This week’s entry is short and not very sweet.
The number of refugee children on their own in Europe runs into the tens of thousands. One figure I’ve seen puts the number of these children at 95,000.
Last week, a proposal to bring 3,000 of these children to the UK was defeated by the Government in the House of Commons.
It’s rare that I’m ashamed to be British, but I was when I heard that. I know the arguments the Government raised and I always try to see both points of view. But in this case, I’m left with a series of questions. How are children supposed to fend for themselves and protect themselves from the myriad of dangers they face, particularly when they’re so far from home? Why should children pay the price for war and strife that they’ve done nothing to create? Why is it appropriate to leave those children in danger when steps can be taken to help and protect at least some of them?
Alf Dubs – now, in the House of Lords; in 1939, one of the children who were welcomed into the UK from Czechoslovakia on the Kindertransport – has set up an online petition asking the Government to give sanctuary to refugee children alone and at risk in Europe. At time of writing, the petition has nearly 67,000 signatures.
Thanks to the House of Lords (who, increasingly, are acting as the effective opposition in the UK), this matter is to return to the Commons. The more signatures on the petition, the more pressure can be brought to bear in favour of the children. I’ve signed it and I urge you to sign it too. There’s a link below.