Still time to persuade your MP on child refugees

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Save the Children is urging the public to put pressure on their MPs to offer sanctuary to unaccompanied child refugees into the UK 

2nd May 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Save the Children is calling on the public to put fresh pressure on their MP to protect child refugees in Europe.

The charity says a new vote in the House of Commons this week could force the UK to offer sanctury to 3,000 lone refugee children who are currently stranded in Europe.

The UK Government defeated an amendement to the Immigration Bill on the issue by 294 votes to 276 last week.

This problem isn’t going away, it is getting worse

The amendment, tabled by Labour's Lord Dubs, who was himself a Second World War child refugee, was backed by Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP.

But the Home Office claimed the plan would create a pull factor that would encourage more people traffickers to send children on the dangerous journey to Europe.

However, following the Commons failure, the Lords passed its own amendment meaning the issue will have to return to the commons for further debate this week.

Save the Children, which has been campaigning since last year for the UK to offer more support to the unaccompanied child refugees currently in Europe, called on MPs who voted with the government last week to change their minds.

Kirsty McNeill, director of policy, advocacy and campaigns at Save the Children, said: “This problem isn’t going away, it is getting worse. The government has not yet responded to the groundswell of public support and MPs of all parties who have called for the UK to offer safety to lone children in Europe.

"The vote in the House of Lords to back the new Dubs Amendment is a huge step forward after the disappointing decision in the Commons.

"We’re now looking ahead to when MPs are expected to vote on the amendment, which offers unaccompanied refugee children sanctuary in the UK. With borders closed, the dangers facing lone children in Europe are growing – it’s vital that we act now and that the government does not block this humane and life-saving policy for a second time.” 

The charity has also launched a petition calling on world leaders to unite to form a new deal for refugee children whether they've been forced from their homes in Syria, South Sudan or Colombia.

It states: “The world’s response so far has been inadequate. It’s time for that to end. We need the world to agree on a global solution for this global problem.”

Support Save the Children's campaign and email your MP to pressure them to vote to welcome 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Europe into the UK.