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20 January 2017

Faith leaders call for action on vulnerable refugee children in Greece and Italy

To date, not one unaccompanied child has been transferred from Greece or Italy under the provisions made for the most vulnerable refugee children in Europe by the Dubs amendment. As refugees in those countries face freezing conditions, faith leaders call on the government to act in a letter published in today’s Telegraph. The full letter is below.

Dear Sir,

Last year the country did something remarkable. We lived up to the best of our tradition of offering sanctuary to those fleeing persecution. We opened the door to several hundred children in Calais seeking reunion with their family members here in Britain. We welcomed almost two hundred of the most vulnerable children under the provisions of Lord Dubs’s amendment.

We applaud the Prime Minister and Home Secretary for acting in time as the bulldozers prepared to move in to the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais. Creating safe and legal routes for children spares them the choice of train tracks or people traffickers; it brings law and order to the chaos and danger of places like the Calais Jungle.

It is clear with the New Year we face a new crisis. The situation in Greece is an urgent and pressing humanitarian crisis. News that refugees have started freezing to death should shame all of us in 21st century Europe. Children should not be walking barefoot on icy roads, or burning their classroom doors for warmth.

The Dubs amendment was passed for just this reason, creating special provisions through which the most vulnerable refugee children could reach safety. Lord Dubs was one of 10,000 children saved from Nazi Germany by our grandparents. In his amendment he called for 3,000 children to be brought to Britain in this crisis in that same tradition.

To date not one child has been brought from Greece or Italy to the UK under the provisions of the Dubs amendment.

We believe that now is again the time for the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to act.


Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams
Commissioner Clive Adams, Territorial Leader for The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi & Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism
Rev Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
Rt Revd David Walker, Bishop of Manchester
Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover
Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham
Rt Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking
Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon
Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney
Rev Phil Jump, Regional Minister, North Western Baptist Association
Rev Adrian Argyle, Regional Minister, Heart of England Baptist Association
Rev Nigel Manges, Regional Minister, South West Baptist Association
Revd. Dr. John Claydon, Regional Minister, Northern Baptist Association
Graham Ensor, Regional Minister, Yorkshire Baptist Association.
Rev. Phil Barnard, Regional Minister, London Baptist Association
Rev Nigel Coles, Regional Minister, West of England Baptist Association
Revd Mark Clay, Regional Minister, East Midland Baptist Association
Rev Colin Norris, Regional Minister, Southern Counties Baptist Association
Rev Geoffrey Colmer, Regional Minister, Central Baptist Association
Rev Nick Bradshaw, Regional Minister, South Wales Baptist Association