BHRC responds to UK Home Office decision to soften child refugee policy

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The Bar Human Rights Committee has welcomed the UK Government’s recent decision to reconsider asylum applications from lone child refugees with family links to Britain, following substantial public outcry from BHRC and many others.

A written Ministerial statement by Robert Goodwill MP on 8 February 2017 revealed that the Government’s schemes to accept unaccompanied child refugees under the ‘Dubs Amendment’ and Dublin III Regulation would shortly be coming to an end.

This announcement was met with sustained criticism from the public, media, politicians and NGOs, including BHRC, whose forthcoming report on the processing of unaccompanied minors during the dismantling of the “Jungle” refugee camp is expected to be highly critical of the British and French governments.

Following reports that child refugees without a legal route to the UK are now returning to Calais out of desperation, the Home Office has announced that applications from lone children with family links to Britain will be looked at again.

BHRC Chairperson Kirsty Brimelow QC said:

“We welcome this latest move but it does not go far enough. The UK’s proud tradition of welcoming child refugees into the UK has been diluted from a tradition into a gesture. We join others in urging the government to reconsider the plight of those lone, vulnerable children who fall outside the Dublin III Regulation “

 

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