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Inhumane action by the UK Government

Published: 11 Feb 2017 00:01

Unaccompanied child refugees welcome in Scotland.

The Prime Minister must reverse her decision and allow unaccompanied child refugees into the UK. In a letter from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to the Prime Minister she says:

“The plight of all unaccompanied children demands a resolute and humanitarian approach from all parts of the UK.”

You can read the full letter below.

Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Prime Minister

I am writing to you in response to the Home Office statement that the UK will stop receiving refugee children from Europe through the Dubs amendment at the end of March.

I find it hard to understand why the UK Government would even consider the inhumane withdrawal of essential routes to safety for such a vulnerable group of children. The plight of all unaccompanied children demands a resolute and humanitarian approach from all parts of the UK, and other countries, and this departure from the Dubs amendment cuts off a vital route to safety.

The Scottish Government fully supports the UK Government commitments under Dublin III, the Syrian Resettlement Programme and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Vulnerable Children’s resettlement scheme. As you will be aware, Scottish Ministers and officials from both national and local government have worked in partnership with the Home Office to ensure the success of the Syrian Resettlement Programme in Scotland. We have now welcomed around 1300 Syrian refugees, who have made their homes in our communities. 

We already have a bespoke and well established Scottish Guardianship Service which we fund to provide support to both unaccompanied children and local authorities. Scotland has provided a safe place for 35 unaccompanied children from France via the Dubs amendment and approximately 110 who have arrived through clandestine routes in unimaginably traumatic circumstances. We are also working with the Home Office and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) on the UK wide dispersal scheme of unaccompanied children from Kent, and look forward to welcoming a number of young people soon.

However, as you are aware, this barely touches the scale of the crisis and I urge you to reverse the shameful decision on the Dubs amendment which cuts off the only reliable and legal route for unaccompanied children arriving from Europe.

We all have a moral duty to do what we can to help those most in need so I look forward to your earliest response. The Scottish Government stands ready to work with you to provide a place of safety to children in the gravest of situations.

NICOLA STURGEON