Legal victory for Help Refugees on Dubs
Help Refugees has won a significant victory in its ongoing legal challenge to the Government’s failures to implement the Dubs amendment. The Dubs amendment in the Immigration Act 2016 requires the Government to ‘as soon as possible’ relocate unaccompanied refugee children from other European Countries. Until Help Refugees brought their legal challenge, the Government insisted that it could meet its obligations under the Dubs Amendment by transferring children that it was already required to accept for family reunification under European Union law (the Dublin III Regulation). Before Help Refugees started its litigation, not a single child had actually been transferred under the Dubs Amendment – all the children said by the Government to have been relocated under Dubs were in reality Dublin III transfers. This week , the High Court made a declaration in the our legal challenge which confirms that the number of children to be transferred under Dubs is separate from and additional to Dublin III transfers. Other parts of the Help Refugees legal challenge will be heard in the new year.
Help Refugees said: ‘The Government already owed legal duties under EU law since 2013 to unaccompanied children with close family ties in the UK. Dubs is additional to that – it is about the vulnerable and isolated children who have no family ties. Many of these children are in desperate situations and at serious risk of abuse and trafficking. With the blurring by the Government of the distinction between Dubs and Dublin, too little was happening on implementing the Dubs Amendment. We hope that this much needed clarification will ensure more transfers of Dubs children take place urgently. ‘
Rosa Curling of Leigh Day solicitors, the human rights lawyer representing us said ‘this declaration is a very welcome step in ensuring that the important new legal obligations that the Government owes refugee children under the Dubs amendment are properly implemented.’