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Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to ensure the rights of refugee children as support for a bipartisan amendment to the government's immigration law increases.
The amendment, tabled by Yvette Cooper of Labor and Conservative Tim Loughton and is already supported by six Tory backers who are more expected to follow the example, aims to protect the ability of refugee children in Great Britain finding refuge.
Two programs to give young people a legal path to the institution – Dubs, which relates to single children, and Dublin III, which focuses on family reunification – are to be ended. Ministers argue that they would instead negotiate new terms to help those in need.
"Britain has a proud history of helping vulnerable refugee children, and we cannot stop helping them now," said Ms. Cooper, chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee.
"At the end of the Brexit transition period in December, the current legal regulations for vulnerable refugees in Europe to join family members here will end without new legal replacements that the government has previously supported.
"Without safe, legal ways, children and adolescents will be easy prey for dangerous human trafficking and smuggling gangs – we know how dangerous that can be."
Before a crunch vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday, each Labor Council chairman in London wrote to the Prime Minister warning that failure to protect refugee child rights by law would result in more perils.
"Local authorities like ours support thousands of children who have made terrible journeys in the hands of people smugglers to get to Britain precisely because they have no access to safe and legal routes. According to research by the charity Safe Passage, there have been an estimated since 2010 10,000 children came to the UK in a truck, "they said.
"We remain bitterly disappointed that the government has limited the Dubs program to 480 places and its current efforts to reduce family reunification rights. This will not prevent desperate refugee children from traveling to the UK. It will mean more children are risking their lives with smugglers. " .
"Ensuring access to safe passageways such as family reunification and the Dubs program will help us as local authorities plan and prepare for the arrival of children. The key is that more children have a safe alternative to boarding a truck." . "
Mr. Loughton, a former child minister, said he and Ms. Cooper's amendment would "solve the problem of overworked social workers who have difficulty finding documents for these children."
It demands that vulnerable children from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland in nursing and care graduates are quickly tracked by the EU Settlement System (EUSS). In exactly one year, all EU citizens – including children – who want to stay in the UK must have gone through the system to be granted a legal right of residence.
"(It) would remove the significant risk that many of these children will no longer have the right to stay in the UK next June," added Loughton.
"It would also avoid the risk of another windrush scandal if these supervised children reach adulthood, only to find that for some reason the required applications for them as children have not been made and they have no status to stay in the country. "