The UK is home to many refugees who have been forced to flee unimaginable hardship. But sadly, their difficulties aren't over once they arrive in Britain.
Sign the petition now - or read on to find out why.
The UK Government’s restrictive and unfair rules prevent refugees from being reunited with many family members - anyone other than their partners or children under 18. The UK is one of only two countries in the EU that bans child refugees who arrive in the UK alone from bringing any relatives to join them, even their parents.
So while people may be safe and able to start rebuilding their shattered lives, so many are plagued by worry over the family they had no choice but to leave behind – or the relatives they were torn apart from on the long and perilous journey of escape. You can read more about the devastating impact of separation on refugee families in this report we wrote with Oxfam earlier this year.
MPs back refugee family reunion
In March 2018, MPs from across the political divide voted in favour of a Private Members Bill introduced by Angus MacNeil MP which proposed the necessary changes to reunite refugee families currently being kept apart. Thanks to thousands of our supporters who joined the campaign and wrote to their MPs, the Bill passed with a fantastic majority of 131 MPs.
What we're calling for
With your help we're calling for the following changes to the current rules:
• Allow child refugees in the UK the right to sponsor their close family, so they can rebuild their lives together and help them integrate in their new community
• Expand who qualifies as family, so that young people who have turned 18 and elderly parents can join their family in the UK
• Reintroduce legal aid for refugee family reunion cases, so people who have lost everything have the support they need to afford and navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their families
Together with British Red Cross, Amnesty International, Oxfam, UNHCR and STAR (Student Action for Refugees), the Refugee Council is part of the Families Together coalition which calls on the Government to amend the rules that keep refugee families apart. Please join us by calling on the Home Secretary to show true leadership and enable refugee families to be together again – just when they need each other most.
Home Secretary: Reunite refugee families
Dear Home Secretary
You have the power to reunite families torn apart by war and persecution. With the strike of a pen, you can change the restrictive rules that keep refugees in the UK apart from those they love.
I call on you to: