Less than a year ago the Government promised that this country would do its bit to help with the greatest refugee crisis Europe has faced for 70 years.
They agreed to help some of the most vulnerable unaccompanied children arriving into Europe to be transferred to the UK.
It was a proud moment, which is why it is so heart-breaking that we have now learned that the ‘Dubs’ scheme will be closed long before it has done its job. In 2016, over 30,000 unaccompanied children arrived by sea in Greece and Italy but the Government has announced they will transfer a total of just 350 vulnerable children from Europe under the Dubs scheme before it comes to an end.
We are told that the scheme is ending because local councils cannot take any more children. By the time it comes to an end, councils with responsibility for children in the UK will have taken an average of less than two Dubs children each. To claim that this is all that can be managed is an insult to our councils.
On 23 February there will be a major debate in Parliament on this issue and it’s up to every MP to make clear that the government must do more for refugee children in Europe and that our communities stand ready to help. I’d urge your readers to write to their MP, asking them to attend the debate and ensure the Government does more to protect vulnerable refugee and migrant children in Europe.
Director of Public Affairs at Unicef UK
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