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UK’s family reunion scheme leaves children trapped in war zones, a British charity says

Children are becoming trapped in war zones due to Britain’s “impossible” bureaucratic demands on one of the few legal asylum routes, as reported by The Guardian, citing a British charity.

The government has promoted family reunion procedures as a safe way for refugees to reunite with their loved ones in Britain. However, a new report from Ramfel, a charity that supports vulnerable migrants, condemns the system as “not fit for purpose.” It claims that applicants have been neglected, leaving them vulnerable to trafficking or death.

Ramfel highlighted the war in Sudan as an example of the family reunion process’s “abject failure.” This process primarily aids children and spouses of UK residents, while siblings and other close relatives are covered under a more restrictive scheme.

The charity argues that these bureaucratic hurdles are pushing more refugees to take irregular routes, resulting in record high small boat crossings over the English Channel.

According to The Guardian’s report, Home Office data reveals that 9,764 refugees were granted family reunion visas in 2023, with half of them being children.

International agencies have noted an increase in immigrants fleeing conflict zones, attempting to reach Europe through perilous routes. Thousands, including women and children, have died during these journeys.

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