Pledge to protect child refugees

04 Nov 2016

The College has urged the UK government to do more to help vulnerable children in the refugee crisis.

Pledge

The College has pledged support to protect child refugees in a letter urging the UK government to do more to help vulnerable children in the refugee crisis.  The letter, which was signed by more than a dozen signatories from UK Royal Colleges and other healthcare professionals, warns of the horrors these children may face, including fears of trafficking, radicalisation and poor mental and physical health.

The letter was published in the Daily telegraph on 4 November.  

Children are children, wherever in the world they happen to be. They deserve our protection and care. As health and medical professionals, we call on the UK Government to show compassion to the vulnerable children that have been trapped in the no-man’s land of the former Calais jungle.

Upwards of 90,000 unaccompanied children have arrived in Europe in the last 12 months, many fleeing the horrors of war in the Middle East and elsewhere. Europol estimated that at least 10,000 of these have since disappeared, likely victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. The UK has, to-date, accepted some 274 unaccompanied children, with more planned, but slowly, and with apparent reluctance that has led to outcry. This is shameful. 

There is an appalling humanitarian crisis unfolding with the closure of the Calais ‘jungle’ camp. A particular grave risk is that young, unaccompanied and traumatised refugees, many with complex mental and physical health needs, will be placed at the mercy of traffickers or be radicalised by their experiences. This is deeply worrying. We urge the UK Government to fulfil their international obligations to secure the immediate safety of these children. Anything short of this contravenes the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

The current debate includes considerations of immigration, national sovereignty and security. These are serious matters but it is not right that children are the victims of this wider political calculus. For decades, the British people have shown generosity and compassion to children in need. We cannot stand by whilst the UK Government calibrates its support for Europe’s most vulnerable in political rather than humanitarian terms. 

 

Signed

Professor Neena Modi, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Heath

Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Chair, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

Professor Maureen Baker, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Dr Peter Hindley, Chair, Royal College of Psychiatrists’ CAMHS Faculty

Cecilia Anim, President, Royal College of Nursing

Dr Nicola Strickland, President, Royal College of Radiologists

Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting

Professor Derek Bell, President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Mr Mike Lavell-Jones, President, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Professor David Galloway, President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Professor Frank Murray , President,  Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Dr Asha Kasliwal, President, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health

Dr Crystal Oldman, Chief Executive, The Queen’s Nursing Institute

Dr Geoff Debelle, Officer for Child Protection, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Heath 

Dr Sebastian Taylor, Head of Global Affairs, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

 

 

 

Category: Uncategorised


Share this story:

Latest news and statements

Key priority areas

Workforce Recovery and Transformation
Health services in many parts of the world are over-stretched due to workforce shortages, rising demand for services and difficulties in retaining staff.
Read more
Wellbeing
A healthy healthcare workforce is essential for patient care. When the workforce is exhausted, experiencing burnout, and struggling to balance their work and personal lives, it impacts on everyone.
Read more
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to standing up for equality, diversity and inclusion. We want our College to reflect the diversity in the NHS workforce and in the patients that we care for.
Read more
Climate Change and Sustainability
Climate change has caused great harm to our planet and warnings of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding will all place a significant burden on our health outcomes.
Read more
Health Inequalities
The health inequalities in our society have been both highlighted and exacerbated by the covid pandemic. There is a need to do things differently.
Read more
COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of healthcare professionals, and the urgent need to learn whilemfocusing on delivering the best care for our patients has been an enormous challenge.
Read more

Topics


Archive


Key links



Contact us

rcpsg@grayling.com
07714307976

Log in

Log in to access your Dashboard, book events, pay your subscriptions and access eLearning material.

Log in

Register an account

New users must register before logging in. You do not need to be a member of the College in order to register.

Register

Help

Having difficulty registering or logging in? Forgotten your username or password?

Get Help