Children’s commissioners for all four UK nations have written to the home secretary, Amber Rudd, urging her to rethink the government’s plans to close the transfer of lone child refugees in Europe to the UK.
The commissioners, who are public appointees, said they wanted to “express deep concern” about the decision of the government to cease taking children without family connections to the UK.
Rudd told the House of Commons last week that local councils had said they only had sufficient resources to take 450 lone child refugees under the so-called Dubs Amendment to the Immigration Act, proposed by former Kindertransport refugee Lord Alf Dubs. Though the amendment made no mention of specific numbers, campaigners said they had expected the UK to take around 3,000 children.
The letter to Rudd, signed by Scotland’s Tam Baillie, Wales’ Sally Holland, Northern Ireland’s Koulla Yiasouma and England’s Anne Longfield said the government, should maintain a positive commitment to the Dubs scheme.
“The UK has a long history of providing protection and support to those most in need of it and we would urge you to consider carefully the plight of the many thousands of lone child refugees in Europe who are currently at risk of exploitation and trafficking,” the letter said.
The numbers of children taken so far from Europe “falls significantly short of expectations,” the commissioners said. “The UK should play a far greater role in both offering protection and…