Corbyn condemns elites as refugee crisis is at record high of 80 million displaced people

The wealthy few insist we choose between helping people at home or overseas, but are not interested in helping either, says Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has condemned elites for worsening the refugee crisis, through arms, fossil fuels, mining and sweatshops.

Speaking at an online event hosted by his Project for Peace & Justice, Corbyn criticised those with power, saying they presented a false choice between protecting British people or refugees.

He said: “Representatives of the wealthy few insist we choose between helping people in need at home or overseas, but such people are not actually interested in helping either.”

Corbyn further said that those in power were to blame for the causes of displacement saying: “The grubby deals we strike with violent regimes put our elites at the heart of the system generating a worse refugee crisis.”

Corbyn praised those who had stood up to authorities and urged people to write to their MPs, donate and volunteer.

According to research by the UN, there are almost 80 million displaced people in the world, which is the highest number ever recorded. This is 1 in 97 people, meaning almost 1 per cent of the world’s population is displaced.

Forced displacement has almost doubled since 2010.

In his speech, Corbyn criticised the government for their handling of the worsening refugee crisis.

He said: “Boris Johnson is narrowing an already tiny refugee resettlement scheme. The British government wants to block refugees fleeing persecution because of politics, religion, sexuality or gender identity. 

“They plan to send people to countries where they have no connections – a move already condemned by the United Nations. They’re finding new ways to cut people off from legal services and the British Home Office to break the rules, often unchallenged.”

Corbyn warned that treatment of refugees reflected treatment of everyone, adding: “On this issue, we should be guided by a simple truth – refugees are human beings. And the way people seeking safety are treated is a litmus test for the way everyone is treated.”

He also condemned the ‘hateful media rhetoric’ from politicians and newspaper owners.

The campaigners who highlighted the Windrush scandal and anti-immigration protesters in Glasgow last week were praised for their activism.

He said: “Injustice is only possible when there is no resistance to it.”

Corbyn encouraged those watching to write to their MP using the Safe Passage website, to donate to refugee charity Choose Love or to volunteer their time.

He said: “We must resist attacks on refugees and we must help our fair share of people seeking safety.”

Alexandra Warren is a freelance journalist.

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