On 11th February 2019 Lord Dubs asked the Government “how many refugee children have arrived in the United Kingdom from Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme, since its launch in April 2016.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: The youngsters who have made the journey across Europe are among the most courageous young people in the world. You do not leave home unless you live in the mouth of a shark. What are the Government doing with those who arrive and, as the Minister said, are vulnerable? The Children’s Society recently published evidence of a high level of self-harm and suicide among these people. What is happening with the introduction of independent guardians, as is the case in Scotland and Northern Ireland? What other provisions can be made? What can be done for these young people to have permanent leave to remain when they reach adult age?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right: any child who makes that journey is in an incredibly vulnerable position from the moment they leave their country of origin to the moment they arrive here, whether it is to people traffickers who bring them across dangerous seas, the dangerous seas themselves or the exploitation they might face during the journey or when they arrive here. Local authorities will provide wraparound care through the various agencies that might be involved with these children. The right reverend Prelate is right to say that psychological trauma is one of the main things that these children suffer. The message is that children should not be sent across these dangerous regions and across the sea to get here. They should be helped in the region or become refugees, at which point this country will give them the security that they need.