Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has reaffirmed the UK Government’s commitment to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) impacted by the ongoing migrant situation.
The meeting was attended by several local authorities and NGOs, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF and Save the Children.
“We have to determine those whose needs are best met in the region and those who would benefit most from resettlement to the UK,” Mr Brokenshire said. “We will consider the advice from NGOs and local authorities as well as feedback from UNHCR who are currently providing us with advice on when it is in the best interests of a child to be resettled in the UK.”
The experts who attended the meeting discussed how best to provide support to unaccompanied children, as well as how to prevent children from making dangerous journeys and putting themselves at risk of exploitation and child traffickers.
The meeting was also attended by Richard Harrington, the Minister for Syrian Refugees, who is leading the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme, and Kevin Hyland, the Anti-Slavery Commissioner, were also present at the meeting.
Mr Brokenshire recently announced that UK Government will work with the UNHCR to resettle unaccompanied refugee children from around the Syrian region.
The Department for International Development has created a new £10 million fund which will include targeted support for unaccompanied minors in Europe.
The support will offer safe places to children at risk, counselling and legal advice, and help with tracing children to their families.