19th May, 2016

Four of five people across the globe would welcome refugees fleeing danger into their own country while one in 10 would let them stay in their own home, according to a global survey conducted for Amnesty International.

The new Refugees Welcome Index, based on survey of 27,000 people across the globe carried out by consultancy GlobeScan, also found that 32 per cent of people would welcome refugees into their neighbourhood and 47 per cent into their city or town or village.

The survey ranked 27 countries based on people's willingness to let refugees live in their countries, towns, neighbourhoods and homes. China - where as many as 46 per cent of people said they would welcome refugees into their home - topped the list overall, followed by Germany - where 56 per cent said they would accept refugees in their neighbourhood and the UK - where 29 per cent said they would welcome refugees into their homes.

Australia - where 84 per cent of people agreed people should be able to take refuge in other countries to escape from war or persecution - came in fifth on the list overall, just behind Canada.

Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary general, said the figures show that government's "inhumane" responses to the refugee crisis are "badly out of touch with the view of their own citizens".

"The Refugees Welcome index exposes the shameful way governments have played short-term politics with the lives of people fleeing war and repression," he said. "Governments must heed these results, which clearly show the vast majority of people ready and willing to make refugees welcome in their country."

He said that governments "too often" 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."

You can download the report here.

- DAVID ADAMS