IN 2018, 1,072 children were recognised as refugees in the UK. But while adult refugees are allowed to bring family members to the UK, this is not the case for children.

The UK government argues that changing this would create "perverse incentives" for families to send children on dangerous journeys to the UK. However, a recent investigation reported by Amnesty International UK, the Refugee Council and Save the Children found children are not aware of family reunion policies in different European countries and flee their countries simply because they are seeking safety. Conflict, disaster and persecution can leave many with no other option than to flee their homes and leave their families behind.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child came into being in November 1989 and has been ratified by the UK. Its underlying principle is the best interests of the child, including rights to protection and provision and participation.

Our country has a long and proud tradition of welcoming refugees in need of protection. All children need their families, and every child should be able to live safely with their loved ones. This need is all the more acute for those who have had dreadful experiences of disrupted lives.

Amnesty is petitioning the new Home Secretary to change these rules. I ask readers to sign Amnesty’s petition at

Angela Lovett

Kendal Amnesty group