New safe route for refugees needed, we tell House of Lords

Monday, February 28th 2022

Law Centres Network has joined charity Safe Passage and 45 other organisation in strong support for a new safe route for family reunion for refugees in Europe.

The proposal is set out in a joint briefing to peers (available to download below) on the day that the government's Nationality and Borders Bill begins its House of Lords Report stage.

The briefing is in support of an amendment to the Bill proposed by the Labour peer Lord Alf Dubs, himself a former child refugee who had arrived in the UK on the Kindertransport.

The Dubs amendment aims to correct a problematic situation. On leaving the European Union, the UK has also left its Dublin III refugees protocol, which governs the EU's joint approach to refugees. This makes it practically impossible for vulnerable separated children and adults to legally reunite with their family already living in the UK.

The amendment will recognise a safe route and grant separated asylum seekers safe passage to the UK. In turn, this would also make them less dependent on Home Office caseworkers' discretion, because their arrival would be through a recognised legal route. 

Nimrod Ben-Cnaan, head of policy and profile at the Law Centres Network, said:

"We know that, in the absence of safe routes, separated people seeking to reunite with their families in the UK would simply turn to unsafe routes. A responsible and humane immigration policy would seek to minimise the danger and uncertainty to them. We call on Parliament to embrace this approach."

Joint House of Lords Briefing - Nationality and Borders BillDownload[202 KB]