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What future for unaccompanied child migrants in the UK?

Project Details

The Government’s Written Statement of February this year stated that, based on conversations with local authorities, councils in the UK had an estimated capacity to accommodate 400 unaccompanied migrant children, with 350 of those being accepted through the now-closed “Dubs amendment”. However, reports in national newspapers including the Observer have claimed that some local authorities believe they have capacity to take many more children.

In the context of Brexit, the UK must look for ways to ensure its reputation as an outward-looking, internationally-engaged country is upheld. It is therefore in the country’s best interests, as well as in the interests of children facing trauma, exploitation and violence, that this gap in rhetoric is interrogated further, and that Government continue to consult with local authorities on their capacity to take in more unaccompanied children, a position endorsed by Parliament (including 20 Conservative MPs) in March.

ResPublica – in partnership with Unicef UK and the Children’s Society – aims to investigate how government at a local and national level can more closely align local appetite to accommodate unaccompanied migrant children with the capacity of local authorities to perform this role, including resolving capacity constraints where necessary to allow councils to go beyond their present levels of capacity should they so choose. It will place this ambition in the context of both Brexit and the Prime Minister’s vision for a “Global Britain”, but also the support which these children should expect to receive during and beyond the settlement process.

To find out more please contact Duncan Sim, Policy and Projects Manager, at duncan.sim@respublica.org.uk or on 020 3857 8310.