Today Lord Alf Dubs’ amendment to allow unaccompanied children to be offered safe refuge in the UK passed in the House of Commons.
Help Refugees are delighted that the Government has recognised that refugee children across Europe are not safe and remain vulnerable to disease, trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse. 10,000 children have already gone missing in Europe and there are 95,000 unaccompanied children still in need of help.
However, the amendment no longer specifies how many unaccompanied children will be resettled in the UK. That figure will instead be determined by individual local authorities.There is a real risk that with limited funding available very few councils will step up to welcome these children and that the process will move so slowly that many desperate children who stand to benefit will end up in the trafficking networks of Europe instead.
If each constituency offers refuge to just 5 unaccompanied minors then 3,000 children will be brought to Britain.
We need YOUR help to make this happen. Here’s what you can do:
1. Write to your local councilor and tell them that you would like them to welcome at least 5 unaccompanied child refugees to your constituency. You can find who your local councilor is here: https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-councillors
2. Contact local groups and encourage them to do the same – The Women’s Institute, the Rotary club, your local gym, churches, community centres, schools etc can all mobilise their members to write to their local councilor – many voices are always louder than one.
3. Write to your local MP and ask them to ensure that the deal offered to councils is genuine and that all 157 children in Calais entitled to family reunification (under Dublin 3) alongside the first 300 children (one tenth of the total proposed by Lord Dubs) are relocated to the UK in time to start school this September
4.Contact your local media – newspapers, websites, radio stations etc. Tell them you and your friends would like to speak out and share why you are hoping your constituency will agree to welcome refugee children.
5. Write articles/ blogs and facebook posts explaining why you want your local council to accept refugee children.
6. Register as a foster parent and specify that you would be happy to care for an unaccompanied refugee child.
For more information on how to help go to www.refugees-welcome.org.ukand click on the resources – refugee-children-campaign
Image: Westminster by Jlhopgood on Flickr
We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.
Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!