Appeal to continue rehoming refugees in Shropshire
Campaigners are calling for more unaccompanied and vulnerable child refugees from war-torn Syria to be rehomed across the region.
Shropshire Council has so far provided homes for 54 refugees, while neighbouring local authority Telford & Wrekin has welcomed 10 and Powys, together with Ceredigion, has rehomed up to 12 families.
Wolverhampton Council has pledged to take 100 Syrians by 2020, while Dudley will take in 20 over the next five years and Walsall will accept 20 by May.
Mid Wales Refugee Action is calling on the Welsh Government to do more to help unaccompanied minors to enter the UK, to save them from possible death or child trafficking abroad.
Kim Bryan, spokeswoman for the group, said: "We are deeply saddened and horrified by the decision of the UK Government to limit the number of unaccompanied child refugees to be relocated to Britain.
"Under the Dubs Amendment is has been decreased to a paltry 350 rather than the 3,000 Lord Alfred Dubs had calculated would be our fair share.
"At the time of the first clearance of the so-called Calais Jungle, 147 children simply disappeared.
"There is significant evidence that shows unaccompanied minors are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse, trafficking and death by misadventure on their perilous journeys across Europe.
"Our refugees are from Syria and are ordinary families, who led ordinary lives in their home country before it was torn apart by the war in which 220,000 people have lost their lives and 11 million have become homeless."
Sol Oyuela, director of public affairs at Unicef UK, said:"Less than a year ago the Government promised that this country would do its bit to help with the greatest refugee crisis Europe has faced for 70 years.
"It was a proud moment, which is why it is so heart-breaking that we have now learned that the 'Dubs' scheme will be closed long before it has done its job.
"We are told that the scheme is ending because local councils cannot take any more children.
"On February 23, there will be a major debate in Parliament on this issue and it's up to every MP to make clear that the government must do more for refugee children in Europe and that our communities stand ready to help."
The charity, Refugee Action, is working closely with Shropshire's Syrian Refugee Cross-party Working Group.
The two groups aim to help refugee families to settle into their new homes, access local services and identify ways to help them integrate with local communities.
Refugees who have had their application accepted, can stay in the UK for five years.
They are allowed to work, must pay taxes and are entitled to the same benefits as any other citizen. For further information about the work of the group or to offer help, email email@example.com
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