On World Refugee Day, 20 June, the day dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees across the world, the Catholic Bishop for Migrants, Bishop Patrick Lynch has called on the Coalition Government to always put the interests of children before immigration control.
“The UK as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should uphold the rights of unaccompanied migrant children and always provide the protection and support that they need,” said Bishop Lynch.
He welcomed the recommendations proposed by the ‘Joint Committee on Human Rights of Unaccompanied Children and Young People in the UK’ report published yesterday, which focus primarily on the best interests of the children – by protecting, upholding and supporting the rights of unaccompanied migrant children.
During his Wednesday audience, ahead of World Refugee Day, Pope Francis has invited the world: “to give special consideration to the situation of refugee families, often forced to leave their home and their homeland quickly, to leave all they own and every security, to flee from violence, persecution or grave discrimination on religious, ethnic or political grounds. In addition to the dangers of the journey, often these families risk disintegration and, in the country that receives them, having to deal with cultures and societies that differ from their own. We cannot be insensitive to the families and to all our brothers and sisters refugees: we are called to help them, opening up to understanding and hospitality. May people and institutions around the world never fail to assist them: their face is the face of Christ!”
In response to these words, Bishop Lynch said: “The call from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to give special consideration to the situation of refugee families has a particular significance here in England and Wales. That is the reason why I’ve asked the Coalition Government to put the interests of children always before immigration control.”