World War II refugee Lord Alf Dubs' inspirational appeal for Britain to support child refugees

17 January 2020, 15:37 | Updated: 17 January 2020, 15:38

Lord Alf Dubs, who escaped the Nazis as a child and came to the UK, gave this incredibly inspirational appeal to Britons to sign his petition to support child refugees.

The UK government have removed the commitment to allow refugee children to join relatives already legally settled in this country.

Stephen Cowen is the leader of the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and after Lord Alf Dubs informed him that the "government hadn't done anything to let children in", the pair started working together on this campaign.

"We ended up sending social workers into not just in the Calais camp, but later on in to Greece to assess the children and then to legally challenge the government to do its bit and take Britain's fair share of the most desperate people anywhere in the world," said Mr Cowen.

"This is the biggest migrant crisis in the post-war period and hundreds of children are mixed up in slavery, in prostitution, in trafficking, in some of the worst horrors that there is," he said, "looking after child refugees has to be one of the top priorities."

Lord Alf Dubs was a six year old refugee himself and came from Prague on the Kindertransport, a rescue effort which took in 10,000 Jewish children in the months before the breakout of World War II. The mission wasn't coordinated by the government but by humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton.

He said Britain gave him a wonderful welcome and life, "I would like the refugee kids we're talking about to be welcomed in this country and given the same opportunities as I had, it'd be terrific."

Children in Germany saying goodbye to their families on the Kindertransport train
Children in Germany saying goodbye to their families on the Kindertransport train. Picture: PA

Lord Alf and Mr Cowen are urging to sign the petition (linked below) and also urging people to write to their MPs to insist refugee children reunite with their families.

"Britain has a proud historical role as being a standup country and it's a little bit un-British not to take child refugees," said Mr Cowen,"we're not that country. We're the country of many great people and I think this is a blight on that heritage."

Lord Alf revealed that the last time MPs voted they had a big majority against family union for child refugees and hoped that if the House of Lords had a large majority the other way, the Commons might be persuaded to reconsider.

On 1pm on Monday they are also holding a demonstration outside Parliament.

"On the whole British people are very humanitarian, if one puts the argument on the behalf of child refugees to the British people they say yes we can do more," said Lord Alf.

James remarked on the "inspirational" faith in humanity that Lord Alf possesses and puts a troll's comments to him to ask for his take.

"I think most British people are better than that, they have more feeling on child refugees," Lord Alf said, "people can call us what they like, I don't think that represents what most people in this country feel." He conceded that in a democracy people do send hostile comments but he is confident if people knew the lives the child refugees had led they'll think differently.

The petition is at change.org entitled: "Keep reuniting child refugees with their families after Brexit".

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