Britain to take in Syrian refugee children
Under international pressure, the United Kingdom says it will take in an undeclared number of Syrian refugee children.
Britain on Wednesday agreed to take in some unaccompanied children from Syria who have made their way to Europe.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said children who registered in Greece, Italy or France before March 20 – when the European Union struck a deal to return many migrants to Turkey – would be eligible to come to the UK without specifying how many.
London said “the retrospective nature” of the plan “will avoid creating a perverse incentive for families to entrust their children to people traffickers.”
Britain has already agreed to resettle up to 3,000 vulnerable child refugees from the Middle East and Africa by 2020, as well as 20,000 Syrians from Middle Eastern refugee camps.
But it claims that accepting refugee children from Europe would encourage others to make the dangerous journey to the continent.
Critics have censured the British government’s policy toward the recent refugee crisis in Europe, describing it as “seriously inadequate, morally unacceptable and economically wrong.”
The British government has been under growing pressure to accept more refugees. In a February letter to David Cameron, hundreds of British celebrities called for letting in more child refugees.
Back in January, the EU’s criminal intelligence agency, Interpol, said 10,000 unaccompanied child refuges had disappeared after arriving in Europe.