7 Sep 2015

In response to the Prime Minister’s announcement on accepting more Syrian refugees, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society said:

'The Prime Minister's decision to bring more children and families fleeing Syria to the UK over the next five years is welcome — but long overdue.

'Providing them with a five year visa means many more incredibly vulnerable children will have the immediate sanctuary they need. But the Government must give serious thought to what happens when these visas expire, as it is crucial their long-term needs are addressed. Many of these children will be here on their own or orphaned with no links to family in Syria. 

'Thousands of children who are already in the UK seeking safety from the violence, war and persecution in Syria and other countries are being pushed into severe poverty following cuts to vital financial support. As a result, many parents cannot afford the food or travel to school their children need.

'Everyone’s focus must be on making sure these desperate children and their families have the vital lifeline they need to escape these horrors.'

Ends

Media enquiries:

For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors:

  • New research from The Children’s Society reveals that the Government is failing to give thousands of vulnerable children who come to the UK on their own the long-term measures crucial to their stability and well-being, leaving them in a legal limbo, causing many to face homelessness and feel anxious: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-and-blogs/press-releases/vulnerable-children-on-their-own-in-uk-are-being-left-in-legal-limbo
  • On 10 August, the Government introduced cuts to vital asylum support for families, pushing 10,000 children into severe poverty: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-and-blogs/our-blog/a-dark-day-for-families-fleeing-war-and-persecution
  • It is estimated that bringing up a child in Britain costs an additional £89 per week for the first child in a couple and an additional £81 for a second child, excluding housing and childcare. Under the new asylum support rates, no difference is made between the amount a child needs to live and an adult. Asylum support has been cut by 30% — a cut of £16 per child per week.
  • On 9 September, the Government’s consultation on support for refused asylum-seekers closes. It proposes to cut the amount of time a refused asylum-seeking family can get the vital support they need in order to live to just 28 days. This would put children at risk of being made hungry and homeless. See: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/policy-and-lobbying/no-refuge-for-refugee-children
  • The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.