15 June 2010

34th Softest Touch

The United Kingdom is in 34th place in the league of refugees taken in by a country as a ratio of its population.

The latest UN statistics show that we have 438 refugees per 100,000 inhabitants. This puts us behind Jordan, Syria, Montenegro, Congo, Chad, Malta, Iran, Djibouti, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kenya, Sweden, Serbia, Ecuador, Mauritania, Norway, Yemen, Germany, Venezuela, Luxembourg, Central African Republic, Switzerland, Gabon, Gambia, Rwanda, Cameroon, Canada, Guinea-Bissau, Panama, Austria, Netherlands, Sudan and Zambia.

The names in bold in the above list are other developed countries with a UN Human Development Index score greater than 0.9. Many of the other countries in this list are much nearer to the major sources of human displacement, and are therefore always going to take more refugees than other countries. But there is no reason why the UK shouldn't be beating many of the names in bold. The new coalition government should be aiming to get the UK towards the top of this list. It should be a source of immense national pride to live in a country that shows genuine compassion towards its fellow man; way more than some hollow gold trophy earned by a few kickball players.

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