As many as 75,000 members of the public are joining our calls to the Home Secretary to change the immigration rules which ban refugee children in the UK from being reunited with any family member in Britain.
School children, refugees, activists and MPs held a public demonstration by the Houses of Parliament in Westminster before delivering the 75,000 strong petition to the Home Office.
Current UK law allows adult refugees rebuilding their lives in the country to sponsor their immediate family members to join them. Child refugees, however, are completely deprived this right. The UK is one of the only countries in Europe to prevent child refugees from sponsoring their family members to join them.
Recent research from the Refugee Council, Amnesty International and Save the Children details the devastating effects of family separation on refugee children, including constant anxiety, fear for their families’ safety, and in some cases serious mental health consequences.
The charities highlight that the Home Secretary could amend the harmful UK immigration rules immediately, with the stroke of a pen, not requiring any new legislation to give refugee children in Britain the right to be with loved ones.
Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said: “Preventing refugee children from reconnecting with their families not only flies in the face of international law, but also blights the many young lives that are already destabilised by trauma, isolation and loss.
“There is simply no good reason for imposing such a harmful restriction on refugee children and it must end now. With the backing of MPs from across the political divide, the people who work with these children and an incredible show of public support, the pressure is on the Home Secretary to do right by refugee children in Britain and let them be reunited with their families.”