Young people call on UK Government to enhance protections for  unaccompanied refugees

Date: 8th July 2021
Category: Refugee and asylum seeking children

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Twenty-six young people with experience of migration and the asylum systems are calling on UK Government for a better future for young refugees and asylum seekers. Through a series of group workshops and discussions, they have agreed a list of eight recommendations for policy changes to ensure that people fleeing war and persecution can access safe routes to sanctuary.

The recommendations call on the UK Government to:

  1. Act fast to save lives, by providing more safe routes to sanctuary for refugees.
  2. Offer the same protection to people fleeing war and persecution regardless of how they travelled to the UK.
  3. Agree a deal with the EU to strengthen family reunion. The UK should work closely with countries in the EU to ensure the process is faster and smoother.
  4. Make urgent changes to refugee family reunion under the UK’s Immigration Rules to ensure that all refugees have the right to be reunited with their family members, no matter how they entered the UK.
  5. Expand the proposed resettlement scheme to other countries beyond the Middle East, including Africa and Europe.
  6. Introduce a new route to the UK specifically for unaccompanied children from Europe.
  7. Listen to those directly affected before taking decisions that have an impact on so many lives.
  8. For the UK Government to meet with We are Young Leaders and others with lived experience of these issues to discuss these recommendations in more detail.

A report has been produced alongside these recommendations which can be read here.

Find out more about children’s rights issues related to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and family reunion rules on pages 134-142 of Together’s 2019 State of Children’s Rights Report here.