Unaccompanied Children in Greece and Italy

The SNP are a co-sponsor of the forthcoming Backbench Business debate on the situation for unaccompanied children in Greece and Italy, which has received cross-party support.

The low figure of children taken by the UK Government under the Dubs scheme does not match that commitment. The refugee crisis has not gone away and people are still fleeing the continued violence in Syria and other countries, which creates a risk for increased numbers of unaccompanied children falling prey to human traffickers.

The SNP calls on the UK Government to commit the necessary resource needed to support more efficient identification, referral and processing of the cases in the best interest of the child. The SNP want to see the Dubs scheme continued to enable the UK to receive at least 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Europe, and also want the UK Government to increase the total number of refugees it intends to settle under the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.

The SNP has been and will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to pressure the UK Government to respond to the refugee crisis. The Scottish Government has committed to working with local authorities in Scotland to ensure that it does all the best it can for child refugees who need a safe place, where they can back into education, rebuild their lives and fulfil potential. We call on the UK Government to show global leadership and take this opportunity to reverse this shameful decision on the Dubs scheme.

With almost 90,000 lone refugee children in Europe, the UK Government needs to do more to help these vulnerable individuals. The SNP will continue to pressure the UK Government not only to meet its current commitments under both the Dublin regulations and the Dubs scheme, but to go further and do its fair share to address this humanitarian crisis.