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Dubs II: Safeguarding Child Refugees- An Open Letter to Theresa May



On Wednesday 12th October, I told the Prime Minister herself that 18 of the 178 children in the Calais refugee camp who have the right to be in the UK with their family have gone missing.

Her Government has known about these children since July 2016- please join us asking her to track down these children and protect all those remaining in the refugee camp who have the right to be in Britain as the French begin demolishing the camp.

I have written to the Prime Minister to offer her the details of these missing children to help identify them. Delays in acting to process the asylum claims by these children and help transfer them to the UK mean that they are still stuck in Calais. Fears are growing that efforts to fast track the processing of these children before the camp is demolished will be too late, so it is critical that we act to challenge this situation now.

Please help raise awareness of these missing children by sharing details of them on social media, and ask the Prime Minister to help find these children and safeguard the unaccompanied child refugees in Calais as the evictions begin. Time is running out - with your help we can ensure our Government fulfils the pledge made by the British parliament in the Dubs amendment.

You can use this simple link to write to the Prime Minister here. 

Deal Agreed to Save Butterfields Estate

I’m pleased to now be able to announce that after several weeks of negotiations a deal has been agreed between Dolphin and the Butterfields E17 to enable Dolphin to purchase this estate, subject to contract. If completed, this deal will enable all the tenants to remain on the estate and end the threat of evictions as they will all become tenants of Dolphin. I’m grateful to RBS, Dolphin and the current owners of Butterfields E17 for their efforts to make this deal happen and offer these families and residents of Walthamstow the opportunity to stay in our community. We may have had our differences, but their willingness to get round a table and work together for the best interests of Walthamstow residents has paid off.
Having spoken to the residents I know how pleased they are that we have managed to make this progress.  I want to thank the Wood Street local councillors Richard Sweden, Pete Barnett and Angie Bean and Cabinet member for Housing Khevyn Limbajee for their help with supporting the residents through this time as well supporting all our work on this matter, and specialist housing lawyer Giles Peaker who has given kindly of his time in advising the residents on their legal rights. Finally and most importantly, I want to congratulate the residents on their resilience and determination to make their case for their tenancies.
I will continue to liaise with Dolphin, Butterfields and RBS to ensure that this deal is completed and will update Walthamstow when this occurs. To ensure that this deal is not disrupted or delayed, I would now urge all those interested in this issue to be patient and await this news. In the meantime, if you wish to support this deal, I would be grateful if residents in Walthamstow could show their support for this deal by helping me welcome Dolphin Living to Walthamstow  (@dolphinliving) and thanking RBS for their help with this matter (@RBS).   

Dubs II: Background Briefing On The Child Refugee Safeguarding Amendment

Under UK law unaccompanied refugee children are entitled to come to the UK, either to be reunited with their families or to be taken into care by local authorities.   However, despite their legal and humanitarian obligations the Government has not yet resettled a single child to the UK from France, Greece or Italy.  That's why we are pressing the Government to take action now and tabling a Parliamentary amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill 2016, which would force the Secretary of State to publish a strategy for the safeguarding of unaccompanied refugee children in Europe.            

The makeshift Calais camp is home to more than 10,000 people. Among them are over 1,000 unaccompanied children who are forced to share tents with strangers because there are no facilities or resources to properly care for them. Between August and September 2016, there has been a 51% increase in children arriving at the camp, with eleven being identified every day. These children, like others in Europe, are fleeing persecution and violence in their home countries such as Eritrea, Afghanistan, and the Sudan. When French authorities evicted part of the Calais camp earlier in 2016, 129 children went missing. They are all at risk of human trafficking, violence and abuse and of falling into crime.

Some unaccompanied refugee children have the right to come to the UK under a rule known as the Dublin III regulation, because of their close family links here.  Others are eligible to come under an amendment to the Immigration Act 2016 put forward by Labour Peer, Alf Dubs, and agreed by Parliament in March 2016. This requires the government to arrange for the transfer to the UK and support of unaccompanied refugee children from Europe. As yet the government has yet to transfer a single child under this provision and has not set out how children can access this protection.  

The French Government have now confirmed their intention to evict the Calais camp- including the Children's Centre- by the 31st October 2016. Reports from the camp speak of increasing unrest and violence in response to this deadline. The Home Office now has the paperwork for 387 children who volunteers believe have the right to be in the UK legally under either international law or the Dubs amendment but are in the camp in Calais. As yet no action for these children has been taken. 

Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy is working with colleagues in Parliament, to secure a cross-party amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill 2016, which is going through Parliament this autumn. The amendment would force the Secretary of State to publish a strategy for safeguarding unaccompanied refugee children in Europe and how they can access the protection of the original Dubs amendment. This new law is being called the "Dubs II" amendment. The aim is to ensure that all unaccompanied refugee children in Calais, and elsewhere in Europe, are brought to the UK under the Dublin III regulation and Dubs amendment. Once in the UK they would be assessed by local authorities under their child safeguarding duties. 

By supporting this amendment, MPs and Lords can help force the Government to do the right thing- you can find out more about how to help this campaign here. 



Dubs II: How You Can Help Safeguard Child Refugees- Campaign Actions

The French Government have confirmed their intention to evict the Calais camp- including the Children's Centre- by the 31st October 2016. There is an urgent need to act to protect many vulnerable people including over 1000 children. Reports from the camp speak of increasing unrest and violence in response to this deadline. The Home Office now has the paperwork for 387 children who volunteers believe have the right to be in the UK legally but are in the camp in Calais. Yet still our Government refuses to act. 

We are campaigning to change that and safeguard these children. Working across political parties we are proposing the Dub II law - an amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill which will force the Government to act. Here are four actions you can take to help us make this law and help the children in the Calais camp today:

  1. Please consider making a donation to pay for mobile phone credit so we can keep in touch with them if they are evicted, and buy suitcases with wheels so they can try to keep any belongings they have. You can do so online here. 
  2. Please ask your MP to support the Dubs II amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill. You can find a suggested text below to use and if you get a positive or negative response please let us know!
  3. Please contact members of the House of Lords online to ask them to support Dubs II amendment - you can find a list here
  4. Please share this email with family and friends around the country to ask them to join us acting to help child refugees. 

You can find a background briefing about this amendment here

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Wonder Women of Walthamstow: September Campaigns Showcase

Women in Walthamstow are leading the way in changing our country and our community - want to know how? Join us for tea on Saturday 24th September between 3.30pm-5.30pm to hear about their work and how we can help them! 

This event will showcase projects tackling violence against women, supporting the Yazidi women in their quest for safety and justice and promoting good sexual health education and services for all. We'll hear first hand from local activists about their campaigns and crucially how you can support or join them. This event will be held in central Walthamstow and is free to any woman from our community over the age of 14 - to help us with the logistics attendees are asked to RSVP via my office on for further details of this event including the venue. Although there won't be a creche, children are also welcome to attend -  I'll be providing tea, coffee and juice but attendees are welcome to bring cake! 

Joining us on the day will be feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez to share her experience and tips for successful campaigning on and offline. 

Walthamstow's Olympic Homecoming Party for Lutalo Mohammad! 26 August 2016 Walthamstow Town Square from 6pm

On Friday 19th August Lutalo Mohammad, born and bred in Walthamstow, won a Silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. On Friday 26th August Walthamstow is staging an olympics homecoming party for him at our weekly night market. Please join us from 6pm when there will be live music, great food and lots of sporting entertainment as we say congratulations to our local Olympian in person. All young people are invited to make their own olympic medals to show what they would like to a champion in and Lutalo will be judging these, with the best getting special prizes at the Night market. I hope you can join me as we show our support for our local talent as it achieves national success! 

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No Child In Calais By Xmas: Visiting the Refugee Camp

On Tuesday 9th August I went to see for myself the situation in Calais, and meet with volunteers and refugees at the camps to 13938369_10157150983270562_6163581757674309936_n.jpgdiscuss progress on helping child refugees and the conditions at the camp. I also visited the Wilcumstowe Wagons, the caravans that residents of Walthamstow renovated in memory of Jo Cox, which are now offering shelter to refugees from countries including Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia as well as Afghanistan. 

Whilst I was at the camp, I made several videos about my trip which give direct testimony from those working there- you can find them all here:


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Justice for Michelle Vigil

The first week of June marked the seventh anniversary of the rape and murder of Michelle Samaweera in Walthamstow, East London. Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, women across London and Michelle’s family called an emergency vigil outside the Indian Embassy to demand justice for Michelle.

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Walthamstow Healthcare Campaign Introduction Event – Houses of Parliament Monday 18 April


We all know what a big issue access to healthcare is for our community and in particular the difficulties many face in accessing GP services. As someone who has previously signed up to get healthcare campaign updates we wanted to invite you to an event at parliament we are having next week to bring Patient Participation Groups together as well as those interested in joining one.

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