UK Government to take in lone refugee children from Europe

Half of the world's refugees are children

Scottish Refugee Council welcomes that the UK Government won’t tamper with Lord Dubs’ amendment to the Immigration Bill to create a scheme to take in lone refugee children from Europe.

Graham O’Neill, Policy Officer at Scottish Refugee Council, said:

“We hope that the Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision today to finally accept what the House of Lords and the wider British public have told her for months marks a turning point in her approach to refugees.

“Lone child refugees, from wherever they have fled and wherever they sleep tonight, be it Syria, North Africa or Europe, should be protected as they are children, they are alone, and therefore at severe risk of exploitation.

“These children have lost everything precious to them and may never see their loved ones again. Their parents may be dead or simply have sacrificed everything so their girl or boy can be safer. There is no evidence that lone child refugees make calculated decisions in war zones or danger to reach the UK. Those that assert this should, just for a moment, imagine what it feels like to be sleeping on the street tonight, stripped of hope, nourishment, and safety.

“The test now is that the Home Secretary respects the will of Parliament and quickly. This means she must work with and give sufficient practical and financial support to those local authorities and communities the length and breadth of the UK – including across Scotland – who stand willing to welcome the thousands of children in desperate need and help them rebuild their shattered lives.”