Bishop of Durham asks about EU regulations for reuniting refugee families

Bp Durham June 2015 bOn 29th February 2016, the Home Office Minister in the House of Lords, Lord Bates, repeated a statement on Child Refugees in Calais. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a supplementary question.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, can the Minister confirm how tight or loose are the parameters on family relationships under Dublin being used in this? That is one of the concerns of those working on this in the NGOs—how tight or how loose the family ties can be defined as.

Lord Bates: The family ties are tightly defined; I suppose that they are there to avoid any potential risk of wider, extended family being brought in under humanitarian protection. They are defined as siblings or a parent and it is preferable that the children are reunited with the parent, wherever that parent is. That is one argument where the UNHCR has certainly made a strong case for ensuring that children are reunited—and stay—with their families in the region, rather than undertaking the perilous journeys which bring them to Calais.