Refugee crisis: Where Syria's four million refugees have fled - how does the UK's refugee policy measure up?

 
Clara Guibourg
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4m people have fled the civil war in Syria since 2011 (Source: Getty)

The horrifying image of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old child lying drowned on a Mediterranean beach, has jolted the world into higher gear over the growing refugee crisis.


As grassroots movements across Europe are launching volunteer campaigns and petitioning politicians to accept more refugees, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is under growing pressure to do more, coming under fire both internationally and from members of his own party.

They argue the UK is not pulling its weight when it comes to providing support for the displaced people. But how does the UK’s numbers of refugees compare?

Nearly four million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of the country’s bloody civil war, which started during the Arab Spring in 2011.

Of these millions, just over 4,500 have sought refuge in Britain, according to figures from United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.


Seven European countries have accepted more refugees than the UK, with Germany and Sweden far outstripping their European neighbours.

Read more: How much would it cost the UK to accept all the asylum seekers?

Sweden accepts all Syrians under refugee status, and in Germany, which anticipates receiving over 800,000 refugees in 2015 alone, Chancellor Angela Merkel has become more outspoken in her country’s humanitarian stance, saying: “If we rescued the banks, we can save refugees”.

But zooming out to the world as a whole, Europe’s figures all but disappear when compared to Syria’s neighbours.

No European country even comes close to the top five countries for refugees. And can you find Britain in this chart?

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