Ahead of Christmas new government scraps plan to help child refugees

Image Caritas Europa

Image Caritas Europa

Child rights responded to the news that the UK government is set to scrap the Lord Dubs amendment which pledged to bring unaccompanied child refugees to the UK.

Máiréad Collins, Christian Aid's Senior Advocacy Advisor on Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, said: "The 2016 Lord Dubs amendment came in response to the European refugee crisis which saw many children literally washed up on the beaches of Europe. It provided some hope that the protection of child refugees might be sustained by ensuring that children who were refugees in Europe could join relatives in the UK.

"The scrapping of this aspect of the bill is, in the words of Lord Dubs, 'deeply depressing and deeply disappointing'.

"Christian Aid calls on the UK government to rethink this decision and to make good on this promise. After all, the Dubs amendment has only led to the resettlement of 10% of the promised number of Syrian refugee children when it was abandoned.

"Britain has a moral responsibility to refugee children stranded in Europe, who could find safety and a home with relatives here in Britain.

"There is a grim irony in this decision being made a few days before Christmas, when two billion people around the world mark the birth of a Middle-Eastern child who became a refugee, and found sanctuary abroad.

"Christian Aid's partners in Lebanon have been responding to the Syria refugee crisis since 2012, and we are painfully aware of the depths of desperation which has driven Syrian families from their homes to nearby countries and further afield to Europe."

Lord Alf Dubs was one of 10,000 children rescued from Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport just at the outbreak of World War Two. He is now leading a campaign asking the Government to show the same compassion to the refugee children today.

Lord Dubs says: "If Britain could help child refugees 80 years ago, we can do the same today. It's #OurTurn."

Read more about Safe Passage which assists child refugees: http://safepassage.org.uk

Tags: Dubs Amendment, Child Refugees, Lord Dubs, Christian Aid, Lord Alf Dubs, Kindertransport, Máiréad Collins

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