MPs have voted 254-1 in favour of a motion expressing disappointment at the closure of the Dubs scheme and urging Government to re-consult with councils to identify space to help more children. The ‘deferred division’ on the motion saw 20 Conservative MPs break ranks and vote for the motion, alongside MPs of other Parties.
Safe Passage, a project of charity Citizens UK, has been working with a cross-Party group of MPs to support an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill on the future of the Dubs scheme that will now come to a vote in the Commons next week. The amendment, led by Conservative MP Heidi Allen, would force the Government to re-consult with local authorities and identify further capacity to help child refugees through the scheme.
Safe Passage, who works with unaccompanied child refugees in Europe estimate there are over 1,000 unaccompanied child refugees in Greece, who could benefit from the Dubs scheme. Many of these children are living in informal camps and are street homeless because Greek shelters are full.
Safe Passage collected data from just one NGO shelter in Greece hosting 128 unaccompanied children: 64% were deemed at risk of sexual exploitation and 19% had PTSD.
Speaking on behalf of Safe Passage, Lord Alf Dubs said:
“The vote next week is an opportunity to put Britain on the right side of history. I hope that all the MPs who have spoken up – in debates, on social media, in speeches and at the ballot today – come together and vote to continue to help the most vulnerable child refugees in Europe.”
The amendment to the Children & Social Work Bill appears as NC14.