Leading refugee NGO Help Refugees, represented by Leigh Day Solicitors, has filed an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the Divisional Court’s judgment on the Dubs Amendment.
There are currently 3,250 unaccompanied children in Greece, many of whom remain stuck on the Greek islands. Babies are sleeping in tents without flooring. Recently, a nine-year-old from Afghanistan tried to commit suicide on Chios. Amongst the filth and the faeces, self-harm is commonplace.
To date, only one child has been relocated from Greece to the UK under the Dubs Amendment. The Dubs Amendment requires the Government to make arrangements ‘as soon as possible’ after the passing of the Immigration Act 2016 to relocate and support a ‘specified number’ of unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.
The Government is required to consult with local authorities to determine the specified number. The original ‘specified number’ announced was 350. However, as a result of the Help Refugees legal case (during which the government was forced to admit that it had ‘missed’ 130 local authority places) that number was raised to 480.
Help Refugees has presented evidence to the Court of Appeal that the ‘consultation’ was seriously defective and that local authority places were unlawfully omitted from the government’s calculation of the specified number.
“We are asking the Court of Appeal to order the Government to reopen the consultation so that national capacity to assist these children can be properly assessed. Lone refugee children are living in horrendous conditions in Greece, France and Italy; immediate steps must be taken by the UK government to honour its obligations under the Dubs Amendment.”
Help Refugees Founder and CEO, Josie Naughton, said:
“As many families gather round Christmas trees, open gifts and share dinners with relatives during this festive season, countless child refugees are battling freezing conditions, isolated and alone. The government has failed these children. This appeal intends to hold them to account for this shameful failure.”