Tell the UK Government to provide sanctuary for vulnerable refugee children

Father and son in Moria Camp, Lesvos

© Anna Pantelia/MSF

© Anna Pantelia/MSF

In MSF's paediatric clinic on the Greek island of Lesvos, our medical teams treat children with complex medical conditions. Some are life-threatening, such as asthma, epilepsy and injuries sustained from war.

Our mental health specialists regularly see children – some younger than six years old – suffering from depression and anxiety, and others who are self-harming or attempting suicide.

The lack of safety, especially at night, weighs heavily and some children stop talking, stop playing and withdraw into themselves.

The conditions in camps like 'Olive Grove' on Lesvos are abysmal. © Anna Pantelia/MSF

The current COVID-19 pandemic makes their situation worse – they are packed into cramped, squalid, unhygienic conditions, with just one toilet for every 167 people. Our medical teams are working hard but they are overwhelmed by the scale of the problem.

That is why we need your help to push for these children to be given a place of safety.

The UK Government has just closed a scheme which for many of these children was the only way they could find a route to safety in our country. Now, unless these children are lucky enough to already have family members in Britain, there is no way in.

MSF regularly conducts vaccination campaigns for migrant children on Lesvos island. © Anna Pantelia/MSF

We have asked the Government to provide new, safe, legal routes to safety for those children without family in the UK, but so far they have not agreed to. We are therefore asking for provisions to help them to be included in the Immigration Bill, which is currently going through Parliament.

We are not asking the UK to solve this problem on its own. We are simply asking for the UK to provide sanctuary for some of these children, as many other countries have done.

Child playing In Moria Camp, Lesvos

The conditions in camps like 'Olive Grove' on Lesvos are abysmal. © Anna Pantelia/MSF

The conditions in camps like 'Olive Grove' on Lesvos are abysmal. © Anna Pantelia/MSF

Vaccination campaign in Moria Camp, Lesvos

MSF regularly conducts vaccination campaigns for migrant children on Lesvos island. © Anna Pantelia/MSF

MSF regularly conducts vaccination campaigns for migrant children on Lesvos island. © Anna Pantelia/MSF

Email your MP and make a difference now

1) First, join the campaign

Enter your email here so we can keep you up-to-date with campaign progress. See our privacy notice.

2) Next, message your MP

By writing to your MP, you can demonstrate that there is strong public demand to provide sanctuary to these children.

Type your postcode below, select your MP from the list and ask your MP to:

  • Support measures to help vulnerable, unaccompanied children who are trapped on the Greek islands.
  • Use the opportunity provided by the Immigration Bill currently before Parliament to commit the Government to taking its share of unaccompanied children from within Europe, as well as globally.
  • Press the Government to end its support for harmful migration policies overseas which have contributed to the dangerous and desperate situation in the Greek islands and elsewhere, notably in Libya.

Writing your own thoughts and feelings, while taking a little longer, will also have far more impact. The service we are using, Write To Them, will also not accept copy-and-paste messages.

Thank you for your support, MSF UK

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