3 things the government has promised to do for child refugees

Child refugee
Children and families gathered at a temporary informal camp in Röszke, Hungary.

Recently the UK government announced new steps to help child refugees – particularly those who are alone.

Last year, 26,000 children arrived in Europe on their own, without a family to protect them.

These children have escaped poverty, war and persecution.

They’ve then faced a dangerous journey and an uncertain future – all in search of hope and safety.

We’re doing what we can to support these children, but we need the UK government to do more.

With your support, we called on the government to do more to help and protect these children who are incredibly vulnerable.

Children like 15-year-old Niaz* who travelled from Kabul with another family from Afghanistan.

“I have a twin sister back in Afghanistan. I cry all the time when I think about her,” he told our staff.

Child refugee who travelled without his family
Fifteen-year-old Niaz* is a refugee who travelled from Kabul with another family from Afghanistan.

Thousands of you signed our petition asking the government to give a UK home to 3,000 of these children – those who are most in need.

And we’re pleased to say that it had an effect.

The government recognised the urgent need to help child refugees and said it’s going to do much more to help these children.

Here are the key things it’s said that it will do for child refugees, especially those without a family to look after them.

1. Reunite children with their families in Europe

It’s looking to reunite lone child refugees already in Europe with their families here in the UK. If the government does this, it could lead to thousands of children being given a safe and loving home.

2. Resettle children who are on their own in conflict zones

The government has said that it will look at resettling lone children from conflict zones to the UK. This could mean that many children won’t have to make the dangerous journey across the sea.

We hope this will include children not only from Syria, but also from other countries ravaged by conflict.

3. More resources to help protect children

It’s going to provide extra resources to make sure that children are safe as they arrive in Europe – particularly in Greece and Italy.

This includes providing people who have specialist skills to help keep children safe.

They’ve also said that they’ll do more to support lone children already in the UK.

Although the government hasn’t agreed to our call to resettle 3,000 lone children, these steps to protect vulnerable child refugees who are on their own will make a difference.

It will mean that thousands of children can live somewhere safe.

We’ll be watching carefully to make sure that the government follows through on what it has said it will do, but this announcement is a very welcome start.

We’ve teamed up with education publisher Pearson to give books to child refugees arriving here in the UK.

We’re asking the public to write welcome messages for these children, to be put in the front of each book.

Send your welcome message to a child refugee today.

Leave a Reply


  • Welcome to the UK! May you find people to help you and friends to love you. I wish you every happiness.

  • Linda Oubridge

    Why on earth are the Government not letting in the children who are freezing & hungry at Calais & Dunkirk? & what is Save the Children doing about it.

  • Hello Linda,

    Thanks for getting in touch. We too, are extremely concerned about the wellbeing of children in Calais and Dunkirk and are doing all we can to help. Although, we are not registered in France, we have been providing help and support through partners, with a particular focus on child protection. We have also been doing a lot of advocacy work within the UK and alongside charities in France, to highlight the situation. Whilst a lot of this has not been made public, we have briefed a number of MEP and British MPs and have organised some high profile trips to the camps, to enable them to advocate within the UK.

    Thanks again, and I do hope this has reassured you on our current work.

  • A big welcome to all you children coming to the UK,may your future be a happy & fulfilling one.
    Love from a well wisher .xx ☺

  • my attitude, save the children should help these tormented children and support approximate system. to reduce the problem and solve. on the other hand, the uk government should plan, a places to settle and safe their lives.

  • paulo

    plesa sen me visa lettter invitetio acomdetion joitnt ucl upc/or unverciy of brnagdam and help jib voluteer in schethclir in uk and stude in ucl

  • Hi Paulo,

    Thanks for getting in touch. If you can please contact our Supporter Care team on supporter.care@savethechildren.org.uk then they can send out the letter you require.

    Thanks again,

  • elizabeth faherty

    what can I do additionally to helping donating to you to help these children alone in the European refugee camps? Since I have had my daughter who is now nearly a year I can’t bare the thought of these children without support or love, so vulnerable and I really want to do something to help them. Please advice me on all possible ways, including lobbying governments. I live in the netherlands but am still a British passport holder and vote in both countries. I can campaign therefore in both countries.

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    Thank you for your message and for your support of our work during this crisis. Whilst we would certainly welcome donations towards our appeal you can also support us by using your voice: you are powerful as a UK, Netherlands and EU citizen, and we must demonstrate how many people care about the situation facing refugees – join our call for urgent EU action: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/shame-on-europe.

    Kind regards,