Add your name: reunite refugees at risk of Covid-19 with family

Flights cancelled because of COVID-19 have stranded refugees who were all set to reach family in the UK. We’ve heard of over 50 people in Greece alone, stuck and barred from sorting their own travel.  

Families of those trapped are writing a personal plea to the Government to get their children home. Ministers are rightly organising charter flights for British tourists - they should do the same for refugees.

Show your support for families separated by the crisis and help refugees reunite with their loved ones and reach the UK.

Add your name in support of the letter below:

To: Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs & Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department

April 2020

Dear Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary,

In recent weeks, the government has been supporting British travellers and their dependants, who are stranded abroad as a result of Covid-19, get back to the UK. The fear and uncertainty facing thousands of people stuck overseas will hopefully soon end, as the government works to make sure they can return to the safety of their homes here.

We are a group of families that deeply understands that fear and uncertainty. The UK government has legally recognised our family members’ right to join us in the UK but, like the people you are helping, they are facing indefinite separation as a result of the pandemic. We are writing to ask you to help our loved ones in the same way you are helping others stranded overseas.

We all have family – brothers, sisters, daughters and nephews – who are currently in Greece, Cyprus and France with no idea when they will be able to reach us. We are all currently waiting for reunion under the Dublin III Regulation, and we have all received confirmation from the Home Office that it accepts responsibility for our case.

In some cases, our loved ones were just days away from flying to the UK when their flights were cancelled. Others have been waiting months for their cases to be processed and travel to be arranged – now we have been told the transfer is suspended and we have no idea when they might be able to join us.

In many cases, our families are trapped in places where there are still commercial routes to the UK. If it were allowed, we could try to bring our family members to the UK through these routes, or to travel ourselves to collect them and bring them home. But so far, our loved ones don’t have permission to even try to arrange their own journeys. We are just being told we must wait until the crisis passes. This is a devastating situation for all of us, as we have no idea when Dublin transfers might start again. Many of our family members are in Greece, living in extremely precarious conditions, including in camps on the Aegean islands. We all fear the catastrophic consequences of Covid-19.

The UK government has already accepted that we are families that should be reunited in the UK. We are asking you to help make that happen, by including us in your efforts to bring people home.

Yours sincerely,

Atefe, whose daughters are in France

Sumaiya, whose brother is in Greece

Miassar, whose brother is in Cyprus

Abdulrazak, whose brother is in Greece

Fahed, whose brother is in Greece

Deeq, whose nephew is in Greece

Fareda, whose brother is in France

Hassan, whose brother is in Greece

Ahmad, whose brother is in Greece

Ahmed, whose brother is in Greece

We are grateful to have the support of the following former child refugees and family members of child refugees that now call the UK their home:

Ahmad, Almaz, Anas, Bashir, Belal, Hayat, Ishmael, Laura, Majed, Mobeen, Naqeeb, Nouran, Okbay, Omran, Ridwan, Shakiba, Tekle, Youssef.

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