Tuesday 21 March 2017

Learning about child refugees and government

Last week Woodcraft Folk Elfins discussed the Dubs amendment, uncovering the shocking truth about the way our government treats child refugees, and what we can do.

No one in the group attempted to defend the government's recent block on 3,000 Syrian refugees coming to the UK, and yet only three Tory MPs voted to allow in the refugees - Ms Allen, Tania Mathias and Nicky Morgan. They were joined by 195 Labour MPs, 47 SNP, and nine Liberal Democrats, among others.

From a moral perspective, many in the group were outraged, but as it has been suggested by the Government that we (the UK) could not afford to look after these refugee children, we did some quick calculations. The UK has a population of 65,000,000, Birmingham 1,100,000.  So if the 3,000 children were distributed across the UK evenly, that would mean Birmingham would host 50 more children.  To appreciate what that might mean locally, we worked out that might be one more child in every tenth Birmingham school (maybe one child in Kings Heath).

Some of our letters
The hardest discussion was what we, as a group of UK children, can do about it - a hard question to answer as we (as adults) have not managed to stop the government yet. As the Home Office said it encouraged councils to come forward if they had capacity for child asylum seekers so we decided to write letters the the Queen, the government and our local council.

If you are equally disgusted by the 287 Conservative MP's decision to block safe passage for child refugees, or perhaps dispute the government claim that there is a lack of support from Councils and us as tax payers to look after child refugees, make your voice heard.

The scheme proposed by Lord Dubs to look after 3,000 Syrian child refugees ends later this month.  Lord Dubs, who arrived in Britain as a refugee from Nazism, said he was "disappointed", but insisted:
"The campaign isn't over, our better nature will surely carry the day."
'I do not believe any MP would be able to look them in the eye and
still cast a vote to condemn them to a life of danger and uncertainty.'

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