Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Citizenship

GOOD NEWS! UK government agrees to accept vulnerable child refugees

Twitter / Mint Press News

Today, UK Prime Minister David Cameron reversed his government’s decision and pledged to provide asylum to unaccompanied Syrian refugee children who have found themselves alone in Europe. The reversal comes after a campaign led by Save the Children that was supported by global citizens.

Fleeing bloody warfare and persecution, thousands of children have been forced to make arduous journeys from war-torn regions in pursuit of safety in Europe. Unfortunately, thousands of these children find themselves in a similarly vulnerable reality when they reach Europe - forced to contend with homelessness in overcrowded camps or isolated in police detention centres. 

The UK Prime Minister agreed to cooperate with the UN to ensure that vulnerable refugee children alone in Europe receive sanctuary in the UK. Over the coming months, Britain will work with local councils around the UK to resettle children already in Europe, providing them with urgent humanitarian assistance. 

The decision is a welcome move, driven by a mass public outcry in response to Parliament's recent vote against welcoming 3,000 child refugees from Europe.  A recent petition generated over 60,000 signatures, calling the government to reconsider its decision. Today, those voices were heard. 

Tanya Steele, Chief executive of Save the Children said “The UK government has today matched the great leadership they have shown in providing aid and support to Syrian refugees in the region by reaching out a hand to children already on European shores. This announcement echoes Britain’s proud history of offering safety at times of great crisis and we want to thank the members of parliament who have led the way in championing this cause, as well as the British public who have opened their hearts to refugee children."

While the government did not announce the specific number of children that will be accepted, the UK's decision to welcome more child refugees is a vital step - providing a lifeline to vulnerable children in need of a home.