Hollywood actor Michael Sheen has backed Unicef’s call for Home Secretary Amber Rudd to change Britain’s family refugee reunion law before Brexit kicks in.
The Dublin III regulation that protects children by ensuring that they are provided a safe passage to close family when moving country to flee war, violence or persecution. Last year, the process saw 700 unaccompanied children reunited with family in the UK.
But the law only refers to the 28 European Union member states and is likely to close, according to David Davis MP, when the UK’s departure is confirmed at the end of March next year.
By recognising what our close family really is and reflecting that in the Home Office’s rules, a child could be brought to safety faster and without the need for these deadly journeys
The Brexit secretary insisted that, “We are a country with a strong tradition of tolerance and generosity, and if anything, I expect that to grow after we leave, not diminish” when quizzed on the future of the process by MPs earlier this month.
With limited time for Rudd to make amendments to the UK’s own laws before Article 50 is triggered, the children’s humanitarian charity has launched a petition to ask the Conservative MP to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
More than 16,000 people have already signed the petition, but Frost/Nixon star Sheen is now calling on the government to do more to protect children from dangerous journeys to reach the safety of loved ones without threat of falling into the hands of smugglers and traffickers.