Unaccompanied Refugee Children


There has been a lot of news this week regarding unaccompanied minors in the Calais camp. The Court of Appeal upheld the Home Office appeal against the Zat judgement. This judgement was passed in January 2016, and forced the government to allow three Syrian children and one young adult with mental health problems to enter the UK legally, and be reunited with their families. We do not believe the families will now be separated again, but the appeal demonstrates our government’s disregard for the human rights of refugees.

This disregard was exposed in the Home Affairs committee report on the migration crisis. The lack of adequate response shown by our government and the EU is described as “lamentable”. The report places particular emphasis on the danger for unaccompanied child refugees, in particular highlighting the enormous failings of our government in forcing the 157 with immediate family in the UK (and therefore the legal right to be here) to remain stuck in dire and dangerous conditions in Calais.

Last weekend, Amelia Gentleman visited our team in the Calais camp and met some of those child refugees. She published what she found in The Guardian, available here.

We would like to make it clear that the Zat ruling does not undermine the Dublin III regulation, or the Dubs Amendment. We are still working hard to make sure that those eligible under both receive the support they need, both practically and legally.

To help dissect this week’s news, have a listen to our co-founder Lliana discussing the issues in more depth with Shelagh Fogerty on LBC.