In response to The International Development Committee report on the Syrian refugee crisis, Unicef UK Executive Director David Bull said:

5 January 2016 - “The children of Syria are facing a brutal and relentless crisis. Their protection and best interests must always come first, whether they are in Syria, or are refugees in the region or in Europe”

“Given the scale and immediacy of the humanitarian need, Unicef UK welcomes the IDC’s support for additional resettlement places to be made available in the UK for unaccompanied children in Europe. Of all of the refugees and migrants who have arrived in Europe, children are at greatest risk; living and travelling alone without family support, they are in danger of abuse and exploitation.

“There are unaccompanied refugee children in Europe who have relatives in the UK, and we support efforts to apply flexibly and widen the UK’s rules and practices on family reunion, so that more children are able to use this safe legal route to reunite with family members.

“We recognise the UK Government’s continued support for those affected by the crisis, and we welcome the IDC’s call on other donors to increase humanitarian funding. As the IDC points out, it’s right to focus on assisting the most vulnerable and we must ensure that aid reaches the majority of Syrian refugees who are living outside of the camps in host communities.”

--ENDS--

Notes for editors:

For further information please contact the Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk