On Friday 16 March, Angus MacNeil’s Private Member’s Bill on refugee family reunion will be debated in the House of Commons
Actors, musicians and artists including Patrick Stewart and Peter Capaldi have called on their MPs to urge them to attend the Refugees Family Reunion Bill on Friday 16 March 2018.
The second reading of Angus MacNeil MP’s Bill has the power to change current restrictive UK rules on refugee family reunion.
A host of high-profile UK figures have written to their MPs, tweeted their support and called on the public to join them in urging the UK Government to ensure refugee families torn apart by war and conflict are reunited.
Artists supporting the Families Together campaign include: Patrick Stewart, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Capaldi, Vivienne Westwood, Anish Kapoor, Alan Cumming, Juliet Stevenson, the Kaiser Chiefs, Anita Rani, Laura Mvula, Theo James, Anoushka Shankar, and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors David Morrissey and Neil Gaiman.
The current immigration rules mean that parents are being kept apart from young adult children who still need them, and children are being kept apart from the parents they still need.
Many refugees in the UK struggle to cope as they live with the knowledge that those they love and depend upon remain far away, facing often untold dangers.
If passed, the Refugees Family Reunion Bill would allow a wider range of family members to be reunited with refugees in the UK. It would provide a route for child refugees to grow up with their families, and allow young people who have turned 18 a better chance to be reunited with their parents. It would also reintroduce legal aid so that refugees who have lost everything can afford to afford the assistance necessary to navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their families.
Families Together is a campaign run by organisations including UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Amnesty International UK, the British Red Cross and the Refugee Council. The campaign is urgently asking members of the public to contact their MP before Friday 16 March at refugeestogether.co.uk