The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is deeply concerned that the amendment to The Immigration Bill (NC29) which would have protected the current system for family reunion has not been passed. This decision undermines the right for unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their family. There is a strong risk that this will push many vulnerable children into the hands of smugglers and traffickers and directly compromise their safety.
CCJ has campaigned for refugees since its formation in 1942. Today, supporting the rights of those who are displaced continues to be an intrinsic part of our work. In recent years CCJ has run numerous training workshops to educate faith community members and leaders on the active roles they can play in supporting refugees; published our resource ‘For Refugees, With Refugees: Advancing Interfaith Responses’, a practical guide for those wanting to implement change around the narrative of refugees by working together; and hosted our Freedom Seder, which encouraged reflection on modern slavery and the ways it can be combated.
CCJ believes that now more than ever it is pivotal for the concerns of faith communities to be heard, to educate, and to empower change. In doing so the UK can construct a society which welcomes ‘the stranger’ (Deuteronomy 10:19) and treats all people with dignity, humanity, and compassion. Families belong together and lone refugee children deserve our help.