The vast majority of people (80%) would welcome refugees with open arms, with many even prepared to take them into their own homes, according to a global survey commissioned by Amnesty International.
The index is based on a global survey of more than 27,000 people carried out by the internationally renowned strategy consultancy GlobeScan, ranks 27 countries across all continents based on people’s willingness to let refugees live in their countries, towns, neighbourhoods and homes.
From the data, about 80% of people interviewed would welcome refugees into their countries and even their homes if need be. Amnesty wishes to use the index to show how anti-refugee political rhetoric in some countries is out of kilter with public opinion.
“These figures speak for themselves. People are ready to make refugees welcome, but governments’ inhumane responses to the refugee crisis are badly out of touch with the views of their own citizens,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty.
“The Refugees Welcome Index exposes the shameful way governments have played short term politics with the lives of people fleeing war and repression. Governments must heed these results, which clearly show the vast majority of people ready and willing to make refugees welcome in their country.
“Governments cannot allow their response to the refugee crisis to be held hostage by headlines. Too often they use xenophobic anti-refugee rhetoric to chase approval ratings. This survey suggests they are not listening to the silent majority of welcoming citizens who take the refugee crisis personally.”
Just under half of people surveyed in China (46%) said they would accept refugees into their own home.
More than half of respondents in Germany (56%) said they would accept refugees in their neighbourhood, and a further one in 10 would welcome them into their home. Almost all Germans (96%) said they would accept refugees into their country, with only 3% saying they would refuse them entry.
Ghanaians are more inclined to be accepting of refugees than citizens of the other African countries polled, with a little over one in four (27%) reporting that they would be happy to accept refugees in their household or neighbourhood.
Nevertheless, views remain divided, with around one in six saying they would refuse refugees entry to their country altogether.
Younger Ghanaians, and those living in larger communities, are significantly more accepting of refugees
People in the UK are the second-most willing to make refugees welcome in their own homes (29%). On top of that, another 47% said they would accept refugees into their neighbourhood. The vast majority of people in the UK (87%) would let refugees into the UK.
People in several countries who have already accepted large numbers of refugees show no signs of flagging acceptance, with Greece and Jordan joining Germany in the top 10 of the Index.