Behind the numbers: London squabbles over 3,000 child refugees

Article published on May 4, 2016
Article published on May 4, 2016

London initially boasted about taking in 3,000 child refugees by 2020. But what then became of the proposal, agreed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is not so clear-cut.

After it was reported that (by 2020) Britain would take in 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from North African and the Middle East, British MPs came back last Monday with a speedy response from the House of Commons. By 294 votes to 276, they essentially announced that said child refugees could take a running jump. They're not getting into Great Britain.

Nice try! The House of Lords was not amused by this decision, and countered with a 279 to 172 vote in favour of accepting the child refugees. The Supplementary Agreement to the so-called Immigration Bill was originally tabled by Lord Dubs, who himself had been a child refugee during the Holocaust.

The EU commission estimates that the number of asylum seekers in Europe will be three million by the end of 2017. Around 4,000 people died in the Mediterranean in 2015. Maybe in the next ballot the House of Commons can see this number for what it really is?

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This article is part of our Behind the Numbers series, illustrating newsworthy stats with artistic design and a brief analysis.