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UNHCR welcomes the launch of UK's resettlement initiative for children at risk

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UNHCR welcomes the launch of UK's resettlement initiative for children at risk

21 April 2016

Following the UK Government’s announcement launching the new resettlement scheme for children at risk, the UNHCR Representative to the United Kingdom Gonzalo Vargas Llosa said:

"Today’s launch of the UK Government’s resettlement scheme for refugee children at risk is an important contribution to UNHCR’s continuing efforts to address the global protection needs of refugee children, including through resettlement and other pathways for admission.

We welcome the scheme’s focus on children at risk, including unaccompanied and separated children, and the UK’s commitment to upholding the principles of child protection and the child’s best interest, in implementing the programme.

Up to 3,000 vulnerable children and their families, fleeing Syria and other crises, will be offered resettlement in the UK under this new scheme during this Parliament. Several hundred are expected to benefit in the course of the first year. UNHCR is very pleased that this programme is additional to the UK’s existing commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees. The launch of this new scheme comes only weeks after UNHCR hosted a high level meeting on Global Responsibility Sharing in which the High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi, called on States to provide more pathways for admission of Syrian refugees.

Building on the positive experiences of the Gateway resettlement programme and the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), UNHCR is fully committed to support the implementation of the new scheme in a close and constructive partnership with the UK government".