UK Immigration minister Robert Goodwill has announced that a scheme to take in child refugees will end at the end of March having only accepted 350 children.
Last year an amendment to the Immigration Act allowing for the UK to accept unaccompanied child refugees currently in Europe was accepted. Known as the Dubs amendment, named after Lord Dubs who introduced it, the public was led to believe up to 3,000 unaccompanied minors would be granted entry.
Many civil society groups have reacted angrily to this announcement. A spokesperson for Children in Scotland, said it and its sister organisations were united in their “condemnation” of the government’s decision to “renege on its commitment”.
“Less than a year has passed since the decision was taken — with overwhelming public backing — to support vulnerable unaccompanied children through this scheme. This was an expression of solidarity and a contribution to their protection.”
“We believe the claim that the decision is being taken due to concerns about attracting human traffickers is utterly disingenuous. We share Lord Alfred Dubs’ view that the UK Government is ‘in breach of its own commitments’.
Charity, Help Refugees lodged a high court challenge to the government’s role in helping refugees. The legal challenge asserts that the government has failed to lawfully calculate the number of available places for unaccompanied children because it failed to properly consult with local authorities as the statute required it to do.
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Image credit: Josh McKible CC by 2.0