A Jewish human rights group in the UK is encouraging people to contact their MPs ahead of an upcoming parliamentary debate on refugees.

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (J-CORE) asked supporters to get involved before a debate on a private members’ bill on family reunion on Friday 16 March.

“Unlike most other EU states, the UK does not allow child refugees to apply for even their closest family members to join them,” said J-CORE director Dr Edie Friedman.

“As a result, families are separated and child refugees are forced to grow up in the UK care system, alone and at the expense of local authorities.”

In 2013 and 2014, the Home Office refused around a third of refugee family reunion cases. By 2016, this figure increased to almost two-thirds, meaning that more than 3,500 people were denied the right to live with their families.

“Put simply, keeping families apart makes children and parents suffer,” said Friedman, who is working with organisations like the Refugee Council, Oxfam and Amnesty International, tweeting under #FamiliesTogether.

“If you share our desire to give refugee families the chance to rebuild their lives, together, please help by contacting your MP,” she said. “It is important that parliament hears a strong Jewish voice on this issue.”