The Refugee Family Reunion Bill
SOS Children’s Villages UK are part of a coordinated coalition of NGOs campaigning for the Refugee Family Reunion Bill to become law in the UK. The bill, brought forward by Angus MacNeil MP, 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 deserve. Refugee children are often fleeing danger, war and political unrest – and laws in the UK are only adding to this suffering.
The bill passed its second reading in March, when 129 MPs voted in its favour, but there remain many challenges to overcome before it enters UK law. The next step will be a detailed consultation process, during which MPs can table amendments that could fundamentally affect the rights of refugee children in the UK. We will be following this process closely to ensure children are not denied their right to a family life.
It the bill calls 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