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The UK must share responsibility for resettling refugee children and families as the EU proposes a new Migration & Asylum Pact, says Save the Children 

LONDON, September 23 - The European Commission is today proposing a new Pact for Migration and Asylum. Five years after the so-called “refugee crisis”, migrant and refugee children still suffer from harsh border and migration policies across the European Union, including the UK. 

Daniela Reale, Save the Children’s Global Lead on Refugee, Migrant and Displaced Children, said:

 “While we welcome the specific attention paid to children in the new pact, we fear the proposed measures risk repeating the same flawed approach that led to the terrible situation in Moria earlier this month and the disasters on the Mediterranean.

“The UK must live up to its values and offer resettlement and relocation to unaccompanied children and families with children, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our European partners.

“The devastation in Moria, leaving 4,000 children homeless in the streets, has shown that we cannot fall back on recipes from the past that have put children’s lives at risk. New border and screening procedures – including a new facility on Lesvos – are bound to create more bottlenecks, with thousands of people ending up in detention for extended periods of time.”

Since the start of 2019, more than 1700 people have died or gone missing on the Mediterranean. Only last week, two young children died when they attempted to cross from Lebanon to Cyprus. This cannot continue. If people can access more safe and legal ways to reach the EU and Britain, they will no longer feel forced to risk their lives on rickety boats.

Save the Children’s recent report showed that more than 200,000 unaccompanied children sought asylum in Europe over the last five years. Many of them come from countries facing protracted crises like Afghanistan and Syria. They often struggle to get refugee status, live in constant fear of being deported or detained, and are unable to reunite with family members. 

ENDS

Contact:                                                                                     Out-of-hours:

Bhanu Bhatnagar                                                                     Duty Press Officer

B.Bhatnagar@savethechildren.org.uk                                Media@savethechildren.org.uk

+44 7467 096788                                                                      +44 7831 650409