HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED TO HELP SETTLE REFUGEES and UNACCOMPANIED REFUGEE CHILDREN IN EUROPE ?

So many of us are very concerned, and yet feel helpless in what we can do. In addition to all the actions in http://libdemfocus.co.uk/ld4sos/archives/980 – here are some ideas that will all make a difference.

The petition to keep open the Dubs Scheme can be found here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/183943

You can lobby your MP by writing to them specifically on the issue of unaccompanied refugee children. You can ask them to raise a question in the House of Commons or write a letter themselves to the home secretary demanding the restart of the transfer of unaccompanied refugee children to the UK. https://www.writetothem.com

You can also write directly to the home secretary Amber Rudd MP, a sample letter can be found at the end of this document. Email privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk and here amber.rudd.mp@parliament.uk

Or write a physical letter to this address: Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF

There is a specific website where landlords can register their properties to settle refugees here http://www.citizensuk.org/help_find_homes_for_syrian_refugees

Refugees at home is the charity which allows individuals to offer spare rooms to take in refugees http://www.refugeesathome.org/

You can find and join refugee welcome groups in your local area where people come together to help find housing, support networks, education and community engagement for newly arrived refugees as well as forming a relationship with their local council to encourage them to take in more refugees. https://www.refugees-welcome.org.uk/

You can also donate money to organisations.

Safe Passage has lead the vital campaign and legal case-work for transferring refugee children to the UK http://safepassage.org.uk/

Help Refugees provide subsistence aid to those in Calais, Dunkirk Greece and elsewhere in Europe. http://www.helprefugees.org.uk/

Save the Children are a broader charity with many initiatives and have been consistently supportive of refugees especially unaccompanied children in Europe. https://secure.savethechildren.org.uk/donate/

Draft Letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP

Dear Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP

I am writing to you about a very serious issue. There are an estimated 100 000 unaccompanied refugee children in Europe. They have fled war, extreme deprivation, violence and human rights violations. They are on their own without their parents and are at particular risk to exploitation, trafficking, and physical and sexual abuse. They are in urgent need of safeguarding and aid. Last year Europol revealed that 10 000 had gone missing.

I am deeply concerned with the announcement that the Dubs scheme to transfer these children to safety in the UK will close after only 350 have been saved. The UK has the capacity to help. We can do more. Numerous councils have come forward explicitly stating they have the support networks necessary to settle these children. Freedom of information requests have also revealed that numerous councils have additional capacity to settle at least hundreds more children.

 

It is simply not the case that the Dubs scheme acts as an incentive for perilous journeys or traffickers. On the contrary, children are returning to Calais in increased numbers where around 300 -400 are sleeping rough on the streets or in surrounding woodlands without adequate food or shelter. The dubs scheme has been clearly proven to be workable, effective and a life-line for such persons. It is not a ‘magnet for traffickers’ but an alternative to traffickers. It offers safe passage instead of risking their lives on the back of lorries. It offers appropriate safeguarding and needs based assessments rather than falling in to the hands of traffickers. It offers hope rather than fear.

How can we turn our backs on these children when we can easily help them and offer them a future? I respectfully demand that the transfer of unaccompanied refugee children be restarted immediately. You are in a position to be able to make a significant difference to effectively save the lives of these children. I respectfully request that you recognise your moral duty to do so.

Yours Sincerely,