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Unaccompanied refugee children - CRRC question in Parliament

posted 30 Jan 2017, 14:01 by Leonie Anna Mueck   [ updated 30 Jan 2017, 14:17 ]

CRRC is campaigning for more unaccompanied minors to be transferred to the Eastern Region of the UK - the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Central Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire and the cities/towns of Peterborough, Bedford, Thurrock, Southend-On-Sea, and Luton. While the government has transferred some unaccompanied minors to the UK, many still remain in France, Greece, and Italy. Cambridgeshire County Council has offered to accommodate ten young people under the age of 16 but has not been contacted by the government with specific dates of arrival. We have therefore contacted the Cambridge MP, Daniel Zeichner, with a request to table a written question on our behalf to the Home Secretary. We wanted to know why offers from local authorities to accommodate children are taking so long to put into effect. We also wanted to know how many children the Home Secretary anticipates to bring to the UK under the "Dubs" agreement (s.67 of the Immigration Act 2016), and in what timescales. We received the following answers:
"The Government has, and continues to, work closely with partners within the UK and across Europe to ensure the timely and effective transfer of children to the UK under the Dublin Regulation and section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. The date on which an unaccompanied child refugee arrives in a local authority will depend on both when the child is brought to the UK, which will be agreed with the country in which they currently reside, and on the availability of a placement in the local authority that has agreed to participate in the National Transfer Scheme."

"We will continue to meet our obligations under the Dublin Regulation and more unaccompanied children will be transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act in the coming months. An announcement will be made in due course on the total number of children to be transferred to the UK under the Immigration Act."

The answers are far from satisfactory and we will continue to campaign to resettle more children. We need to ensure the safety of highly vulnerable children and we want to protect traumatised minors that have already arrived in the UK by welcoming them warmly into supportive homes. The Eastern Region has the resources to assist child refugees and a concerned community that wants to help.

You can play your part in our campaign:
1. Spread awareness on Facebook and Twitter. Talk to your friends and family, let them know what is happening and why unaccompanied minors should be hosted in the East.
2. Write to your county councillor and your local MP. Tell them you want unaccompanied minors brought to the East. ‘Write to Them’ (https://www.writetothem.com/) lets you use your postcode to find your councillors and MPs. The website will also send an email direct to representatives.
3. Volunteer to help with CRRC - we are always on the lookout for potential foster families for minors, donations for resettled refugees, housing to resettle refugees and more.

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