Migration Crisis Needs Urgent Attention as Parliament Returns

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Tuesday April 18 2017

Call to re-instate DUBS scheme following Dunkirk fire.

SNP Immigration and Asylum spokesperson Stuart McDonald MP is calling on the UK Government to re-instate the Dubs scheme for unaccompanied child refugees ‘as a matter of humanitarian urgency’ while demanding that efforts to address the migration crisis are given far greater priority as MPs return to Westminster today (Tuesday).

The call to reopen the Dubs schemes comes following a fire at the refugee’s camp in Dunkirk.

The fire has left hundreds of people homeless and charities and agencies are calling on the UK government to transfer at least 80 children from the camp who have a legal right to be with their families in the UK and a similar number again whose best interests would be served by transfer here.

Earlier this year the UK government U-turned on allowing vulnerable unaccompanied children in Europe to be given safe passage and resettlement in the UK, and give these vulnerable children a chance of avoiding being subject to the dangers of trafficking, abuse, violence and exploitation significantly increased.

Stuart McDonald MP commented:

“Transferring children from Dunkirk is the first thing the UK government should be doing in addressing the migration crisis and its consequences – this is a matter of humanitarian urgency. 

“If we don’t offer a path to safety in the UK, then traffickers will undoubtedly be persuading children into thinking that they can instead.

“The closure of the Dubs scheme has been roundly criticised by many organisations including UNICEF, Save the Children, the Scottish Refugee Council, the Refugee Council and the Children’s Commissioners for Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

“Following the fire in Dunkirk these children need our help and it is time for Theresa May to change her shameful approach and accept a fair share of unaccompanied child refugees.

“But there is so much more that the government should be doing further afield.

“There are 1,300 Unaccompanied Children along the Balkans route struggling to find safe accommodation and at serious risk of exploitation and trafficking. 

“Thousands are trapped in Greece, amid reports of self-harm and suicide.

“Hundreds of people have already died this year attempting to cross the Mediterranean – and as summer approaches the huge danger is that the number of such tragedies will soar.

“Providing safe legal routes is not a complete solution, but could be hugely helpful in easing the suffering faced by many and reducing the number of lives lost.

“Regardless of Brexit, it is appalling how little time has been devoted to debating the migration crisis and how we can address it, while Parliamentary business has been collapsing early.

“This requires urgent attention.”



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