Green Party urges local authorities to take in fair share of child refugees

17 August 2021

In response to the crisis in Afghanistan, the Green Party has written to every local authority in England to urge them to join forces and volunteer to take in more child refugees.

Benali Hamdache, Green Party migration and refugee support spokesperson, has sent letters to the leaders of every council, to remind them of the woeful provision currently provided to child refugees. [1]

It calls on the local authorities to work together in order to take their fair share of children as people flee the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as those seeking refuge from other parts of the world.

Hamdache said:

“We have all looked on in horror as the Taliban advanced across Afghanistan, leaving millions of people trying to flee violence and persecution.

“Councils in England can make a huge difference to the lives of some of these people. Unfortunately, the provision for child refugees in this country is already woefully inadequate, with young people being left in unsuitable locations, often without the support they need. [2]

“If we want to be able to help those in Afghanistan who deserve a better future, then we need to sort out the crisis already in this country and get local authorities to take their fair share of child refugees.”

In the letter, Hamdache has asked each local authority if they:

  • Are currently supporting the required 0.07% of UASC children as a portion of their child population?
  • Plans to participate in the National Transfer Scheme rota and if so, when are they next expecting to take more UASCs?
  • Will commit to supporting the large numbers of UASCs currently in hotels in Kent and Brighton & Hove waiting for local authorities to offer them a placement?

Hamdache has also urged councils to join the Green Party's call on the UK government to provide more funds to local authorities to support refugee children.

Hamdache said:

"It's also time for the government to step up and deliver on the obligations it has to help those around the world who need it. It needs to create specific funding to support councils help those in need."

Councillor Hannah Clare, Brighton and Hove’s Lead Councillor for Childrens’ Services, said:

“It is clear that the Government’s inability to act and introduce a mandatory rota for local authorities has failed. Many councils across England are simply looking the other way and the Government is allowing them to do so. As councils, we must do better.

“Right now in Brighton and Hove and in Kent there are young people being placed in a hotel by the Home Office waiting for councils to offer them a secure, permanent home. And the refugee crisis we face will only get worse. Councils must act now to provide a place for these vulnerable children.”

ENDS

Notes

1

A full version of the letter can be seen here

2

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/home-office-sends-lone-child-migrants-to-hotels-f5nlr23rd

 






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