Government recognises and celebrates the contributions of refugees who have resettled in the UK.
14 June 2021
This week is Refugee Week – a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.
The government will be marking the occasion by sharing powerful stories of refugees who have come to the UK through government-backed legal routes to start a new life in the UK.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
This week casts a spotlight on all those who have enriched our communities since arriving in the UK looking to rebuild their lives.
Thanks to the generosity and support of the British people, thousands of refugees from every part of the world are here making enormous contributions to our society, culture, economy, and we are a better country for it.
I am moved hearing about the incredible stories of those that have overcome hardship to not just live, but to thrive and call the UK their home.
The UK has a long, proud tradition of providing a home for people fleeing persecution and oppression.
The UK’s generous international protection system offers protection to the most vulnerable through government-backed legal routes – since 2015, over 25,000 men, women and children seeking refuge from cruel circumstances across the world have been resettled in the UK – more than any other European country.
We have also welcomed 29,000 people through the refugee family reunion scheme between 2015 and 2019. More than half of these were children.
And our new global UK Resettlement Scheme which is currently actively resettling refugees to the UK will continue to provide refuge to those in need who are fleeing persecution.
Immigration Compliance and Justice Minister, Chris Philp said:
I am proud of the work government is doing to resettle the most vulnerable around the world and the steps we are taking to strengthen our support and protection of refugees. Over the last 5 years we have resettled more refugees than any other European country.
Proposals within the New Plan for Immigration will lessen the incentive for people to risk their lives crossing the Channel in small, unseaworthy boats.
Alongside strengthened resettlement routes, this will break the deadly business model of people smuggling gangs who use illegal routes to help economic migrants jump the queue, stopping us from properly supporting those in genuine need of protection.
As part of proposals under the New Plan for Immigration, refugees who have resettled into the UK will be granted full rights and entitlements through indefinite leave to remain. This will give them the certainty and stability they need to rebuild their lives.
Priority will also be given to refugees, including children, in regions of conflict and instability, rather than those who are already in safe European countries.
They will be given more support to thrive in local communities. We are providing funding for English language classes, help with finding a job and building links with the local community.
We will ensure more resettled refugees can enter the UK through community sponsorship, encouraging stronger partnerships between local government and community groups.
Our refined resettlement approach will also be more responsive to emerging international crises, resettling refugees who are at urgent risk more quickly.