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Home  >  News  >  Churches Condemn 'Reprehensible' Refugees Decision

News

Churches Condemn 'Reprehensible' Refugees Decision

 

Friday February 10

The Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church in Scotland have jointly condemned the decision to only accept 350 vulnerable refugee children under the ‘Dubs scheme’.

The Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland and Honor Hania, chair of the Commission for Justice and Peace, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said in a statement that they were ‘shocked and disappointed’ by the ‘reprehensible’ situation to stop the programme at ‘fewer than 12% of the original commitment of 3000 children’.

The government announced on Wednesday that the UK would accept 350 unaccompanied children from refugee camps in Europe, including about 200 already here, under Lord Dubs' amendment to the Immigration Bill.

Lord Dubs, a peer who himself arrived in the UK as a child refugee, has said the government has ‘gone back on their word’ to accept 3000 child refugees.

The statement from Dr Frazer and Mrs Hania continues: “The UK Government statement said that it had consulted with local authorities about capacity; churches were not consulted by the Home Office.  Church and community groups in the City of Glasgow have only recently begun a consultation process about how volunteers might assist in the programme of supporting child refugees.

“We are aware that many of these children have disappeared and their situation is complex. But it is hard to think of anyone more vulnerable.  A decision to end the Dubs resettlement now is premature and lacks both compassion and ambition.

“We urge UK Government ministers to reconsider and we remain willing to work with the Home Office to find creative ways to deliver on the widespread expectation on the part of the general public to achieve the goal of 3,000 children as soon as possible.

“As Christians we believe that there is a moral imperative to ‘love our neighbour’, where our neighbour is illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. Extraordinary times require extraordinary responses, and that when someone is in need they are our neighbour, regardless of race, nationality, religion, language or culture.”


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