It is time to step up and be the step country these children need.
I am talking about those 95,000 unaccompanied child refugees, 10,000 of which are already hiding in the dark corners, missing in plain sight, without any provisions, any protection, little way of forging a future without a 'legit' identity and all without their Mother.
Surely,we have a duty.
It may be a little scary to accept a few more trucks of 'immigrants' in a society where the word immigrant is used as a term for 'pollution'. But let me remind you immigrants take varying forms - there are those who bring skilled work (that we need), those that study (and pay out a fortune to do so), those that emigrate here because they love our culture (just as we emigrate to Spain, Australia, Canada and a number of other countries without blinking and certainly without considering ourselves as pollutants), and then there are refugees...
Refugees are not immigrants by choice - they are fleeing for their lives. Too many of them are children whose Mothers have chosen to risk their life for a chance that they will be accepted by the EU - that risk is worth losing their child for. They are unlikely to see them again and they know that their beloved child may become homeless, may be raped, may be enslaved, may be abused in these 'better' and war-free countries, they understand that there is a very real possibility that their child will die on the way - but for that Mother in her war-torn world the chance that her child could be ok is enough to sway her, to pay her life's savings and rip open her heart; it is enough for her to wave them good bye...
And then they arrive, these kids, after long and lonely journeys, into cultures very different from theirs, and to arrive is their dream and they are elated because they are going to be ok.
But the doors don't open. And they don't get a hand to hold or an induction to the new world - instead they are treated as feral animals and expected to be grateful. They are not provided with counselling, or adequate shelter, they have limited provisions and are on the edge of a world where people are smiling, with full bellies, without shrapnel flying overhead and they can smell it. They can hear the new language, they can feel the new climate, they are being provided with new cuisine - they can taste it - but they are not yet at all there.
Let me remind you - these are children. They are without their Fathers and their Mothers.
They need us and we can absolutely help them. They need a step-country, somewhere that will learn to love them and not lose sight of its responsibilities despite the difficulties that may accompany them.
We must remember they would never choose this - they did not make the decision and their life is a young one. No life should be more equal than another but I would argue that a life of but a few years that has travelled the seas and lived through war on their own should perhaps be seen as an investment in our future, our world, our humanity.
The 'Dubs scheme' no longer specifies how many unaccompanied children will be resettled in the UK. That figure will instead be determined by individual local authorities and with that the process will move slowly and many children will end up 'missing' (making it into EU countries but re-homed by the dark world, like those 5,000 women hidden in London's illegal trade alone).
We can step up and we need to.
These young lives need a step-country and we can be that. Just as with step-parenting the relationship may be forged out of necessity in the first instance but then it develops into something longstanding, respected, adored and valuable.
If each constituency offered refuge to 5 unaccompanied minors then 3,000 children would be provided with a safe future.
If you want to help - this is how you can:
1. Write to your local councillor you can easily do this here: https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/campaigning/protect-refugee-children
2. Write to your local MP and ask them to ensure that the deal offered to councils is genuine and that all 157 children in Calais entitled to family reunification (under Dublin 3) alongside the first 300 children (one tenth of the total proposed by Lord Dubs) are relocated to the UK in time to start school this September
3. Write articles/ blogs explaining why you want your local council to accept refugee children.
4. Seek more information on how to help by going to http://www.refugees-welcome.org.uk/ and clicking on the resources - refugee-children-campaign
This post was originally written and posted to http://www.themamacave.com