The Refugee Family Reunion Bill
SOS Children’s Villages UK is part of a coordinated coalition of NGOs campaigning for the Refugee Family Reunion Bills to become law in the UK. The bills would give refugee children with leave to remain in the UK the right to be safely reunited with their family.
Current restrictive laws are denying vulnerable refugee children the opportunity to grow up with their family. As a result, hundreds of children are facing a future alone and without the family stability they need. Refugee children are often fleeing danger, war and political unrest – and laws in the UK are only adding to this suffering.
Two versions of the bill are currently making their way through the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Commons bill, proposed by Angus MacNeil MP, passed its second reading in March when 129 MPs voted in its favour, while the Lords bill is waiting for its third reading. But the success of the bills is by no means certain. We will be following this process closely to ensure children are not denied their right to a family life.
Both bills call for refugee children to be reunited with their families by:
- Giving unaccompanied refugee children in the UK the right to sponsor their family members to join them
- Expanding the definition of ‘family’ to allow more refugees to be reunited with their family
- Reinstating legal aid for refugee family reunion cases
Click here to see the main stages and challenges that the commons bill still has to overcome.