Britain faces criticism after limiting acceptance of lone child refugees to 300 | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Britain faces criticism after limiting acceptance of lone child refugees to 300

Britain’s Conservative government has placed a limit on the number of lone child refugees it will accept into the country, citing fears that people traffickers were exploiting the system.

world Updated: Feb 10, 2017 02:03 IST
AP
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (Reuters)

Britain’s Conservative government has placed a limit on the number of lone child refugees it will accept into the country, citing fears that people traffickers were exploiting the system.

Some 350 children will be allowed in far fewer than the 3,000 originally expected under the law that had been aimed at helping some of the tens of thousands of migrant children across Europe. Some 200 children have been brought in thus far.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Thursday the decision was made after France raised concerns that UK government actions were acting as a draw to encourage children to make the perilous journey to the continent.

Read | Japan took in just 28 refugees in 2016, despite record applications

“We are not saying we are closing the door, we are putting up the drawbridge,” she said. “We are not saying that.” The move is controversial because Britain has taken in so few of the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have flowed into Europe in recent years, many fleeing the war in Syria.

Lawmakers in the House of Commons accused Rudd of trying to more closely align the country with President Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, a move that has sparked protests in the US and abroad.

“Is this what comes of cozying up to President Trump?” asked Joanna Cherry of the Scottish National Party.

Opposition lawmakers also accused Britain’s Home Office of trying to sneak through the changes yesterday, when lawmakers were debating the highly charged bill that will allow Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Britain’s departure from the 28-nation European Union.