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10 February 2017

5 things we learnt this week about child refugees

5 things we learnt this week about child refugees

Evangelical Alliance editor Amaris Cole spoke to Mark Walley from Alliance member organisation Home for Good about the recent news that the government's policy of accepting unaccompanied children to the UK was closing, and what the Church is doing to help. Watch the full interview here

1 – The Dublin agreement means that if a child seeking asylum in the European Union has family in another EU country, the child should be transferred to that country. For example, if a child arrives in Greece and has an uncle in Germany, they should be transported to Germany and allowed to seek asylum there. This happened to 700 children from Calais when the camp was closed. However, this is a slow process that needs to be sped up, especially for children in Greece. 

2 – The Dubs amendment, which is the news now, was agreed in May last year. This was an agreement to bring in a number of unaccompanied children into the UK from Europe. This week the government announced it was bringing this scheme to a close. So far, 200 children – who don't have family here – have been brought to the UK from Calais. Because of their particularly vulnerable needs, these children have been granted asylum. There is probably another 150 children to come, but then this scheme will end. There are another 10,000 – 25,000 unaccompanied children in Europe from countries like Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria. 

3 – Lord Alf Dubs, who wrote the amendment, came to the UK as a refugee when he was a child. Children that grow up in the country can go on to offer a great deal to society. 

4 – Since hearing in the news about the children coming to the UK as refugees, many volunteers have come forward to offer themselves as foster carers, and the Church is doing a great deal to fight for these children. Lots of Christians have come forward to express their interest in fostering and adoption – but more is needed. 

5 – Home for Good would love to speak to as many people as possible about fostering and adoption. The unaccompanied children coming to the UK as refugees tend to be older teenagers, and there is a shortage of people willing to give children of this age a home. However, there are also a huge number of younger children already in the UK waiting to be fostered or adopted. Head to the website to find out more.

To watch the full video, visit the Evangelical Alliance Facebook page here. To find out more information about Home for Good, visit the website here

As a member of the Evangelical Alliance, Home for Good is one of 600 organisations supported by the Alliance. We facilitate members' initiatives and campaigns and offer support to increase their impact. Member organisations have an opportunity to speak to the media on behalf of our membership, as we direct media and information enquiries to member organisations best placed to deal with them. The Alliance also provides training for organisations on how to engage with the local government and media.  

If you would like your organisation to become a member of the Evangelical Alliance, you can find out more here