Leading refugee NGO Help Refugees was on Friday 21 October been granted expedition by the High Court in its judicial review over the Dubs Amendment. On Saturday 22 October, the first Dubs Amendment children ever to be relocated to the UK began to arrive.
Help Refugees, represented by Leigh Day Solicitors is challenging the failure of the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to properly interpret and implement section 67 of the Immigration Act, known as 'the Dubs Amendment', in a judicial review lodged on 18 October.
The organisation says that its challenge is particularly urgent because there are children in the Jungle Camp in Calais who are eligible for relocation under the Dubs Amendment.
Section 67 of the Immigration Act, the result of the amendment to the Immigration Bill tabled by Lord Alfred Dubs, came into force in May 2016. It requires the Government to make arrangements ‘as soon as possible’ for the relocation to the UK and support of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe.
Previously, all the unaccompanied children that the Government had referred to as relocated under the Dubs Amendment were in fact transferred to the UK under a separate, pre-existing obligation in EU law, the Dublin III Regulation.
The Dublin III Regulation which came into force in 2013 already bound the UK to accept unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who have family members in the UK.
Help Refugees says that the Dubs Amendment obligation is additional to the Dublin III Regulation.
Rosa Curling, Human Rights Lawyer at Leigh Day said : "We are saying that the Dubs Amendment is an important new duty and it must be implemented urgently. The Dubs Amendment is additional to the Government’s existing duties in European Law. Parliament did not legislate for something which the Government was already bound to do.
"There are children in Calais to whom the Government owes a duty and who are at imminent risk of serious harm if adequate steps are not taken to protect them during the eviction and demolition."
Josie Naughton of Help Refugees said: "We really welcome the fact that, after bringing our legal challenge, we are seeing movement at last on registering and relocating the Dubs Amendment children in Calais. Many of these unaccompanied children are extremely vulnerable- they include young girls, children as young as ten, and very traumatised children."