GOVERNMENT CONCEDES DEFEAT OVER DUBS REBELLION: 4th May 2016 Calais Action
Post date: 31-Aug-2016 20:13:18
We're delighted that David Cameron does not plan to oppose the revised Dubs amendment when it arrives back in Commons on Monday. This is all down to YOU - without the tremendous pressure exerted on Conservative MPs by the ordinary public, this would never have happened! Thousands of you tweeted, emailed and wrote to MPs in support of bringing unaccompanied children to the UK. The Government would also never have announced last month's 3,000 children to be taken from OUTSIDE Europe without the huge and overwhelming public support!
HOWEVER, despite the good news, the fact that the concession only applies to those "registered" before the 20th March means that the fate of children unregistered or in illegal camps across Europe is unclear. Registered by whom is undefined - registered by government authorities, UNHCR, or other NGO's? Or do they simply mean "arrived in Europe prior to the EU-Turkey deal?" Many children are not registered anywhere or even know that they have to be. We must be careful that this is not a loophole the government choose to exploit.
Secondly, as the amendment does not specify a fixed figure of children accepted, we have to be vigilant. There's a huge difference between theory and practice, and what might be today's good PR could have its heels dragged upon tomorrow. Our team in Greece and Idomeni have reported previously on the grievous lack of government support in keeping children safe until now.
The bill will still (fas far as we know) be voted upon as a formality on Monday, so at all times we need to be asking your MPs and councillors:
- What does "registered" mean in this context? Upon entering the EU, or the country they are in? With agencies or governments?
- Is this in addition to the "fast-track" humanitarian visas spoken of for those children with family in the UK?
- How many children?
- Exactly how will the initiative to bring registered children from camps across Europe be carried out?
- Which organisations will you be using to conduct identification of minors?
- What assistance will be provided to this end, given that existing measures in camps in Europe are so stretched?
- How will councils evaluate how many minors they can accommodate?
- What is the timeline to this initiative?
We're sure you can think of more!
WELL DONE to all of you who added your voices to this huge human rights struggle!