Sat, 25 May 2024

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Minister's statement 'will do very little to help lone children' in EU - Save the Children warns

Save the Children

2 min read Partner content

In response to today’s announcement by the Immigration Minister on child refugees, Kirsty McNeill, Save the Children’s Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, said:

“Today’s government announcement offered more detail on a welcome scheme to help refugee children in the Middle East and North Africa. However, we are disappointed that the minister’s statement contained no new policies beyond what was already announced in January and, as a result, will do very little to help lone children who are already in Europe.

“Save the Children has highlighted the dangers faced by unaccompanied refugee children who have travelled to Europe in search of sanctuary on their own, without their families. We know that 95,000 lone children applied for asylum in Europe last year, and that today up to 2,000 children are alone in camps in Calais and Greece or locked in police detention, as official shelters are overwhelmed. Unfortunately reaching Europe does not mean that children are safe – there is increasing evidence of exploitation and abuse of lone refugee children and we know that at least 10,000 refugee children went missing in Europe in 2015.

“The plight of these children is what motivated Lord Dubs, a child refugee himself on the Kindertransport, to push the government as part of the Immigration Bill to offer a new home in the UK to 3,000 unaccompanied children who have fled war and are already in Europe. Parliament will vote on the bill on Monday and it represents a crucial opportunity to ensure that the UK does not turn its back on these vulnerable children. We hope the UK will stand with refugee children and put into law our call to relocate 3,000 unaccompanied children from Europe.”


Foreign affairs