THE BLOG

No Compromises When Supporting Children Fleeing War and Persecution

07/09/2015 09:40 BST | Updated 04/09/2016 10:59 BST

We await the detail of Friday's welcome announcement that this country will support more Syrian refugees. We know from our own work, day in, day out, that the need is huge and urgent. As a country we have a moral obligation to do so much more to support some of the world's most vulnerable children.

The images of recent days are heart-breaking, a humanitarian crisis unfolding before our very eyes. Thousands of children are suffering appallingly as families desperately flee violence and persecution. Many children who seek a safe haven find themselves on their own after their parents die or they are separated. These children need immediate safety and support.

There can be no compromise when it comes to offering support for children escaping these horrors. Children are children first, and refugees second.

Yet we see from our direct work, day in day out, that the current levels of support children receive when they do make it to the UK are inadequate, leaving them and their families with barely enough to survive on.

Our latest report - Not Just a Temporary Fix: The search for durable solutions for separated migrant children - sets out how the Government is failing to provide thousands of vulnerable children who come to the UK on their own the long-term measures crucial to their stability and well-being. This is leaving them in a legal limbo and causing many to face homelessness and feel anxious.

The situation becomes particularly acute for many when they turn 18 and have to leave local authority care and return to a country they may not know or that is dangerous, where they have no connections.

We have directly supported children who flee war and conflict for decades, and have been advocating on their behalf through our campaigns and policy work. The Children's Society is right behind the recent #refugeeswelcome campaign to raise the profile of this crucial issue.

The Children's Society is also campaigning against current Government plans which could leave thousands of children hungry and homeless. The proposals mean that all support for families will end after their application for asylum has been denied. Parents will have no money to feed or clothe their children, and families will be forced onto the streets.

There are many reasons why families need to stay in the UK even after the Government decides that they don't meet the strict criteria of asylum. Their home country could be refusing to let them back, they could be fearing reprisals if they went home, they might not even have a home anymore. Our Government has a duty to protect children, no matter where they are from or who their parents are. Join the campaign today.

There can be no compromise when it comes to offering support for children escaping these horrors. Children need to have the stability necessary so they can develop, thrive, and have the best possible chance in life.