Major victory in campaign to resettle child refugees

Safe Passage campaign picture

28 December 2018

The British Government has dropped a key barrier to bringing child refugees to the UK, in a victory for Liberal Judaism and its partners in Safe Passage.

Two years ago, Britain offered to help 480 of the most vulnerable unaccompanied child refugees under the Dubs scheme. However less than half of those places have actually been filled.

Part of the reason for that was because only child refugees who had arrived in Europe before January 2018 were eligible for the scheme.

Liberal Judaism’s rabbis and members have been part of a campaign to change this. The campaign was led by Safe Passage – an organisation, powered by Citizens UK, that exists to help unaccompanied child refugees and vulnerable adults find safe and legal routes to sanctuary.

The Government has now agreed to remove this cut-off date completely.

Beth Gardiner-Smith, CEO of Safe Passage, said: “We are making progress. Thanks to your relentless campaigning the Home Office has finally agreed to remove this key barrier. We know from our friends Refugee Youth Service in Calais that in France alone this will mean some 45 children aged 15 and under will now become eligible for protection under the scheme.

“But there is a problem. Our field teams report there are already 30 children in Calais and another 25 in Greece who have been approved for the scheme but have been waiting months for a place to be offered.

“Councils who offered to take in children two years ago now need to be persuaded to keep that commitment.

“Can you help us find space for the remaining Dubs children? Please take a minute to write to your MP today to ask them to help persuade your council.”

Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich, added: “In accordance with our principles, Liberal Judaism has been at the forefront of the campaign to bring vulnerable children to the United Kingdom and, while there are children vulnerable to exploitation near our borders, we will continue to work for their safe settlement in the UK.”

To find out more about how you can help, including by writing to your MP, please click here.

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