15 December 2017

First ‘Dubs’ child arrives in the UK from Greece

Yesterday saw the arrival of the first unaccompanied refugee child accepted into the UK under the ‘Dubs’ scheme.

Since the start of the year we’ve seen very little progress from the Government to fill the remaining 280 places open under the Dubs scheme – a scheme granting protection to some of the most vulnerable refugee children in Europe.

Thanks to all our supporters’ consistent pressure, the tenacity of our team in Greece, social workers and leadership from Hammersmith and Fulham council, the UK Government was forced to begin the transfer of children from Greece.

After waiting 15-months he is now safe in his new home and able to get the support he needs. We’ve been told he is settling in and likes his new room.

We are expecting three more vulnerable children to be transferred under the Dubs Scheme from Greece over the next few days.

George Gabriel, Safe Passage Project Lead, said:

“There are over 3,300 unaccompanied children in Greece and only 1,130 spaces in shelters. The winter is bitterly cold and conditions are getting worse.

“Over a year and a half ago the Dubs amendment brought hope that hundreds of these kids would be brought to safety, as the UK committed to do it’s fair share protecting lone minors arriving in Europe.

“It has been appalling to watch these minors wait, month after month, on bureaucratic delays. Only some 220 of the 480 spaces offered by councils like Hammersmith and Fulham have been filled to date. In that time thousands of minors across Europe have gone missing. We have been working closely with one of the children, and watching him suffer due to the delays has been heartbreaking.

“It’s clear now that wranglings over precise eligibility criteria and a bureaucratic minefield has stood between these children and safety. We welcome the move to finally begin these transfers and call on government to act faster and get the rest of these children to safety before year end.”