The Home Office has published incredibly restrictive criteria to determine eligibility for the Alf Dubs amendment. They state that to qualify for transfer to the UK under the Dubs amendment children must fall into the below categories:
-They must be 12 or under
-They must be at high risk of sexual exploitation
-Aged 15 or under and of Sudanese or Syrian nationality.
Teenagers who have relatives already in the UK will still be eligible to go there under European family reunification legislation.
The release of this criteria only continues to penalise some of the most vulnerable unaccompanied children in the crisis. These terms in no way put into place any kind of safety net for the children this amendment was designed to protect. As a result children as young as 13 are just as at risk as they ever were. An Afghan child of this age is no less deserving of safeguarding than a Syrian one.
We have an equal responsibility to them all.
Help Refugees’ proceedings are challenging the interpretation and implementation of the Secretary of State’s duty under S67, including now whether this criteria is lawful. The criteria is arbitrary and we hope the courts will take steps to ensure the Secretary of State is forced to reconsider without delay. The very children parliament said the Dubs amendment was passed to assist will lose out if this announcement is upheld.
Help Refugees volunteers are currently travelling around France to ensure the minors placed in accommodation centres are being properly looked after and given access to legally process their rights. Their findings have been very worrying. Please read this account by HR volunteer Benny Hunter.