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Call to admit refugee children ‘considered’ by government

47The government is looking at calls to take in thousands of unaccompanied refugee children who have made it into Europe, a Cabinet minister says.
Charities have been calling on the UK to admit 3,000 child refugees as part of its response to the migrant crisis.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said ministers were considering “whether we can do more” for unaccompanied children.
Downing Street sources say no decision has been made yet.
Asked about the calls for the government to consider admitting 3,000, she said: “That’s what we are doing and I think that is the right thing.”
Her comments come after David Cameron told the Commons earlier in January that he was considering the issue “in good faith”.
Yvette Cooper, chair of Labour’s refugee taskforce, said it was “good news that the government seems to be responding” to calls to help unaccompanied refugee children, who she said were at “terrible risk of abuse and harm”.
“But we are hearing some concern that the government may only be planning to help children within camps near Syria, and excluding those alone in Europe,” she added.
In September, the government promised to resettle 20,000 refugees from Syriaover five years.
But after the announcement Kent County Council warned it would not be able to accept any more unaccompanied children, saying its children’s services were facing “enormous pressure” and had run out of foster beds.
More than 960 asylum-seeker children were being cared for by the authority, up from 238 in 2014.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: “Just miles from our own doorstep, there are hundreds of refugee children in makeshift French camps living alone in abhorrent conditions.
“Britain can, and should, be doing more to give those kids a place of safety and I believe the vast majority of people here would support it.”
Mr Burnham also said if Britain were to “show willing” in addressing the crisis, Mr Cameron would “probably get a better hearing from EU partners on his demands on free movement in advance of the referendum”.
Alasdair Roxburgh from charity Save the Children told BBC Radio 5live: “These are really very vulnerable children who are on their own.
“We’d need to make sure they were protected and safe but we would be looking at foster families or other appropriate care. The UK is very capable of doing this.”
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron – who has been pushing the PM for Britain to take in unaccompanied children – told the BBC “there may be some signs” from Mr Cameron’s responses in recent months that his view was “moving in that direction”.
“His response when I first raised it with him was very negative. When I raised it with him privately, a little less negative,” Mr Farron said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made similar calls on Saturday on a trip to see refugees in Dunkirk.