Civil Society Organisations Across Europe Call For Greater Support For Syrian Refugees

Posted On: 7 March 2014

Syrian-flagMedia Release, 7 March 2014

The Irish Refugee Council has joined more than 100 civil society organisations in 34 different European countries in calling for a more support for Syrian people who have fled Syria as a result of the civil war.

The campaign, organised by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), of which the IRC is a member, calls on European leaders to protect refugees by finding safe passages to Europe, reuniting families separated by the war and by ensuring that refugees are not turned away at Europe’s borders.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the IRC, stated:

“We recognise and value the decision of the Irish government to accept 90 Syrian refugees and the assistance  that has been given by way of aid to support Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.  But when the world is witnessing the biggest refugee crisis for twenty years, with huge displacements from Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, we have to go beyond what we have done so far.”


“This is a call to government, civil society and to individuals.  Ireland joined the Refugee Convention at a time of economic deprivation in Ireland in 1956.  It was a recognition of Ireland’s role in membership and participation in the international community.  There is a need now for a renewed commitment to the protection of refugees in very practical ways, including resettlement into Ireland of a greater number of refugees caught up in the crisis.”



Notes to the editor:

ECRE Press Release:

Campaign website:

~ Countries close to Syria, such as Lebanon and Jordan, have received the greatest number of Syrian refugees.  Lebanon, for example, is close to having the population it was expected to have in 2050 according to UNHCR.

~ More than 50% of Syrian refugees are children (UNHCR)

~ Over the next 3 months, in the run up to World Refugee Day, the Irish Refugee Council will be suggesting practical individual and collective ways to assist with this crisis

UNHCR Stats:

EU (28 Member States):

A total of 76,373 new asylum applications of Syrians in the EU since the beginning of the conflict (April 2011 – Dec 2013)

EU (28 Member States) + Norway and Switzerland:

A total of 81,275 new asylum applications of Syrians in EU + Norway and Switzerland

38 countries of Europe:

A total of 84,054 new asylum applications of Syrians in the 38 countries of Europe since the beginning of the conflict (April 2011 – December 2013)

Europe April 2011- Nov 2013:

81,986 Syrian new asylum applications between Apr 2011 and Nov 2013 including 50,880 in 2013 only

~ The Government of Turkey has declared a Temporary Protection regime for all Syrians fleeing the conflict; currently 594,397 registered refugees out of the total Government estimate of 700,000)

Other figures:

  • Two countries – Germany and Sweden – have received almost 59% of all applications in the EU (44,864).
  • The top 5 countries received 74% of all new asylum applications from Syrians in the EU since the conflict began (56,707).
  • 5 EU countries received less than 150 asylum applications from Syrian nationals in the same period.

Bulgaria now ranks 3rd in new asylum applications of Syrians, behind Sweden (who now ranks first) and Germany.