Refugees: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 16th June 2016.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they plan to co-operate with voluntary organisations in bringing unaccompanied minors to the UK from refugee camps in Europe.

Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether a timetable has been established for bringing unaccompanied minors to the UK from refugee camps in Europe; and if so, how many children are anticipated to arrive during each stage.

Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to ensure the proper provision of safe housing for unaccompanied minors brought to the UK from refugee camps in Europe.

Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to establish social services and psychosocial support for unaccompanied minors brought to the UK from refugee camps in Europe.

Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what process they plan to follow to identify eligible unaccompanied minors and bring them to the UK from refugee camps in Europe.

Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the unaccompanied minors brought to the UK from refugee camps in Europe will be assigned to families through the usual system of allocation to foster carers.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Parliamentary Under-Secretary

As announced by the Prime Minister on 4 May and now reflected in the Immigration Act 2016, we will work to admit unaccompanied refugee children to the UK from elsewhere in the EU, where this is considered to be in the child’s best interests.

The legislation is clear that consultation with local authorities is needed before any figure is set. We are working closely with local authorities and consulting NGOs, the UNHCR, UNICEF and relevant Member States to establish suitable processes to im-plement this initiative.

We are committed to act as quickly as we can but we must take the necessary time to ensure we have the capacity to resettle and support those who are resettled.

We must also ensure that we fulfil our obligations to children who are already in the UK. We will be working closely with local authorities to find suitable placements within the UK. Statutory agencies at a local level are best placed to understand and meet the needs of all children and will continue to make decisions about the right accommodation and support services for those who are looked after. Unaccompanied children will be eligible for foster care if it is considered that that this placement type will provide appropriate support and best meet their individual needs.

The UK has well-established and effective safeguarding procedures to ensure the safety of children who come to the UK. All children brought to the UK will be given the care, support and education they require.

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