Refugees: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the July 2017 report by Christine Beddoe on separated and unaccompanied minors in Europe, whether the Government plans to create safe travel routes for those minors with a family member in the UK.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Minister for Immigration

Safe travel routes from unaccompanied children from Europe to the UK are already in place. Our family reunion policy allows a spouse or partner and children under the age of 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them here, if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country.

In addition, the Dublin Regulation allows unaccompanied children who have claimed asylum in another Member State to be transferred here to have their asylum claim assessed if they have a qualifying family member legally present in the UK and transfer would be in their best interests. In order for the Dublin Regulation to apply, an unaccompanied child must first claim asylum in the Member State in which they are located and that Member State must issue a Take Charge Request to the UK. The UK is working closely with other Member States as well as intergovernmental organisations and NGOs to ensure the effective operation of the Dublin Regulation.

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