Syrian Children Separated From Their Parents May Soon Be Able To Find Homes In The UK

Photographed by Jordi Oliver
In a dramatic U-turn by the government, the UK has announced it will take in unaccompanied refugee children from Syria and other nearby conflict zones who are already living in Europe. According to the BBC, it will set aside a new £10m fund to support vulnerable children and this marks the first time that the UK has agreed to take refugees from within Europe. Charities and politicians have made calls to allow 3,000 children fleeing the civil war in Syria to settle in the UK.

James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, said in a statement that the government is ready to work with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the new scheme. “We have asked the UNHCR to make an assessment of the numbers and needs of unaccompanied children in conflict regions and advise on when it is in the best interests of the child to be resettled in the UK and how that process should be managed.”

The plans come after David Cameron used derogatory language when talking about refugees in yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, during which he referred to those staying in camps in Calais as a “bunch of migrants.”

The UK has so far accepted 1,000 refugees from Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme, with a pledge to take 20,000 refugees by 2020. The Home Office has not put a figure on how many under-18s will be taken in as part of the new joint initiative with the UNHCR but it has confirmed that the minors will be in addition to the existing 20,000 figure.

This story was originally published on Refinery29's UK site.
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