Last night, I was able to ask the Minister of State for the Home Office a Parliamentary Question during a debate on the Immigration Bill and the settling of migrants from conflict zones:
Steve Baker: Share this contribution A few minutes ago, my right hon. Friend mentioned the actions of our European partners. Can he give the House an indication of how this Government’s actions compare with those of our European neighbours?
Minister for Immigration (James Brokenshire): Share this contribution When we look at all these different aspects of our involvement—our aid assistance, the work of our resettlement programmes, which I will come on to shortly, the support we are giving in Europe, and the steps we are taking against smugglers and people trafficking networks with the taskforces that we have set up—we see that we can take very great credit in terms of the work that this country has done and continues to do. It is that focus that we will continue to bring to this issue. We know that the vulnerable and those most in need and most at risk may be best helped here in the UK. We launched the Syrian vulnerable person resettlement scheme to resettle 20,000 people over the course of this Parliament. Well over 1,000 people have been resettled to date, around half of whom are children. That means that, in the next four years, several thousand more children will be resettled in the UK under the Syrian scheme, but as I said in my statement of 28 January, we want to do more, especially for children most in need of support. That is why, last week, I announced a new resettlement scheme for children at risk. That initiative will be the largest resettlement effort to focus on children at risk from the middle east and north Africa region—children who might otherwise attempt their own perilous journeys to Europe and the UK. We have worked closely with the UNHCR to design a scheme that will protect the most vulnerable children, resettling up to 3,000 people over the lifetime of this Parliament, the majority of whom will be children if the UNHCR deems it to be in their best interests. Children who are identified as at risk will be resettled with their family members or carers where appropriate. The scheme will not be limited to any particular nationality or group, which will allow us to assist the most vulnerable children whoever they are. The UNHCR is fully supportive of the launch of this new initiative and the UK’s commitment to assist vulnerable refugee children at risk through further resettlement efforts that uphold the principles of child protection.