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James Flanagan furious as government backtracks on child refugees

February 16, 2017 12:19 PM
James Flanagan and Mike Sole - Calais Camp

James Flanagan and Mike Sole at the Calais Camp last year

The decision to backtrack on providing sanctuary for 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children is shameful.

Last year, Save the Children estimated there were 26,000 lone child refugees in Europe. Some had been separated from their parents by war, others had been orphaned, and all of them were at serious risk of exploitation, violence and disease.

Cross-party backing for the Dubs scheme meant the UK could provide refuge for 3,000 of these children.

Less than a year later, only 350 children have been taken in and the scheme is being closed.

Where is the justice in abandoning thousands of vulnerable children?

Now, local government is unfairly getting the blame for not having enough capacity.

It is incumbent on both Canterbury City and Kent County Councils to make representations to Government for more funding to allow them, and other local authorities, to host vulnerable refugee children.

Britain has a long, historic role in providing sanctuary for the desperate and persecuted. We must not betray that legacy. We must do the decent thing by offering refuge to these children.