We must help child refugees find their families

23 April 2016
The Telegraph

Sir – We were shocked by the entirely preventable death of Muhammad Hassan, a 17-year-old asylum-seeker. He died on April 1 while trying to reach his uncle in Manchester. Despite having a legal right to join his family while his asylum claim was processed, he was not given a safe method of travelling to Britain from Calais. His death highlights the failure of the slow, bureaucratic asylum system.

With Lord Dubs’s Immigration Bill amendment – which refers specifically to unaccompanied children already in Europe – due to be considered in the Commons tomorrow, we call on the Government to ensure that refugee children throughout Europe who have family in Britain are identified and reunited with those family members. They should be provided with clear information, legal support and assistance with tracing their families.

An expedited system must also be developed so that children are not forced to wait months for their cases to be processed. They should not have to arrive in Britain in the backs of lorries. Providing this help is the best way to keep them out of the hands of traffickers and to prevent further deaths.

Judaism teaches that saving a human life is like saving the entire world. The Government should act accordingly.

Rabbi Janet Darley
South London Liberal Synagogue

Rabbi Danny Rich
Chief Executive, Liberal Judaism

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner
Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism

Rabbi Pete Tobias
The Liberal Synagogue, Elstree

Rabbi Alexandra Wright
The Liberal Jewish Synagogue

Rabbi Rebecca Q Birk
Finchley Progressive Synagogue

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein
Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue

Rabbi Harry Jacobi
Vice-President, Liberal Judaism

Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein
President, Liberal Judaism

Rabbi Dr Robert Ash

Rabbi Janet Burden

Rabbi Alan Mann

Rabbi Rachel Benjamin

Rabbi René Pfertzel

Rabbi Richard Jacobi

Rabbi Monique Mayer

Rabbi Paul Freedman

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild

Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky

Rabbi Benjy Stanley

Rabbi Celia Surget

Rabbi Helen Freeman

Rabbi Josh Levy

Rabbi Colin Eimer

Rabbi Jason Holtz

Rabbi Tony Hammond

Rabbi Michael Hilton

Rabbi Sybil Sheridan

Rabbi Lawrence J Becker

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