The Council of Ministers will review whether the island could take in vulnerable Syrian refugees under the UK’s resettlement scheme.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle made the commitment as he accepted a petition presented on Monday by four charities.
The petition, with more than 1,000 signatures, calls on the government to reconsider taking in ’a fair share’ of Syrian refugees that have fled war and persecution through the UK’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Campaigners say it would mean about 25 refugees coming to live in the Isle of Man by 2020.
Mr Quayle said while there was a ’clear desire’ in the community to help it ’is not simply a case of opening our doors to accept a relatively small number of refugees’.
’There are many factors to consider and our focus must remain on providing support in the most effective way possible,’ he said. ’Our current approach is to direct funds to established appeals operated by respected and experienced charities that already have people on the ground. However, I think it is appropriate for the new Council of Ministers to review the direction provided by the previous government and we will look again at what is a complex and highly emotive issue.’
The petition was presented by representatives of the One World Centre, Amnesty International Isle of Man, Refugees Welcome Isle of Man and Manx Support Refugees.
They have compiled a list of more than 50 individuals, charities, church groups, businesses and other organisations committed to providing practical or financial help.
Since 2013 the Council of Ministers’ International Development Committee has given £544,417 to charities supporting Syrian refugees.
In June former Chief Minister Allan Bell said the island could not provide the level of support and specialist help needed to offer them a home.