On 5th February 2018, Lord Roberts asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they intend to ensure that every failed asylum seeker, and anyone facing removal from the United Kingdom for whatever reason, has access to adequate legal advice.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the Children’s Society shows that unaccompanied and separated children are particularly vulnerable. Only 12 grants for exceptional case funding were made in 2015-16, fewer than 1% of the expected number of cases under the previous system. Hundreds of children are being left without a legal safety net. Can the Minister confirm that the situation of these children will be specifically considered within the review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks government about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children”
On Wednesday 17th January 2018 Baroness Massey of Darwen asked Her Majesty’s Government “what, if any, support they are providing to the government of Greece, the UNHCR or Greek or international non-governmental organisations to help meet the challenges of winter for migrants and refugees in hotspots in the Greek islands.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, what steps are being taken to pressure the EU to accelerate family reunification processes? Our colleagues in the Anglican communion in Europe have noted that applications made for family members in Greece to come to this country are currently taking well over a year and that the processes have, sadly, slowed in the past 18 months. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about delays in reuniting migrant and refugee families”
On the 8th January 2018 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what new arrangements they propose to introduce to support child refugees following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: Can the Minister confirm that any new provision will be at least as generous as under the Dublin III regulations and that there will be even wider scope for child refugees to join not only parents in the UK but also other relatives such as uncles, aunts, grandparents and adult siblings? Will they also be given the support they need to live safely and in decent conditions? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about child refugee policy post-Brexit”
On 15th December 2017 the House of Lords debated the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL], a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Baroness Hamwee. The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in support of the Bill:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I too am most grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. I am delighted that this debate is about families, which is an apt topic as Christmas approaches. I am not speaking of the nostalgic image of a nuclear family around a groaning table; the Christian table is plainer but more welcoming and inclusive, a table around which all are welcome.
Round the table gathers a family. Our country has for so long and so rightly emphasised the family as a—perhaps the—key building block of society. At the present time we seek urgently for social integration, a society where shared values and shared culture bind us all into an ethos of mutuality which naturally, organically, squeezes out extremisms, violence, injustices and hate. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle supports Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill”
The following letter, in support of Baroness Hamwee’s Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill signed by eight bishops, seven of whom are Lords Spiritual, appeared in The Times newspaper on 15th December 2017.
REFUGEE REFORM BILL
Sir, Britain is one of the few countries in Europe that does not allow refugee children who arrive alone in the UK to bring a parent here. This is the most glaring example of overly restrictive rules that deny many refugees the chance to live with their family. Today Baroness Hamwee will sponsor the Refugee Families Reunion Bill in the House of Lords, which would allow a wider range of family members to be reunited with refugees living in the UK. Continue reading “Bishops show support for Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill”
On the 26th October the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Helic, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to support the Rohingya refugees currently displaced in Bangladesh.” The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth took part in the debate highlighting the need for a greater action by the international community to support agents of compassion and to address the underlying causes of the crisis. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry questions Government about support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh”
On 26th October 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Smith of Newnham asking “That the House takes note of the case for intergenerational fairness to form a core part of government policy across all departments.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate, highlighting the amount of debt being carried by young people and the environmental legacy this generation was bequeathing to future generations.
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury discusses Intergenerational Fairness – Debt, Refugees & Our Environmental Legacy”