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Statement: Home Affairs Select Committee report on the European migrant crisis

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

In response to the Home Affairs Select Committee report on the European migrant crisis, Steven McIntosh, Head of Government Relations Save the Children said:

“The refugee crisis is the greatest humanitarian test of our generation: tens of thousands of children have fled to Europe this year to escape war and persecution, only to be detained in squalid conditions, teargassed and neglected as they try desperately to reach safety.

“Save the Children’s recent report found unaccompanied children are being forced into prostitution and child labour in Italy. In Greece, nearly 1,400 children are waiting for places in shelters and in Calais, hundreds are languishing in miserable conditions, many waiting to be reunited with their families in the UK.

“Making sure our borders are secure is important, but the lives and safety of children must be our top priority. The UK government’s offer of a home for lone refugees was a humane and life-saving promise which must be delivered, by ensuring local councils have the resources to support vulnerable children as soon as possible.

“Europe’s refugee response has been ineffective and risks being in violation of one of its own core values – the right to asylum. Heads of state have an opportunity to rectify this at President Obama’s displacement summit next month.”