Lord Dubs: Lack of political will prolonging plight of lone child refugees
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Lord Dubs: Lack of political will prolonging plight of lone child refugees

Labour peer who came to the UK on the kindertransport criticises the government's approach to child refugees

Lord Alf Dubs
Lord Alf Dubs

A lack of political will by the Government is prolonging the plight of lone child refugees, a campaigning Labour peer has claimed.

Lord Dubs, who came to the UK as a refugee from the Nazis, argued there remained an obligation on the Tory administration to help vulnerable unaccompanied youngsters still in the Calais area of France and on the Greek islands.

However, the Government has rejected his criticism and pointed out more than 40,000 children had been given permission to come to the UK since 2010.

Lord Dubs was the architect of the policy which required ministers to make arrangements to relocate and support unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.

Children have also come to the UK under the Dublin Regulation covering family reunion cases.

Speaking in the House of Lords, Lord Dubs said: “Will the minister confirm that there are several hundred unaccompanied child refugees in the Calais area at the moment, that there are perhaps a couple of thousand on the islands in Greece, many of them sleeping rough without any accommodation, and that we still have an obligation… to take action.

“Surely what is holding things up is lack of political will by the Government.”

Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “This country upon request will take children referred to them and we continue to work to do that.

“It is not a lack of will by the Government.”

She said 42,000 children had been given leave to come to the UK since 2010.

Lady Williams also assured peers that Britain’s commitment to support refugees would not change after leaving the EU.

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