150 MPs, peers and organisations sent a letter to Amber Rudd – read it here

Last week we delivered a letter to Amber Rudd MP at the Home Office with Lord Alf Dubs, Baroness Shas Sheehan, Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss and our partners Refugee Rights Data Project.

The letter garnered the support of a remarkable 150 MPs, Peers, NGOs and public figures.

Together we demand urgent action to be taken about the child refugees stuck in Calais and Greece who could fill the nearly 300 spaces left unfilled under the Dubs Amendment.

You can find the letter and signatories below.

You can use it to write to your MP here: www.writetothem.com

Read the letter here:

The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP

Secretary of State for the Home Department

2 Marsham St

London

SW1P 4DF 14 December 2017

Dear Home Secretary,

We, the undersigned, are writing to you Secretary of State for the Home Department to ask you to continue Britain’s proud tradition of welcoming child refugees and ensure that all the ‘Dubs’ places are now filled and children are transferred to Britain without further delay.

You will be aware that the Dubs Amendment was passed in May 2016 as S67 Immigration Act 2016 in order to bring to safety unaccompanied child refugees from France, Italy and Greece. Parliament called for the Government to consult with Local Authorities when determining how many children would be granted protection in the UK under the scheme.

During the demolition of the so-called Calais “Jungle” in October 2016 the UK gave sanctuary to 200 children under this provision. However since then and up to September this year, no children were transferred under the legislation, despite the Government stating in February 2017 that 480 placements had been identified in total. Today, hundreds of unaccompanied children continue to circulate in Northern France whilst conditions are deteriorating at a steady pace. Recent research by Refugee Rights Data Project indicates that the majority of children are facing sustained and increasingly brutal forms of police violence as well as abuse by civilians, whilst many suffer from untreated mental and physical health problems combined with an absence of information and guidance.1

In light of the current detrimental situation in Calais, a continued commitment by our Government to its legal obligation to fulfil the ‘Dubs’ Amendment appears to be more important than ever. The previous transfer of 200 children in 2016 proves that our Home Office and our Government are able and willing to follow a proud tradition of being a safe haven for child refugees since the Kindertransport in the Second World War, allowing them to find safety in the UK without risking their lives. Knowing that at least four children lost their lives last year at our border in Calais before the Amendment was implemented is heartbreaking and we cannot let this happen again.

We are writing to ask that you ensure further safe transfers to the UK as swiftly as possible to fill the 480 capacity, and to urge the Government to provide swift access to family reunion so that children do not have to risk their lives to reach protection and their families.

The Home Office must act on their existing legal obligation and honour promises made to children under the Dubs Amendment.

We ask that:

  • All 480 Dubs Amendment placements declared by the Government be filled – the immediate identification, assessment and transfer must take place before the end of the year, to protect children from freezing temperatures and the many other risks they face;

  • The EU-Turkey deal eligibility deadline of 20th March 2016 be reconsidered – Currently only children who arrived in Europe before this date are considered eligible under the ‘Dubs’ amendment, meaning many vulnerable children who arrived more recently are not being considered for the scheme;

  • Family reunion for unaccompanied children in Europe with family in Britain (under the ‘Dublin III’ regulation) be accelerated – children are currently waiting many months to access this safe and legal route, leaving many to risk their lives in the hands of smugglers and traffickers, simply to reach family.

  • Involvement in anti-exploitation and anti-trafficking efforts in Northern France be renewed and reinforced; due to the high level of vulnerability of child and some adult refugees in the region, the UK has a duty to safeguard refugees from the dangers posed by exploitative criminal networks before they reach the UK, as well as actively identify both potential victims and perpetrators.

We recognise the leadership role Britain has played in coordinating aid to countries with large refugee populations and in resettling refugees directly from the region, however we strongly believe we should also do our bit to support some of the most vulnerable child refugees who have already arrived in Europe.

On the eve of the Second World War, Britain gave sanctuary to some 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe fleeing Nazi persecution through the Kindertransport. One of these children was Lord Alf Dubs; his amendment – Section 67 – continues this proud tradition of offering protection to some of the most vulnerable child refugees in Europe. We ask you to stand up now for that tradition.

Yours sincerely,

Signatories:

Lord Dubs

Baroness Butler-Sloss

Baroness Sheehan

Caroline Lucas MP

The Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable M

Stella Creasy MP

Stephen Twigg MP

Heidi Allen MP

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of Green party

Molly Scott-Cato Green MEP

Stuart McDonald MP

Vernon Coaker MP

Alex Sobel MP

Bishop of Southwark

Bishop of Chester

Lord Hylton

Lord Alton

Jo Swinson MP

The Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP

The Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP

Tim Farron MP

Wera Hobhouse MP

Stephen LLoyd MP

The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP

Layla Moran MP

Christine Jardine MP

Alison Thewliss MP

John McNally MP

Angus MacNeil MP

Ian Blackford MP

Martyn Day MP

Neil Gray MP

Kirsty Blackman MP

Chris Law MP

Gavin Newlands MP

David Linden MP

Joanna Cherry MP

Alan Brown MP

Chris Stephens MP

Douglas Chapman MP

Deidre Brock MP

Philippa Whitford MP

Marion Fellows MP

Angela Crawley MP

Stewart McDonald MP (not to be confused with me!)

Pete Wishart MP

Ronnie Cowan MP

Patrick Grady MP

Carol Monaghan MP

Mhairi Black MP

Stewart Hosie MP

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP

Brendan O’Hara MP

Hannah Bardell MP

Drew Hendry MP

Patricia Gibson MP

Lisa Cameron MP

Stephen Gethins MP

Peter Grant MP

Chuka Ummuna MP

Tommy Sheppard MP

Cllr Stephen Cowan – Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Baroness Smith of Basildon

Viscount Simon

Lord Hunt of Chesterton

Lord Gordon of Strathblane

Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan

Lord Rooker

Lord Haworth

Baroness Blackstone

Lord Desai

Lord Falconer

Baroness Quin

Lord Judd

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon

Lord Collins of Highbury

Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke

Baroness Lister of Burtersett

Baroness Whitaker

Baroness Goudie

Baroness Bakewell

Baroness Young of Scone

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

Lord Wills of North Swindon and Woodside Park

Lord Bassam

Baroness Massey of Darwen

Baroness Tonge

Lord Greaves

Baroness Janke

Baroness Garden of Frognal

Baroness Doocey

Lord Jones

Baroness Miller

Baroness Jolly

Lord Lee

Baroness Hussein-Ece

Baroness Bowles

Lord Stunell

Lord Wallace of Saltaire

Lord Taverne

Lord Newby

Baroness Smith of Newnham

Baroness Walmsley

Lord Thomas of Gresford

Baroness Hamwee

Prof. Lord Layard

Lord Rogers of Riverside

Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws

Baroness Hilton

Lord Stephen

Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill

Organisations:

Help Refugees

Refugee Rights Data Project

Safe Passage

L’Auberge des Migrants

Refugee Youth Service

Refugee Info Bus

Utopia 56

Refugee Women’s Centre

Solidarity with Refugees

ILPA- Immigration Law Practitioners Association

School Bus Project

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign

MICLU – Migrant & Refugee Children Legal Unit

ECPAT UK – Every Child Protected Against Human Trafficking

Hummingbird Project

Meena Centre

Mobile Refugee Support

Refugee Resilience Collective

Global Social Club Brighton

Care4Calais

Refugee Compassion 

Donate4Refugees

Friends of Refugees Bedford

Jewish Centre for Racial Equality

Chorleywood for Refugees

Herts for Refugees

Social Workers Without Borders

Side by Side with Refugees

Marlow Refugee Action Group

Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group

Right to Remain

Christian Aid

Advocacy figures:

Vanessa Redgrave

Juliet Stevenson

Lynne Myfwany Jones OBE PsychFr

Anna Zobnina, Strategy & Policy Coordinator of European Network of Migrant Women

Fiona MacTaggart

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