People Across Europe Take a Stand for Syrian Refugees and Win

Every day people are winning campaigns on that address issues big and small. We’ll take a look at these victories and how the world changed in the last week.

There are more than four million registered Syrian refugees, according to United Nations. But it’s estimated that nine million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011.

Many of those people have sought refuge in Europe. Between April 2011 and July 2015, more than 348,000 people submitted asylum applications, while many more have come through undocumented.

The European Union has been criticized for its handling of refugees – and for its handling of refugees crossing the Mediterranean into Greece and Italy, in particular – for much of this year. But awareness of the plight of Syrian refugees increased exponentially in September when an image was published of Aylan, a three-year-old who drowned as his family tried to flee to Syria for Europe.

People all over the world started asking their governments to take in refugees from Syria. On more than 100 petition across 10 countries have generated more than 780,000 signatures. And last week, several of those campaigns were declared victories.

In France, more than 95,000 people signed a petition asking President Hollande and François Baroin, President of the Association of Mayors of France, to meet with the 36,000 mayors in France to identify capacity for taking in refugees. As a result, The Ministry of Interior is organizing the reception of refugees in 700 municipalities in France.

And in Spain, a petition asking the Spanish government accept its fair share of refugees assigned by the European Union was signed by more than 306,000 people. The EU later reached an agreement that called for the distribution of 120,000 refugees among member states over the next two years and the Spanish government accepted their share of that quota.

Victory for Immigrant Rights | Victory for Immigrant Rights | Biggest Victory | Small Victory

Victory for Immigrant Rights | Victory for Immigrant Rights | Biggest Victory | Small Victory

France and Spain aren’t the only countries where citizens are vocalizing their support of Syrian refugees. People are petitioning their governments around the world:

More than 41,000 people in Germany are asking Angela Merkel to provide state and local governments with 10 billion Euros in emergency aid for refugee care. So far, four billion Euros have been allocated for this work.

  • On September 16, two petition starters delivered more than 300,000 signatures – amassed over several petitions – to the White House calling on the U.S. to increase the number of Syrian refugees being welcomed to the states. This petition, in particular, asks the U.S. to accept 65,000 refugees.
  • In Canada, more than 30,000 people are asking MP Chris Alexander to pledge to provide sanctuary for refugees. The country already agreed to take 13,000 by 2017, but signers want more refugees accepted sooner.
  • More than 26,000 in Australia are asking Prime Minister Tony Abbott to open the borders to refugees.
  • In the UK, more than 386,000 have signed a petition asking PM David Cameron to accept refugees not only from Syria, but also from other places in the Middle East and Africa. The campaign, which was started by The Independent, has been running using the hashtag #refugeeswelcome.
  • See all the petitions people are starting to help refugees from Syria.


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    October 7, 2015 3:04 pm