Should the UK Welcome More Child Refugees?
Baron Alfred Dubs, Member, House of Lords
Chair: Elham Saudi, Director, Lawyers for Justice in Libya; Associate Fellow, International Law, Chatham House
In April 2016, Alfred Dubs sponsored an amendment to the Immigration Act that required the UK government to welcome a number of refugee children who had reached Europe unaccompanied by an adult. This was passed and adopted into UK law but earlier this year the Government announced the scheme would be stopped when 350 children had been admitted to the UK.
The amendment and its subsequent suspension raise practical, ethical and emotional questions. Has the UK honoured its commitment to relocate a sufficient number of unaccompanied children? How can the UK ensure that the refugees they are welcoming are under 18 years of age? What responsibility does a country like the UK have to house unaccompanied children? And how can the general population be imbued with this responsibility at a time when anti-immigration rhetoric and stretched public resources feature so prominently in the media and political discourse?
Dubs will argue that European countries have a moral duty to take in unaccompanied child refugees. Reflecting on his own personal experience and the current migration crisis, he will urge the UK government to honour the terms of the Dubs Amendment of 2016.