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Office immigration officers have started interviews in Ivory Coast and Ivory Coast this week to select the first refugees to be brought to Britain for protection.
Mostly expected to be Liberians, are to arrive in the middle of October as part of a resettlement programme operated by the United Nations high commissioner for refugees. By taking this action, the Britain home office hopes to reduce the risk of refugees using illegal means as Trafickers to reach Europe. Those selected to take part in the scheme are to be given “cultural orientation training” to teach them about British life and culture, as well as English classes before and after their arrival to help them integrate. They will be provided with temporary housing, counselling, and essential items for daily living, as some will arrive with few or no possessions or suitable clothing.
By running this Operation Britain has joined Countries like Norway, Sweden, Danmark, Canada or United States which have helped thousands of refugees to find permanent protection in the west.
Beverley Hughes, the immigration minister, said: “This is the first time that the UK has been involved in the UNHCR resettlement programme – an internationally recognised route to help refugees reach protection without being driven into the hands of the people traffickers. It is in this context that we have begun interviews to select the first refugees to bring to the UK later this year.”
She said those who will qualify for the scheme will all be refugees under the 1951 convention and many will have survived violence, torture or the death of a family member: “We are committed to help them live a normal life, far away from the continued instability in their countries of origin.”
The first refugees involved are being interviewed by Home Office caseworkers based in Ghana who have travelled to Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. They will take the final decision after security and health screening checks.