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Amnesty: Rich nations shirking responsibilities on refugees



Amnesty International has accused rich countries of “shirking” their responsibilities on refugees, slamming what it called the selfishness of wealthy nations.

In its annual report released on Tuesday, the London-based human rights body said just 10 countries are sheltering 56 percent of the world’s refugees and they are among the poorest nations.

It lamented that countries immediately neighboring crisis zones bear the brunt of the problem of the world’s 21 million refugees.

“And the richest countries in the world, who can absorb many more refugees are doing close to nothing,” the report said.

Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty said the UK is “a rather sad example of this, that since 2011 the UK has only taken about 8,000 refugees.”

“That situation is inherently unsustainable, exposing the millions fleeing war and persecution in countries like Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq to intolerable misery and suffering,” Shetty said.

The top refugee hosting countries, the report said, were Pakistan, Iran, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Kenya, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.

Syrian refugees stand at the Zaatari refugee camp, located close to the northern Jordanian city of Mafraq near the border with Syria, on July 14, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Amnesty proposed that the burden of hosting refugees be shared out fairly, according to each country’s land mass, wealth and current population.

“If we just share this out, say 60 to 90 countries share the responsibility, we could be in a very different situation,” Shetty said.

Across the world, many observers blame the policies of Western powers on a surge in terrorism and war in North Africa and the Middle East that have forced people to flee their homes.

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