Your query is probably more common than you think; you might find the answer you’re looking for here.
Safe Passage works to provide unaccompanied child refugees in Europe with safe routes to sanctuary in the UK. Wherever possible, we also support vulnerable adults.
Yes. Safe Passage is a project of Citizens UK, which is a registered charity (charity number 1107264). Donations made to Citizens UK through this website and the Just Giving website are ring fenced for Safe Passage.
If you’d like to make a donation (or to find out more about making one), please visit our Donations page.
Your donations will help fund Safe Passage work in France, Greece, Italy and the UK. This work includes identifying unaccompanied refugee children in Europe and their family in the UK, carrying out legal casework, establishing a system for processing the cases and working with UK Government and host authorities to ensure cases are processed to meet the best interests of the child. We will also be assisting vulnerable adults.
There are several different approaches. Firstly, our lawyers spend more than 10 hours on each asylum case, and much of this time is spent verifying the family link. They meet with all family members in the UK, as well as the children seeking asylum, and review the family witness statement (which details the relationship and the desire to be reunified).
As well as this, if a family member has status in the UK they will have been asked to list all their living family, which means the asylum-seeking child or vulnerable adult should already be known about. Another approach is to use DNA testing, where appropriate and legal.
In France, our team builds relationships NGOs and community leaders, who help us identify vulnerable children.
In Greece and Italy, refugee children are scattered throughout the country, often located in children’s homes, detention facilities, police holding cells, refugee camps, unofficial structures or on the streets. Our field workers identify children by working with a range of partners, including children’s shelters, NGOs, refugee communities and volunteers.
In the UK, we work with diaspora communities to identify families affected.
Dublin III is existing law which governs EU asylum claims. According to Dublin III, refugees should claim asylum in first EU country they reach. However, there is a clause by which if you are a minor and have close family in another EU country, you can apply to be with them while your asylum claim is considered. We have reunited hundreds of children with their families using this law.
The so-called “Dubs” amendment is Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. A draft to the original law, brought by Lord Alf Dubs and passed in May 2016, which states that UK will take some “unaccompanied refugee children” already in EU before 20 March 2016 (the date of EU-Turkey deal), the number to be determined in consultation with local authorities (i.e. as long as there are spaces available). So not those with family in the UK, but the child has to be on their own, and for it to be in their best interests to be brought to the UK.
Over 1050 children are now safely in the UK thanks to the legal routes we have opened. Mainly from France, we have also brought children from Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Syria.
The “jungle” camp is no longer. The unaccompanied children who were living in Calais have now been transferred to CAOs (reception centres) across France, where they wait to have their asylum claims assessed.
All the children who were in Calais have been transferred to CAOs in France where they will be assessed. Those who are eligible to come to the UK will be transferred and have their asylum claims assessed here. So far, around 800 have been transferred to the UK.
We continue to work with unaccompanied children across France, and have successfully transferred children from Paris, we are also working in the smaller camps along Northern France.
Help us find a way to give everyone fleeing persecution safe passage. Your donation will be made to Citizens UK and ring-fenced for the Safe Passage programme.Go to Donate Page