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.