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The Prime Minister’s announcement that he will boost refugee resettlement was a victory for Freedom from Torture and others calling for such a pledge as part of the UK’s response to treacherous trips across the Mediterranean Sea by torture survivors and other desperate people.

Now that we have won the argument in principle that Britain can do more to help, we need to get down to the practicalities. How many additional refugees should we take and where should they come from?

The Prime Minister says he will ‘modestly expand’ the UK’s special scheme for vulnerable Syrian refugees. According to government sources quoted in the Telegraph, this means providing sanctuary for ‘a few hundred more’ Syrians on top of the 500 places Britain already pledged over a three year period.

This is hardly adequate.

The Syrian conflict has sired nearly 4 million refugees. Most are receiving shelter in neighbouring countries including Turkey and Lebanon, but the UN is rightly calling on wealthy countries in Europe and elsewhere to help shoulder the burden.

Germany is now promising to take 30,000 Syrians and Canada has offered places to more than 10,000. The US and Australia have each pledged sanctuary to thousands of Syrian refugees.

The UK should follow suit by offering thousands not hundreds of places.

There is support from across the British political spectrum for a larger resettlement programme, including from those on the centre-right.

In the lead up to the general election, the Conservative manifesto committed to ongoing UK leadership in helping vulnerable women and children fleeing violence in Syria. Bright Blue recommended an increase in resettlement places not only for Syrians but for other refugees too.

Freedom from Torture agrees that any increase in the UK’s humanitarian response should not be restricted to those tortured or otherwise abused in Syria.

We know from our clinical services that torture survivors come from different conflict zones and states with ghastly human rights records including Sri Lanka, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan. In droves, they are risking their lives on dangerous routes in the hands of smugglers because they lack safe and legal pathways to safety.

If he is serious about finding sustainable solutions to the irregular migration of torture survivors and other refugees, the Prime Minister should expand the UK’s global ‘Gateway‘ resettlement programme, run in conjunction with the UN. This is currently under-developed, providing sanctuary to just 750 of the world’s most vulnerable refugees annually.

A sizeable enlargement of the Gateway scheme would be in keeping with the Prime Minister’s recent remark in parliament that ‘when people are fleeing torture and persecution, they can find a home here in Britain’.

As a planned response, Gateway allows local communities and services to prepare to welcome people.

The UK has expertise in helping torture survivors and other refugees to recover from trauma and rebuild their lives. Last year Freedom from Torture, one of the largest torture rehabilitation centres in the world, provided therapy to more than 1,200 of the most vulnerable torture survivors in the UK. We want to help more.

The Prime Minister’s decision to expand the UK’s contribution to refugee resettlement is a step in the right direction. To ensure his pledge delivers the maximum humanitarian benefit, he should follow through by creating thousands of new places for those fleeing torture and persecution, not only from Syria but from other repressive states too.

This should be combined with measures to prevent torture and other root causes of flight, targeted foreign aid, ongoing participation in search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, provision for refugees to join family members here in the UK, and a fair asylum system for those who make it here, including early identification of torture survivors and proper handling of their medical evidence.

The Prime Minister has won plaudits for his insistence in the face of this crisis that ‘Britain is a country with a moral conscience – we do not walk on by’. As the details of his new resettlement pledge are worked out, he has a chance to put these words into action and show the world how generous Britain can be.

Sonya Sceats is Director of Policy and Advocacy at Freedom from Torture and tweets from @SonyaSceats