Suspension of ‘Dubs’ resettlement programme for Unaccompanied Minors: Parliamentary Debate, 23.2.17
A parliamentary debate on the unaccompanied children in Greece and Italy is scheduled for 23rd February. We are asking our supporters to contact their MP, urging them to attend this debate and advocate for the continuance of the ‘Dubs’ scheme .
In May last year parliament passed the new Immigration Act 2016 which included the Dubs Amendment for unaccompanied child refugees and asylum seekers in Europe (the ‘hotspots’ of Northern France, Greece and Italy ) . This committed the government to offering sanctuary to some of these most vunerable and at risk children, currently living alone in unsatisfactory temporary camps and in need of protection. It was envisaged during the parliamentary debates that up to 3,ooo children and young people would be resettled here and there was support across all the political parties for this.
The Govenment has announced that they will suspend the Dubs scheme in March and cap the numbers of children resettled here from Europe at 350. To date no children have been transferred from either Italy or Greece-although many are eligible. Additionally many of those who left Calais in November for French reception centres did so on the back of Home Office assurances that their applications for asylum would be speedily assessed and actioned.
There has been widespead criticism of this decision at all levels-Church leaders, politicians, NGOs etc. (see Church leaders letter to the Home secretary here: and The Refugee Council’s response Here )
Exeter City of Sanctuary campaigned strongly for Devon County Council to accept it’s fair share of responsibility as regards accommodating some of these children.( see here/campaigning) They publicly committed to doing so, as did other local authorities, and so it is difficult to accept at face value the Immigation minister’s statements that Local Authorities lacked capacity to accept more than 350 young people.
Given the potential harm to the wellbeing of these lone children that this policy may cause please urge your MP to attend this Parliamentary debate and read /consider signing this petition to the Prime Minister: www.citizensuk.org/dubs_petition