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Standing up for refugee children

March 22, 2021 12:56 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need, but this Conservative Government has turned its back on refugees - hitting vulnerable children the hardest.

Today Liberal Democrats members have passed a motion calling for the resettlement of refugee children and families in the UK.

The Liberal Democrats have always stood up for the rights of refugees."

There are an estimated 26 million refugees in the world today - half of them children.

In 2016, we passed a cross-party amendment that forced the government to offer sanctuary to unaccompanied refugee children from elsewhere in Europe. But after resettling just 480 children, the government has closed the 'Dubs scheme' entirely and has no plans to replace it.

Meanwhile, the Government closed all other refugee resettlement schemes last March, and still hasn't reopened them or introduced its promised replacement.

this Conservative Government has turned its back on refugees"

Refugees are often in a desperate situation. If we do not provide a safe and legal route to sanctuary in the UK, we are leaving them in the hands of people smugglers, human traffickers - and we force them to make dangerous attempts to cross the Channel.

That's why our motion calls for, amongst other things:

  1. The government to immediately restart refugee resettlement and make a new, fully-funded commitment to resettle 10,000 vulnerable refugees each year

  2. The government to introduce the Dubs amendment, and resettle a further 10,000 child refugees from Europe over the next ten years.

The motion also backs Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hamwee's Family Reunion Bill, to allow refugees to sponsor their family members to join them here. If passed, the bill would pave the way for refugee children and their families to live together, in safety, in the UK.

Read the full motion here: libdems.org.uk/f27-safe-and-legal-routes

The Liberal Democrats have always stood up for the rights of refugees. In passing this motion, we are stating unequivocally, that the UK government needs to introduce safe and legal routes for sanctuary for refugees.