Cameron 'seriously considering' allowing thousands of unaccompanied refugee children into UK

The prime minister is reported to be prepared to 'look seriously' at calls from charities to provide a home to 3,000 unaccompanied children

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The Independent Online

David Cameron is considering letting 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children into the UK after pressure from charities, according to a report.

Led by Save the Children, aid groups have been calling on the government to give a home to some of the children who have arrived in Europe from warzones across the world.

Quoting Downing Street sources, The Observer has now claimed ministers will “look seriously” at meeting these calls.

It reported this would be “in addition” to the 20,000 refugees the UK has already agreed to take mainly from camps on the borders of Syria, by 2020.

It said there is “growing expectation that an announcement is imminent” from David Cameron, possibly within weeks.

Charities have warned these children, who have fled countries including Syria without their parents, are at serious risk of falling prey to people traffickers. Yesterday, Staffordshire Police named Khalid Sorki as a 17-year-old boy who died in a crate of commercial boilers while trying to smuggle himself into the UK from northern Italy, with the death linked to organised crime.  

Almost 37,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in the EU by land or sea already this month, roughly 10 times the equivalent total for the month last year.

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham linked the move to Cameron’s attempts to negotiate a deal over the UK’s position in the EU.

“The prime minister would most probably get a better hearing from EU partners on his demands on free movement in advance of the referendum,” he told the Guardian.