Child refugee

London should take more child refugees

08 March 2017

Despite the UK government adopting the Dubs Child Refugee scheme, to allow 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Europe into the UK - only 350 have been brought in.

Today the London Assembly agreed a motion calling on the Mayor to pressure the government to reverse its decision and adhere to the Dublin convention in the name of Humanity.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion said:

“It is deeply disappointing that the Government has chosen to end its commitment to the Dubs Amendment after such a short period of time.  

Councils in London have stepped up and taken responsibility during a severe humanitarian crisis.

The argument put forward by the Government that local authorities are only able to provide 350 places for children under the Dubs scheme has been totally rebutted by local councils and the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.

Most importantly we need to listen to organisations such as Save the Children and UNICEF who highlight how important it is that safe and legal routes to the UK for child refugees are maintained.”

Joanne McCartney AM, who seconded the motion said:

“It is absolutely right for the Assembly to pass this motion. London has a proud history of being open, taking in some of the most vulnerable children in the world, and offering them refuge and opportunity

To plan to help 3,000 children nationally, and take just 350, is nothing short of disgraceful. The government should urgently reverse the decision to turn their backs on children who are in desperate need of our help.”

The full text of the Motion is:

“This Assembly regrets the Government’s decision to withdraw from its commitment to the Dubs Amendment. We are disappointed that only 750 unaccompanied children, of the 3,000 stipulated in the original amendment, have so far been resettled in the UK and we want the Government to reverse their decision and stand by the Dubs Amendment

This Assembly notes the UK’s proud record of humanitarian response, and acknowledges the action that London councils has taken to house child refugees caused by the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. We also note the continued willingness of London Boroughs to assist in the settlement of more child refugees

This Assembly highlights the number of vulnerable, unaccompanied children in Calais, who are at risk of people trafficking and abuse.  We also recognise that the UK has a moral duty to take in youngsters who have been forced to flee their homes.  The Assembly would like to see the Government to take in its fair share of child refugees 

We call on the Mayor to make the strongest possible representations to the Government to secure a renewed commitment to settle 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees, enabling London to continue playing a vital role in resettling vulnerable children”

Notes to editors

  1. Watch the full webcast.
  2. The motion was agreed by 19 votes for, to 2 votes against.
  3. Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion, is available for interviews. Please see contact details below. 
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Sonia Labboun on 020 7983 5769.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.