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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Tory Government stance on child refugees could increase trafficking

Today's Independent reports on the conclusion of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee that not accepting child refugees into the UK will increase the risk of child trafficking and exploitation.

They say that when the Government made its surprise announcement last month that the numbers brought in under the resettlement scheme would be capped at 350, it claimed in a written ministerial statement that local authorities had suggested they did not have capacity for hundreds, if not thousands, more.

However,the Home Affairs Select Committee report claims that some local councils have said they have capacity for as many as 4,000 more lone children. The Committee's chair,Labour MP Ms Cooper said: “There is a big gap between what the Government has said, and the evidence we heard from local councils and from organisations like Unicef who are working with child refugees.

“This is too important to get wrong when children’s lives and futures are at risk. That’s why we are making these urgent interim recommendations now.” 

The Home Affairs Select Committee urgent report says the Government’s evidence that re-housing child refugees would act as a “pull” factor to desperate parents and to people smugglers stands in contrast to warnings from charities that closing the route would actually increase the risk of child trafficking and exploitation.
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