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Child refugees in limbo in Calais 'because of Home Office delays'

Categories: Articles:Asylum & Refugees | Published: 16/08/2016 | Views: 1100
Labour MP Yvette Cooper has written to the home secretary about the plight of child refugees at risk in French camps. Around 20 of the estimated 88,000 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe have so far arrived in the UK, a tiny figure that has prompted harsh criticism. (Jessica Elgot the Guardian)   


Hundreds of child refugees have been unacceptably left in limbo in Calais camps by Home Office delays, despite having the legal right to be reunited with families in the UK, Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP, has written in a letter to the home secretary, Amber Rudd. 

Just 40 children and teenagers have been allowed into the UK to be reunited with their families under the EU’s Dublin regulation, with charities identifying more than 200 still waiting in the camps. Only 35 of those are understood to have cases in progress, taken up by different voluntary organisations with the Home Office.

“At the current rate of progress it would take over a year to reunite every child with their family,” Cooper wrote. “Even when Britain has agreed to the ‘take charge’ request and agreed they can join their family here, there are disgraceful further bureaucratic delays as the children and teenagers are left to wait at risk in the Calais camp for many more weeks before they are finally transferred.”
Another 200 children in the camps in Calais are eligible for sanctuary in Britain under the Dubs amendment to bring child refugees to the UK, brought about by Labour peer Alf Dubs, formerly a child refugee himself.

His amendment in the House of Lords brought a U-turn on the Immigration Act, committing the government to relocate lone child refugees in Europe “as soon as possible”. Though no figure was given, ministers briefed that several thousand were expected to come to Britain.    
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