Voltaire Society debates the issue of resettling Syrian refugees on the island
This week’s meeting, which was joined by Chris Thomas MHK and Henry Swithinbank from the External Relations Department, focused on the Syrian refugee crisis. In a wide-ranging and passionate session, there was vigorous debate about the island’s decision not to take refugees, the relative amounts of financial aid donated to the UNHCR by the different crown dependencies and the domestic matters the government has to consider when it comes to playing its part on the international stage.
In outlining the scale of the humanitarian crisis, Mme President recalled the previous example of Sir Nicholas Winton who organised the kindertransport in response to the threat to Eastern European Jews before World War Two. She revealed that before the meeting she had been in contact with Lord Dubs, one of Winton’s children, who has recently called on the islands around the UK to review their policy of non-admittance of refugees. Minister Thomas thanked the students for their opinions and confirmed that the issue will come before Tynwald next week.