#OurTurn petition handed in to Prime Minister
Sister of Charity, Sr Patricia Byrne attended the submission of the #OurTurn petition to the Prime Minister’s residence, No. 10 Downing Street. In this article Patricia explains about the situation in the UK regarding Child Migrants and those who are working to alleviate the many problems the children face.
Sr Patricia writes “Despite the crisis in Europe of migrants arriving in large numbers the UK has taken in less than other European countries such as Germany, Italy and Greece. A total of 20,760 migrants have arrived in Greece in 2018, bringing the total number of arrivals in the EU in 2018 to just over 76,000. The greatest concern is for unaccompanied child migrants who are very vulnerable, not least to exploitation and trafficking.
There are now more child migrants in Europe than at any other time since World War Two. Many of them are unaccompanied and face a harsh winter in desperate conditions. Here in the UK the government has failed to respond adequately to this crisis taking in only a small number of children so far despite some Councils’ willingness to take more child migrants.
A campaign, #OurTurn, to petition the government to take more children in has raised more than 33,000 signatures and this petition was handed in to the Prime Minister’s residence on 5th November.
Before the handing in of the petition we met in Parliament Square, just across the road from the Houses of Parliament, to be addressed by members of the organization that had initiated the campaign. ‘Safe Passage’ helps child refugees to find safe and legal routes to sanctuary. We were also addressed by members of two Councils, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Ealing. Both Councils have already taken in a number of children and called on us to encourage our Councils to do the same.
The delegation to No. 10 was led by Lord Alf Dubs who was accompanied to the door of the Prime Minister’s residence by members of Safe Passage and some migrant children while the rest of us stood in solidarity by the gates outside.
It was a moving event as we stood together and reflected on this crisis involving children, victims of a problem they had not contributed to in any way.