Friday, May 20, 2016

81 per cent Indians have "no objection" if fleeing refugees take refuge in the country: Amnesty survey

By Our Representative
A new survey by a multinational advocacy group, Amnesty International, has said that 81 per cent of Indians would have no objection in welcoming into India people who flee war or persecution in another country. While this may appear to be quite high, there are 16 other countries where a higher percentage of people would be ready to accept refugees.
Thus, the survey – carried out across 27 countries based on interviews with 27,000 people – shows that Spain tops the list with 97 per cent of people saying they were willing to accept refugees in their country, followed by Germany 96 per cent, Jordan and China 94 per cent, each.
People willing to accept fleeing refugees in their countries
Surprisingly, Pakistan has a higher, 87 per cent, of people willing to accept refugees suffering from war and persecution than India. The countries with the lowest percentage of people willing to accept such refugees are South Africa 69 per cent, Poland 56 per cent, and Russia 33 per cent.
The survey has been released ahead of the next week’s World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on 23-24 May in order to press for a new, permanent system for sharing the responsibility to host and assist refugees. The summit has been called by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to address the biggest humanitarian and refugee crises in 70 years.
Amnesty believes, there is a need to resettle 1.2 million refugees by the end of 2017, which is far more than the 100,000 per year governments are currently taking annually, but less than a tenth of the 19.5 million refugees in the world today.
People willing to accept refugees in home
“Governments at the World Humanitarian Summit must address the $15 billion shortfall in humanitarian funding highlighted by the UN at the start of 2016, putting forward more money to support both refugees and the countries hosting large numbers of refugees”, the Amnesty survey report says.
To yet another question posed by Amnesty, just about six per cent of Indians said they were ready to accept people fleeing war or persecution into their home. This is lower than people in 17 other countries out of 26 surveyed.
Significantly, as many as 11 per cent of Pakistanis – nearly double that of Indians –said they were ready to accept such refugees in their home.
While the Chinese topped the list with 46 per cent people welcoming such refugees in their home, followed by UK (29 per cent) and Greece (20 per cent), just about one per cent of people from Russia and Indonesia said they were willing.
To a third question whether people should be allowed to take refuge in other countries to escape from war or persecution, 65 per cent Indians said answered in the positive, which is less than people in 20 of the 27 countries surveyed.
Here, again, a higher per cent of Pakistanis, 81, said they believe their county should allow refugees from other countries. Germans tops the list with 94 per cent, followed by Syria (93 per cent), while in the rock bottom were Turkey 47 per cent and Thailand 27 per cent.
People wanting their government to do more for fleeing refugees
Asked if the government should do more to help refugees fleeing war or persecution, just 41 per cent of Indians answered in the positive, which is one of the worst among the 27 countries surveyed. People from two other countries – Thailand (29 per cent) and Russia (26 per cent) – showed a lesser inclination to this end.
The Refugees Welcome Index was prepared interviewing 27,000 people in 27 countries how closely they would accept refugees on a sliding scale: in their home, their neighbourhood, their city/town/village or in their country – or if they would refuse them entry to the country altogether.

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