International children’s charity World Vision UK is urging London councils to ‘pull out all the stops’ in finding homes for unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.
The call comes after a YouGov poll of British adults for the charity reveals that, of those in London, more than half (51%) support the government’s decision last week to accept unaccompanied child refugees, compared to just 30% who oppose it.
World Vision UK’s ambassador and actress, Natasha Little has urged local councils across the city to find homes for refugee children.
The Night Manager star said: “On a recent trip to Serbia to see the charity’s work, I saw first-hand the desperate plight of the hundreds of thousands of children stranded in Europe after fleeing the horrors of war in Syria. Shockingly, many thousands of refugee children have already gone missing in Europe. No one knows into whose hands they have fallen and what fate awaits them.
“The warm-hearted people of London have sent out a clear message– we must not turn our backs on these desperate children. We urge the rest of all other county councils across the city and the UK, to be generous and give sanctuary to several thousand of the most vulnerable refugee children.”
The government has set no definite time limit for identifying how many refugee children the UK can accept, however comments have suggested that it is likely to be towards the end of 2016 before any children can be settled in the UK.
Tim Pilkington, Chief Executive of World Vision UK, said: “Hundreds of thousands of children fleeing the horrors of the war in Syria have ended up stranded on the shores of Europe. Tens of thousands are orphaned, living in squalid camps and surviving without their parents’ love and support.
“Shockingly, many thousands of refugee children have already gone missing. No one knows into whose hands they have fallen and what fate awaits them.
“London has sent out a message– we must not turn our backs on these desperate children. We now urge London local authorities to play their part and give sanctuary to vulnerable refugee children.”