To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to participate in discussions with UNHCR about the relocation of unaccompanied refugee children now in Europe, in particular those in Greece; and if not, why not.
5 June 2020
The UK maintains an ongoing dialogue with UNHRC and has a strong and constructive relationship across a range of asylum and resettlement issues.
In 2016 Parliament agreed a one-off commitment to relocate 480 unaccompanied children from Europe to the UK under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (‘the Dubs amendment’). 478 children from Greece, Italy and France have now successfully transferred to the UK under this scheme and we remain committed to completing the final two transfers as soon as it is safe to do so.
Under the Dublin III Regulation, the UK will also continue to transfer children from Greece if they have family in the UK until the end of the transition period. The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin Regulation. Despite covid-19 restrictions, the UK is ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. Following close collaboration with the Greek Government, 50 asylum seekers arrived in the UK from Greece on 11 May in order to unite with family members who were already lawfully present in the UK.
Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.