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Asylum: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with her (a) Italian and (b) Greek counterparts on resettling unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from those countries under the Dubs amendment provisions.

Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many unaccompanied asylum-seeking children through the Dubs amendment provisions (a) have been resettled in the last and (b) will be resettled in the next 12 months from (i) France, (ii) Italy and (iii) Greece.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill The Minister for Immigration

On February 8, the Government announced that we will transfer the specified number of 350 children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act following consultation with local authorities on capacity. In 2016 over 900 unaccompanied asylum seeking children were transferred to the UK, of which over 750 have been transferred from France, of which over 200 came under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. We will announce in due course the basis on which further 150 children will be transferred from Europe to the UK, where it is in their best interests, under section 67 of the Immigration Act.

The Home Secretary and I have both met with our Italian counterparts recently to discuss how we can support them; discussions are ongoing. The Home Secretary has spoken with her Greek colleagues to discuss the Migration crisis. We have seconded an expert to Greece to support these efforts, and are working in conjunction with the Greek authorities, UNHCR and NGOs to identify children whose best interests may be served by a transfer to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act, pending the publication of the basis on which the transfers will be made. In Italy, our long-standing secondee is also working closely with the Italian authorities. Our secondees are also working to support the timely and efficient operation of the Dublin Regulation, in order to ensure that children with close family in the UK can be reunited.

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