Tue 14 Feb, 2017

Green MSPs have written to the UK Government to voice strong objections to the closing of the Dubs scheme to support child refugees stranded in Europe.

Dear Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration),

Unaccompanied Child Refugees

We are writing to you today regarding the closing of the Dubs scheme to assist child refugees stranded in Europe. This letters follows from our previous letter sent to you on 18th October 2016 raising concerns about child refugees stranded at Calais, to which we received no response.

It was our understanding, and, we believe, the understanding of Lord Alf Dubs, that the intention of the Dubs scheme was to resettle 3,000 child refugees in the UK from those currently stranded in Europe. This target of 3,000 child refugees was already very low and constitutes only the bare minimum action to assist in the on-going refugee crisis. It was estimated that there were 90,000 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe in 2015. The UK is already playing a disproportionately small role in addressing the largest refugee crisis in Europe since Second World War. Yet the Dubs scheme has now been closed after only 350 children have been resettled.

The Scottish Green Party MSPs continue to hold the view that the UK Government has not yet done enough to help refugees in Europe, particularly children. In September last year, we passed a motion in the Scottish Parliament (see motion S5M-01322, as amended by Ross Greer MSP) calling on the UK Government to do more to aid unaccompanied child refugees. While Scotland has already taken in the largest share of Syrian refugees resettled in the UK, the Scottish Government has signalled its desire to do more.

We urge the UK Government to reinstate the Dubs scheme for child refugees in Europe and to work cooperatively with the Scottish Government to make the necessary resources available to take in more asylum seekers.

We are grateful for your consideration of the above points and look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Ross Greer MSP                Alison Johnstone MSP                    Patrick Harvie MSP

John Finnie MSP               Andy Wightman MSP                     Mark Ruskell MSP

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