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Britain must stop failing refugee children

Child refugees are victims of contextual factors not of their own making but which are common to inhumanity: a toxic policy cocktail of deterrence; tokenism and symbolism fuelling government inertia (Britain leaves child refugees alone, afraid and abandoned, Amelia Gentleman, 3 August). First, they are being used as a deterrent to further migration, in the same way as paupers admitted to workhouses under the poor law were used to deter dependency on the state.

Second, they are being used as a tokenistic cost- and face-saving measure – “we are doing our bit” – but without the funding required, the leadership needed to coordinate central and local services, and the recruitment of foster carers. This has resulted in local authorities supporting such limited numbers: only 20 child refugees have arrived since Lord Dubs’ amendment to the Immigration Act. Third, post-Brexit, they are being used as symbolic currency for “Let’s get back control of our borders”, a war cry of the vote leave campaign and the concomitant reinforcement of national – xenophobic? – identity.

The consequence is that some of the most vulnerable children on the planet, those seeking asylum from persecution, war and extreme poverty, are condemned to ongoing suffering.
Mike Stein
Emeritus professor, University of York

• At the centre of this epic migration crisis are vulnerable human beings who are fleeing torture and other unimaginable destruction (MPs condemn European response, 3 August).

We welcome calls by the home affairs committee for the UK government to show more leadership. Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, the UK hosts less than 1% of the world’s refugees – and that is just not good enough. In keeping with her vision of this country as a “beacon of hope” for those most in need, the prime minister must ensure the UK meets its moral obligation by helping a greater share of asylum seekers and refugees to find safety in this country.

To stop the need for people smugglers, more safe and legal pathways should be created immediately, including via a humanitarian visa scheme, increased resettlement places and family reunion opportunities for refugees from Syria and other strife-torn countries.


However, there are dangerous cracks in the government’s Syrian refugee resettlement scheme in its current state, and coordination with specialist voluntary sector service providers such as ourselves has been woeful. We have long warned that the promise to prioritise the most vulnerable, including torture survivors, is at risk of being unfulfilled. The government should establish a joint task with civil society to rescue the programme and ensure that those suffering from trauma can access the specialist services they need.
Susan Munroe
Chief executive, Freedom from Torture

• It is to be profoundly hoped that Theresa May, our new prime minister, reads your paper and finally acts on its conclusions about the heinous situation of child refugees. The pledge to accept child refugees to Britain appears to be stalling, if not stalled altogether.

It is a collective stain on all our consciences that children are suffering in this way, without any real tangible support.

Last year at the Conservative party conference, May was damning about immigration – but now that she is prime minister she needs to put right this callous matter of not honouring our obligations. We will be judged – and judged harshly – if this is not remedied, and if Britain fails to play its necessary part in helping the weakest in our world.
Judith Daniels
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

• I was moved to tears by Amelia Gentleman’s article. Like many ordinary concerned mothers in the UK, I was under the impression that Lord Dubs’ amendment had meant that these unaccompanied children would soon be safe in Britain. I am so angry to read that the process has actually slowed.

Could the Guardian print an article with information on who we can write to about our concerns – and where the best place is to send money that will go directly to help the children and volunteers like Liz Clegg?
Gill Caldwell
Bookham, Surrey

• I was horrified to read the article by Amelia Gentleman about the ongoing plight of refugee children in the Calais camp. Weeks ago, the Dubs amendment was passed and we all felt a little better that “something” would be done, but in reality virtually nothing has happened.

Where are the voices of Labour politicians in this, and the Lib Dems and the Greens? How can we hope that these children who have left their home countries to seek safety, will become responsible citizens of the world when they are enduring these deprivations? I feel ashamed, and powerless.
Joyce Wormald
Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/04/britain-must-stop-failing-refugee-children 05.06.16


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O CSEM possui uma biblioteca especializada em migrações abrangendo em seu acervo aproximadamente 3 mil livros, periódicos e revistas científicas de vários países. 

Para consultar nossa biblioteca online visite o site da biblioteca e pesquise em nosso acervo.Horário de funcionamento: segunda a sexta-feira, das 9h às 17h

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