The UK Government will resettle up to 3,000 vulnerable children and adults impacted by the conflict in the Middle East.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said they’ll work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to implement the scheme.
The new scheme will be specifically tailored to support vulnerable and refugee children at risk and their families. Several hundred individuals will be resettled over the next year with a view of resettling up to 3,000 over the lifetime of this Parliament.
On the UNHCR’s recommendation, the scheme will not solely target unaccompanied children, but will also extend to vulnerable children at risk, such as those threatened with child labour, child marriage and other forms of abuse or exploitation. It will be open to all ‘at risk’ groups and nationalities within the region.
Under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), the government has already resettled over 1,000 Syrian refugees, over half of them children.
Home Office said the scheme is expected to resettle several thousand Syrian children over the next four years.
“The UK government is committed to providing life-saving support and assistance to the vulnerable children who have been unjustly impacted by this ongoing humanitarian crisis,” Mr Brokenshire said. “We have always been clear that the vast majority of vulnerable children are better off remaining in host countries in the region so they can be reunited with surviving family members. However, there are exceptional circumstances in which it is in a child’s best interests to be resettled in the UK.”