Child refugees

I support calls for Britain to take in 3,000 vulnerable and unaccompanied refugee children without further delay.

On March 21,  the Shadow Frontbench supported an amendment to the government’s Immigration Bill 2015-16 at Lords Report stage to require the government to accept 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from other countries in Europe. The amendment passed 306 votes to 204, with the government voting against.

The United Nations held a conference on March 30 aimed at addressing the current situation. The Minister for Syrian Refugees attended. Unfortunately, the government’s response to the current crisis has been slow, reluctant and limited. The government must do more to help Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war.

I’m pleased the government has responded to these important calls and will provide a resettlement route for ‘children at risk’ including unaccompanied children and separated children, but it has said nothing about the unaccompanied child refugees that are already in Europe.

I hope that the government uses the opportunity presented by the Commons debate on the Immigration Bill on Monday to do the right thing and accept the need for Britain to act.

Unfortunately we have recently found out that the vote is likely to take place on Monday evening when I won’t be in Parliament. This is because of a longstanding personal commitment which I have been paired for by the Opposition Whip. I have been very clear that the government needs to do more to meet the needs of child refugees. You can read more by clicking here, here and here. I will continue to work with my Labour colleagues to press the government to act.