Home Affairs Committee - Migration Crisis

Source : Parlement britannique


Terms of Reference

Key Facts

1 Introduction

  • Rapid growth in numbers of refugees and migrants
  • The EU and UK responses
  • Our inquiry and this report

2 Calais and the Channel ports

  • Juxtaposed border controls
  • Increased attempts to cross the Channel in summer 2015
  • Steps to tackle illegal migrants crossing the Channel
  • Coastal security

3 Numbers and origin of refugees and migrants

  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Migration routes through the Mediterranean

4 Addressing the causes of mass migration

  • Support to source countries
  • Resettlement of Syrian refugees
  • Costs of asylum provision
  • Safe and legal routes into Europe

5 Protecting the EU’s external and maritime borders

  • Migrant smuggling
  • Frontex—the EU border agency
  • Mediterranean crossings : search and rescue
  • Tackling migrant smuggling across sea borders

6 Processing and treatment of migrants

  • Dublin regulations
  • Fingerprinting
  • Hotspots
  • Relocation from EU countries of arrival
  • Returns
  • Schengen
  • Increasing security at EU borders
  • EU border security and terrorist attacks

7 The EU Agreement with Turkey

8 Protecting vulnerable groups

  • Women and children

« As we set out in our June Report on the Immigration Directorates, the Government recently announced that the UK would provide an additional resettlement route to the UK specifically for ‘children at risk’ from the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. The scheme is aimed at unaccompanied children and children separated from their parents or other family members, as well as other vulnerable children such as child carers and those facing the risk of child labour, child marriage or other forms of neglect, abuse or exploitation. The Government has committed to resettling several hundred individuals from the MENA region in the first year with a view to accepting up to 3,000 individuals over the lifetime of this Parliament. In May 2016 the then Prime Minister announced that further provision would be made for children who are already in Europe and not therefore covered by the ‘children at risk’ scheme’. Unaccompanied children who entered Europe before 20 March 2016 will now also be eligible for resettlement to the UK, although the Government has not stated how many unaccompanied children from Europe it expects to be resettled.
We accept the Government’s concern that allowing unaccompanied children to join family members already in the UK might create a “pull factor”, resulting in more vulnerable young people making dangerous journeys to try to reach the UK.
We appreciate that these are sensitive and complex matters and that proper account needs to be taken of the legal and safeguarding requirements in the countries where unaccompanied children are currently located. We also acknowledge that some progress is being made on this. However, we agree with the Bishop of Durham that the 157 unaccompanied children already in Calais who have family members in the UK “should already have arrived” in the UK. The Government should, as a one-off action, accept all of these children into the UK now.

Large numbers of women and child migrants are making dangerous illegal journeys across the Mediterranean, in the hope of being reunited with family members in the EU. We welcome the UK Government’s recent announcement of schemes to resettle
unaccompanied children, both from the Middle East and North Africa, and some who
have already reached Europe. However, it is important that the local authorities who
are required to take responsibility for unaccompanied refugee children are properly
funded and supported to take on this additional burden, particularly given the high
concentration of arrivals in a very small number of locations, particularly in Kent and
the Heathrow airport area. The Government should include steps to ensure the fair
distribution of unaccompanied children across local authorities as part of the action
we have called for in relation to dispersal of asylum-seekers.

  • Missing child migrants

«  Unaccompanied foreign minors are defined as individuals under the age of 18 who are stateless or from non-EU countries, who enter the territory of a Member State without being accompanied by an adult who is responsible for them. Europol found that over 85,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in the EU in 2015, and the number is growing—the 2015 total is three times higher than the number for 2014.
A more recent estimate by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggested that there were over 95,000 asylum applications by unaccompanied minors in Europe in 2015.

Europol estimates that there are 85,000 unaccompanied minors amongst the migrant population in the EU. We were astonished to hear reports that large numbers of these children go missing from reception centres shortly after arrival and that they then face abuse, sexual assault and discrimination. At least 10,000 minors are estimated to have gone missing since arriving in Europe. EU countries must do more to protect these highly vulnerable young people. The Government has announced a £10 million Refugee Children Fund for vulnerable children in the EU. This should be used, and if necessary augmented, to ensure that effective support and protection are provided, and that this extremely serious problem is properly addressed. »

  • Conclusions and recommendations

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