More than 70 high-profile actors, musicians, comedians, artists and sports players have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister demanding a change to the UK’s restrictive refugee family reunion laws.
The letter forms a key step in the Families Together campaign, led by a coalition of more than 50 organisations including the Refugee Council, Amnesty International UK, British Red Cross, Oxfam GB, Student Action for Refugees, UNHCR and Unicef UK.
Current rules only allow adult refugees to apply for their partners or children under 18 to join them. Child refugees in the UK are denied the right to be reunited with any family members, which makes it so much harder for them to recover from traumatic experiences.
Olivia Colman, Michaela Coel, Gary Lineker, Riz Ahmed, Emma Thompson and the band Coldplay are among the 70+ celebrities to back the call for a more compassionate response to refugee families.
Gary Lineker said: “There are children in the UK right now who have fled war and persecution and have no hope of seeing their parents or siblings again. We should be offering them support and compassion. A simple change to the rules could be transformational.”
Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said: “The pandemic has made us all acutely aware of the pain of family separation, but this is something that children to whom the UK gives refugee protection have been living with for years. It’s time to end the inhumane rules that separate children from their parents and cause long-term harm to children’s development and wellbeing. We are calling on the Prime Minister to reunite refugee families and allow them to rebuild their lives together.”
Sign the open letter today to make a difference for child refugees.