Refugee campaigners have said they will appeal after losing a high court challenge against the government over the number of unaccompanied child refugees given sanctuary in the UK.
The Help Refugees charity brought a case against the government claiming that the process by which ministers agreed to give homes to just 480 lone child refugees was “fundamentally flawed”.
So far only 200 lone asylum-seeking children have been housed in the UK under the Dubs scheme, which campaigners had hoped would bring 3,000 minors to the UK, a figure calculated to be the UK’s fair share of those who had fled conflict and were seeking sanctuary in Europe. A further 280 allocated places remain unfilled.
The case centred on whether or not there had been adequate consultation with local authorities about the number of children they felt they could accommodate, and on whether the Home Office had failed to move with the “necessary speed” to relocate children to the UK.
Two judges dismissed an application for a judicial review in a ruling handed down on Thursday. “There is nothing in this which can show that the consultation process or the consideration of the results was unlawful,” they said.
Alf Dubs, the Labour and peer who forced the government to create the scheme last year, said he was very disappointed by the decision.
Lord Dubs, who as a child arrived in Britain on one of the Kindertransport trains, said: “I am puzzled by the decision. I have spoken to heads of many local authorities who are ready to give more places for child refugees.”
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