Latest Public Sector News

22.04.16

New child refugee scheme aims to help 3,000 children

A scheme to resettle vulnerable children, including unaccompanied child refugees, aims to help 3,000 children by the end of this Parliament, the government confirmed today.

James Brokenshire MP, minister for immigration, said in an appearance before the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee this week that the government were developing a scheme to end the unfair dispersal of child asylum seekers among local authorities.

He has now confirmed that the new scheme will help 3,000 children on top of the refugees the government has already committed to take, including children at risk of child labour or children marriage.

Brokenshire said: “We have always been clear that the vast majority of vulnerable children are better off remaining in host countries in the region so they can be reunited with surviving family members. However, there are exceptional circumstances in which it is in a child’s best interests to be resettled in the UK.”

Cllr David Simmonds, chair of the LGA's asylum, refugee and migration task group, welcomed the reforms, saying: “It is right that the increased resettlement programme is phased in over time and is subject to review, given the vulnerability of the children councils will be welcoming into their communities.”

However, he repeated earlier cautions that the plans must be developed in partnership with councils and that the government must confirm how they are to be funded beyond July.

(Image c. Muhammed Muheisen from AP/ Press Association Images)

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