The closure of Calais Jungle last week opened up Birmingham to under a dozen child refugees.
However, for Birmingham’s Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme the humanitarian crisis has given them the opportunity to house a dozen child refugees this month who have family links to the city.
Since the announcement of the plan to close the Calais Jungle refugee camp in France, English city councils and support groups, have committed to bringing over some of the children refugees who have experienced the harsh conditions of the refugee camps.
In the last week, ending 30th of October, a handful of unaccompanied child refugees arrived in Birmingham with the estimated number of around a dozen being thought to inflate to 30 to accommodate the closure of the Calais Jungle.
Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality at Birmingham City Council, said:
“We are on standby to support the Home Office in bringing children under the Dublin III regulation, which relates to children who already have family links in the UK. We have welcomed a number of children today with family links in the city.
We are also signed up and are actively working to support children coming to the UK under the Lords Dubs agreement and have signed up to the National Transfer Scheme.
Anyone who has seen reports of the desperate situation in Calais – and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and elsewhere – knows we have a moral duty to help refugee children who have suffered immense hardships that no child should go through.
Birmingham, as a City of Sanctuary, has a proud history of sheltering people who are fleeing for their lives and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure those coming here are settled and can start a new life.”
A total of 50 individuals were also welcomed to Birmingham under the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, which was established in 2015. Longer term, the council has made a commitment to welcome 500 more refuges by the next parliament, in line with Birmingham’s City of Sanctuary status.