Reuniting Refugee families

Britain has had a long and proud history of helping those in need and doing what is morally right and fair. This government must continue this proud tradition of helping vulnerable people in their time of need.

Under current EU law, an unaccompanied child can apply to be reunited with their close family in any other state that is a signatory of the Dublin Convention, also known as the Dublin III Regulation. However, this route could soon be closed as we exit the European Union, and other EU countries adopt the Dublin IV Regulation without the UK. Without this route, more children will be forced into the hands of traffickers and smugglers for the entirety of their journey.

Brexit gives the UK an opportunity to change its own refugee family reunion rules, so that children living in conflict-affected regions are reunited with their families safely and legally, rather than having to risk their lives on dangerous journeys to Europe.

It is imperative that as the UK reforms and provides additional clarity to its immigration rules to broaden the scope of family reunion rules – so that these are in line with European ones – allowing children to be reunited with their close family members, wherever they are.

The Government must:

  • Add a provision to the UK immigration rules extending the definition of family to adult siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, as well as parents.

  • Enable children to sponsor their parents or main carer to join them in the UK.

  • Improve the family reunification process so that children can be removed from danger as quickly as possible and be reunited with family.

  • Reintroduce legal aid for refugee family reunion.

What you can do:

  • Visit your MP at a constituency surgery with a small group of people to relay your concerns about refugee family reunion. Contact Adam if you interested in doing this then use our briefing document to familiarise yourself more with the topic.

  • Share our social media friendly campaign materials to raise awareness of these issues and to generate momentum for the right to family reunion.

  • Donate to JCORE to help support our campaigning activities.