April 2016 – Dubs Amendment/Unaccompanied Children

April 2016 – Dubs Amendment/Unaccompanied Children

Thank you for your recent email regarding the amendment proposed by Lord Dubs calling for the Government to relocate 3,000 children from Europe.

The Government recognises that more could be done to respond to the continuing migration crisis and how best it can support the most vulnerable people affected by this appalling situation, and I am glad that the Government is now taking further action. This includes the establishment of a new resettlement scheme focused on the children at risk in the Middle East and North Africa which is supported by the UNHCR and which will see up to 3,000 people relocated to the UK over the next four years.

In Europe, the Department for International Development has committed £46 million to help support refugees and a £10 million fund focused specifically on the needs of children in Europe. This includes supporting reunification with family they may have been separated from and who are in other EU countries including the UK. Separately, 75 UK experts are being deployed to Greece to support more effective reception screening and processing of newly arrived migrants which will also help identify children and see that they are given appropriate support and care at the earliest opportunity.

The Government’s focus has been on how it can play the most effective role in an extremely difficult situation and not make matters even worse or lead to inadvertent consequences where people traffickers encourage more children to put their lives at risk by making the dangerous sea crossing to Europe.

I am proud of the contribution the UK is making and the good we have already done. While I understand your support for the Lord Dubs amendment, I do believe that the approach set out by the Government provides the best way to support our European partners and focus on the most vulnerable in the conflict region.

Thank you again for getting in touch – I appreciate your concern.