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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Dubs Scheme: “The UK has the capacity and the will to help refugee children” says Green MEP

Jean and Green Party supporters show solidarity with refugees at a March in London

A Green MEP has criticised the Home Office’s management of the Dubs scheme, and urged it to work more closely with local authorities to resettle refugee children.

The statement follows yesterday’s High Court ruling that the Home Office did not act unlawfully in its shambolic implementation of the programme, intended to help vulnerable young refugees already inside Europe. [1]

As a result of the court’s decision, the scheme will remain closed – capped at resettling a total of just 480 unaccompanied refugee children in the UK.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and the Green Party’s migration spokesperson, said:

“This is an incredibly disappointing result. It’s clear that, from start to finish, the Government’s implementation of the Dubs Scheme was littered with errors.

However, this issue is also one of basic human decency. If the Home Office had an ounce of compassion, it would have celebrated offers from local authorities to welcome up to 1,600 desperate refugee children. Instead, it began a vetting process to identify children eligible for resettlement, before disappearing without a trace and leaving them to languish in squalid Greek camps. [2]

These children could be sleeping in safe, warm homes tonight. Yet as a direct result of Home Office actions, they’ll be bedding down with strangers in leaky tents and on freezing pavements. As winter begins to bite, they’ll face further exploitation and abuse.

Despite today’s sad result, this case has highlighted that the UK has the capacity and the will to help many of these children. I urge the Government to work with local authorities to take up these offers and transform vulnerable children’s lives.”

Notes:

[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/dubs-amendment-child-refugees-danger-help-government-refusal-take-more-home-office-court-ruling-a8032986.html

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/20/dubs-scheme-refugee-children-left-on-hold-for-a-year-in-greece