LibLink: Tim Farron: Give willing UK families a chance to foster refugee children

Tim Farron has written for Politics Home to explain why he’s put forward a Bill to ensure that this country takes 3000 unaccompanied refugee children:

But tens and thousands of children travel alone. They are without parents or relatives, and have made their way to Europe in the toughest of circumstances.

It is this particularly vulnerable group which our bill aims to support. The bill would award of asylum-seeker status in the United Kingdom to certain unaccompanied children from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Eritrea displaced by conflict and present within the European Union

I know that there are enough families willing to foster an unaccompanied child. For example, Home for Good has registered 10,000 prospective adoptive families. Although they will not be ready to step up immediately, if the Government supports local authorities and agencies to provide the requisite training the UK will be well equipped to support these children.

I see this scheme as extolling the values of the Kindertransport and brining into the modern age.

It could not be clearer these children deserve our support and our help. And any suggestion that they don’t is nothing to do with their own safety- it is solely to do with the inability of our government to act upon the values they claim to uphold. Values which include helping seekers of sanctuary and protecting the young.

Politicians from all parties in this country are agreed the Kindertransport, which brought over unaccompanied Jewish children from Germany in 1938, was the right thing to do. Now we need a new Kindertransport to save another group of vulnerable children, and send a clear signal of the renewal of the British values of which we are so proud.

You can read the whole article here.

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2 Comments

  • Well done Tim Farron . If the kids are orphans , there are opportunities for adoption eventually , surely no one would do the well meaning , misguided , criticism of the idea of children being removed from their own society . These are desparate kids. They deserve better . They have got out , probably with the help of equally desparate adults . We cannot take on everyone in this crisis, we can do more . This is how .

  • Richard Underhill 10th Dec '15 - 10:30pm

    Maybe I am missing something, but what is the point of giving someone asylum seeker status? The application will be considered and the applicant will be either recognised as a refugee by the UK or refused with a right of appeal. Asylum is the most complicated of the applications which could be made, Other asylum seekers will have their claims delayed, Unaccompanied minors need help to be reunited with their parents or guardians who might be anywhere, in a UNHCR camp, in transit, maybe in a safe country such as Germany or Sweden. There is a role for the Red Cross in this process. As the UNHCR spokesman said at Bournemouth conference most of the refugees want to return home when it is safe to do so.

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