An influential group of MPs have back the Refugee Council’s call for child refugees who have reached Britain by themselves to be allowed to reunite with their parents.
At the moment, adults who have been granted refugee status in Britain are allowed to apply to bring some members of their close family to come and join them here in safety.
However, the current rules prevent lone child refugees from doing the same – leaving them permanently and deliberately separated from their mums and dads.
The Refugee Council has long campaigned for the rules to be changed so child refugees are able to live in safety with their families.
Today, in a new report, the Home Affairs Select Committee called the rule ‘perverse’ and called on the Government to change the rules, saying:
“It seems to us perverse that children who have been granted refugee status in the UK are not then allowed to bring their close family to join them in the same way as an adult would be able to do. The right to live safely with family should apply to child refugees just as it does to adults. The Government should amend the immigration rules to allow refugee children to act as sponsors for their close family.”
The Committee also criticised the ‘unacceptable’ bureaucratic hurdles being placed in the path of adult refugees who are desperately trying to bring their loved ones to safety in Britain.
Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said: “It seems obvious that the Government should be doing everything in its power to reunite families divided by war, rather than deliberately and permanently separating them. Changing the rules wouldn’t just bring refugee families back together; it could also help save lives.”
The Committee also slammed the Government’s record on dealing with asylum claims from Eritreans and Iranians. Read more.