Britain to accept 130 more child refugees after 'error'

Britain to accept 130 more child refugees after 'error'
Britain announced plans to accept 130 more child refugees following an administrative error, but campaigners believe the country still needs to do more.
2 min read
27 April, 2017
Campaigners have criticised the move to accept just 350 child refugees [Getty]
More than 100 child refugees will be accepted into Britain, authorities said on Wednesday after an administrative error limited arrivals to 350.

Britain announced plans to accept a further 130 young refugees after the government realised that it had missed an offer from one region to host children.

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill put the mistake down to "an administrative error as part of collating the figures" from a consultation with local authorities, telling parliament a total of 480 unaccompanied children will now be welcomed.

"As outlined in my original statement, the specified number includes over 200 children already transferred from France as part of the Calais camp clearance," he added.

Britain’s announcement to accept just 350 children in February had frustrated campaigners, including the main advocate of the scheme, opposition Labour politician Alf Dubs, who had proposed a figure of 3,000. 

Dubs, who came to Britain as a child fleeing the Nazis, criticised the government on Wednesday for its handling of the consultation.

"I'm delighted for the sake of those 130 children but shocked and disgusted that the Government has made such a mess of this.

"I don't like the way they're doing it just before the election – the Government should be ashamed of themselves," he said, referring to the June 8 national vote.

Meanwhile, the head of UK campaigns at UN children's agency UNICEF, Hayley Cull urged the government to do more to help children in danger. 

"We still need a long-term plan so children never have to make dangerous journeys into and across Europe in order to reach safety," she said.

More than 100,000 refugee and migrant children arrived in Europe last year; 33,800 of whom were unaccompanied or separated from their parents and main carer, the UN and International Organization for Migration said earlier this month.