UK will take 350 lone child refugees from Europe, says immigration minister

UK will take 350 lone child refugees from Europe, says immigration minister
A refugee child pictured in 2015. Pictre: AP

A total of 350 child refugees will be brought to Britain from Europe under the so-called Dubs Amendment, the Government has announced.

The number is well below the 3,000 unaccompanied minors that campaigners and politicians originally called for the UK to accept through the scheme.

Ministers introduced the programme last year after coming under intense pressure to give sanctuary to lone children stranded on the Continent.

Calls for the measure were spearheaded by Lord Dubs, whose amendment to the Immigration Act requires the Government to "make arrangements to relocate to the UK and support a specified number of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe".

The legislation did not specify a figure but today, the UK Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said 350 children will be transferred under the initiative.

It is the first time an official figure has been given for the number of under-18s who will be resettled in the UK under the Dubs Amendment, which is given effect by Section 67 of the Immigration Act.

It was reached after consultation with councils on their capacity to care for and support asylum-seeking children, the British Government said.

In a written ministerial statement, Mr Goodwill said more than 900 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were transferred to the UK from Europe in total last year.

This included more than 750 from France as part of Britain's support for the clearance of the Jungle camp in Calais.

More than 200 of those children met the criteria for the Dubs route, while the remainder were transferred under an accelerated process based on, but operated outside of, the Dublin Regulation covering family reunion cases.

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