Oxfam Says The UK Government Should Do More To Keep Refugee Families Together
Several aid agencies are urging the UK government to alter the regulations surrounding the reuniting refugee families in order to protect people that are vulnerable. A new report authored by Oxfam in collaboration with the British Refugee Council, the British Red Cross and Amnesty International say that people who have been designated as refugees in the UK should be allowed to bring their children and spouses to Britain. This simple change would mean the UK government would be offering sanctuary to the people who need it the most.
Refugees not a burden
The report argues that refugee children would not be a burden to local authorities because they could be supported by parents, adult siblings, aunts, uncles and even grandparents. Oxfam has released a press release which suggests that the government argues that local authorities simply do not have the resources to support more unaccompanied minors who come to the UK.
All agencies united
Oxfam UK chief executive Mark Goldring said the British government initially tried to ignore Europe’s refugee crisis and then responded by trying to deter people suffering from travelling to the UK instead of providing sanctuary. Mr Goldring went on to add that all four agencies were united in their call on the British government to change their restrictive policies so that families don’t end up separated and children and other vulnerable refugees are kept safe from dangerous camps such as the one at Calais.
The four aid agencies proposed 12 recommendations to the British government which include widening the criteria for who qualifies as a family members to include siblings, parents, in-laws and young adult dependents. The recommendation also includes allowing unaccompanied children that are recognised as refugees in the UK to bring family members to the country under the family reunion policy.
UK Government not showing compassion
Maurice Wren who is Chief Executive of the British Refugee Council says that it is a hard fact that persecution and war more often than not divides refugee families and the government is showing no compassion when it keeps families separated despite the dangers they may face. Mr Wren adds that no child should be separated from their parents or make the impossible choice between spending a life time apart or putting their lives in the hands of people smugglers. The British government needs to do more to help refugees flee from danger and rebuild their lives with loved ones in the UK.
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