Children ‘being abandoned to some of the worst forms of exploitation’

Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal - picture courtesy of Operation Christmas Child SUS-161011-155027001
Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal - picture courtesy of Operation Christmas Child SUS-161011-155027001

People are being urged to write to their MPs to call on them to put pressure on the Government to reverse its decision to let in fewer child refugees.

MPs Andrew Tyrie, Nick Gibb, Nick Herbert and Alan Mak were among the 294 MPs who voted in favour of scrapping the Dubs Agreement, which aimed to allow 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees into the UK.

There were 276 who voted against, and it looks like only 350 refugee children will now come.

Roger Pask, chairman of Sanctuary in Chichester, said: “Thousands of children are being abandoned to cold, hunger and some of the worst forms of exploitation.

“The Home Secretary said that the needs of these children are desperate and yet went on to announce that we are washing our hands of them.

“How can helping them come to the UK be exposing them to traffickers and other criminal groups?

“Surely it is our own actions that leave them exposed to such awful cruelty.”

Sanctuary in Chichester is a group of volunteers who seek to welcome and support refugees coming to the area.

Mr Pask added: “The Home Secretary claims that local authorities don’t have the resources to help all the youngsters who need our help.

“Yet across the country volunteer groups like Sanctuary in Chichester are finding managing the bureaucracy attached to their work getting in the way of help for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

“Some of that bureaucracy is essential for safeguarding purposes but much of it saps the energies and efforts of caring and compassionate volunteers.

“The desire to help that we meet every day is not only not being recognised by government it feels as though it is being deliberately thwarted.

“As a nation we are far, far better than our government seems to give us credit for.”

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