His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has today called for the Government to work with renewed vigour to assist vulnerable, unaccompanied child refugees. In his statement, Cardinal Nichols said:
‘By repealing Art. 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, known as the Dubs Amendment, the Government is seen by many as abandoning its statutory and moral duty to take effective action for the protection of vulnerable, unaccompanied child refugees. If this is the case, then it is truly shocking.
‘The Home Office have stated that during 2016 over 900 unaccompanied children were brought to safety from Europe, including 750 from Calais. However, the need is evidently far greater and I am informed that there are a number of Local Authorities willing and resourced to take many more of these children into their care.
‘I urge the Government to look again at all available resources and to work with renewed vigour, internationally and at home, to support and enable programmes to assist these vulnerable children. Indeed, I encourage many who are expressing concern to take up the valuable Community Sponsorship Scheme established by the Government, whereby local communities are able to provide places of welcome and safety for refugees seeking shelter in this country.
‘Our Government is rightly proud of its initiatives against human trafficking, which are appreciated around the world. Yet to neglect these unaccompanied children is to leave them extremely vulnerable to human trafficking with all its terrible consequences. I ask the Home Secretary to review urgently the decision and to honour the original intention behind the Dubs Amendment.’