Syrian torture survivors are ‘not supported’ after arriving in the UK

Survivors fleeing from torture in Syria are not receiving the support they need in the UK, a Commons committee found.

 Picture:  AFP/Getty Images

Survivors fleeing from torture in Syria are not receiving the support they need in the UK, a Commons committee found. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

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Syrian torture survivors may not be receiving the specialist support they need after arriving in Britain as refugees, a report has warned.

More than half of Syrian refugees resettled in the UK are survivors of torture or violence during the country’s civil war, the report by the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found.

But it said “only a few” torture victims had been referred to specialist organisations for assessment and rehabilitation and only about a quarter of those needing mental health services had access to them.

More than 4,400 Syrians have been resettled in 175 council areas around the UK since ex-prime minister David Cameron’s 2015 promise to take in 20,000 vulnerable people from camps in the region over the next five years.

But the charity Freedom from Torture said only a “handful” had been referred for treatment and its offer to assist on a bigger scale had “so far been overlooked by Government”.

The charity backed the PAC’s call for an urgent review. PAC chair Meg Hillier said: “It is critical such people receive specialist support.

“Our committee has y highlighted the shortcomings in access to mental health services.”

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