Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Join us to hand in our national petition on child family reunion

On 30th March we will be handing in a 25 thousand strong petition to the Home Office and Department for Education in central London calling on the government to end the forced separation of child refugees from their closest relatives. We will also line the road between the two government departments with hundreds of giant paper chains – symbolising the importance of family to a child. Our Action Week in February saw hundreds of giant paper chains being made under the slogan of #ReuniteRefugeeFamilies image

Our Action Week in February was packed with brilliant events which saw hundreds of giant paper chains being made under the slogan of #ReuniteRefugeeFamilies.

The aim was to put pressure on the government to change its policy and end the forced separation of child refugees from their closest relatives.

On 30th March we will be handing in a 25 thousand strong petition to the Home Office and Department for Education in central London highlighting the issue. We will also line the road between the two government departments with hundreds of giant paper chains – symbolising the importance of family to a child.

Come and join us from 10am – meeting outside Methodist Central Hall, just off Parliament Square in the heart of Westminster (Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH).

Senior figures from STAR and Amnesty UK, plus actress Juliet Stevenson – will hand-in the petition calling on Ministers to ‘allow children recognised as refugees in the UK the right to be reunited with their families’.

The fact that child refugees do NOT have the right to bring their parents and siblings to this country leaves these children facing a stark choice. They must either return to danger to be with their families or live as orphans in the UK.

The UK is one of only two European states (Denmark being the other) which denies refugee children the chance to be with their families and grow up in safety.

Emma Williams, Director of STAR, said: “Sadly children are the only refugees denied the right to sponsor family members to join them in the UK. This permanently separates extremely vulnerable young people from their families.

“Being reunited with close family is the best way to safeguard child refugees in the UK and would improve their chances of recovery, integration and personal development.”

You can sign and view the petition here: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/action/keep-refugee-families-together

Action Week also saw the I Welcome photo exhibition on a number of university campuses, with students and activists writing letters to the Home Office and Department for Education asking for family reunion.

The annual Refugee Rhythms event in Cardiff was attended by around 800 students and local MP, Jo Stevens; UCL held a panel discussion, there was a similar event in Hull. Elsewhere there were stalls, bakes stales, film nights, and quizzes – while Southampton Star made over 40 metres of family paper chains and gave out free hugs!

Posted by STAR team on 22/03/2017 at 04:43 PM