 2013. There are also a large number of people wrongfully imprisoned. They are subjected to great torture and massive human rights violations occur. Naturally, a large people were also displaced from their homes and are living in pallid conditions in survivor camps. They battle food and water shortages every single day.
Under the Syrian Vulnerable People’s Relocation Scheme, those chosen and brought to the United Kingdom are entitled to five years of Humanitarian Protection. This accords them many rights and benefits to help normalize their life. The Home Ministry has strongly iterated that this scheme can help susceptible people and make a real difference in their lives. Though the Scheme has its heart in the right place, the true impact it will be able to make on a real scale is most likely going to be fairly small.