Amnesty International said that European Union leaders should "hang their heads in shame" at their failure to provide safe haven for Syrian refugees fleeing the brutal conflict.
In a damning report, the human rights group says E.U member states have offered places for just 12,340 people over the next year -- well below the 30,000 sought by the UN and a tiny fraction of the millions who have fled Syria.
As winter storms brought fresh misery to the hundreds of thousands of refugees sheltering in tents in camps in Lebanon and Jordan, the group urged the EU to ease some of the pressure on Syria's neighbours.
Secretary General "Salil Shetty" said that " the E.U has miserably failed to play its part in providing a safe haven to the refugees who have lost all but their lives" , adding " the number of those it's prepared to resettle is truly pitiful. Across the board European leaders should hang their heads in shame " .
Amnesty also condemned the bloc for making it so difficult to enter the E.U legally, and for leaving those who do make it languishing in squalid detention centers for weeks on end.
Shetty said "the EU must open its borders, provide safe passage and halt these deplorable human rights violations", adding "it is deplorable that many of those that who have risked life and limb to get here, are either forced back or detained in truly squalid conditions with insufficient food, water or medical care ".