19 July 2023 - United Kingdom

UK Government must immediately reverse Illegal Migration Bill, Save the Children says

Save the Children statement

18 July 2023 - Save the Children called on the UK Government on Tuesday to immediately reverse its Illegal Migration Bill, legislation that aims to reduce or end “small boat crossings” across the English Channel.

The child rights organisation worries it will have a ripple effect on the international human rights protection system and set a worrying precedent for other countries to follow.

Alastair Russell, Head of Public Affairs at Save the Children UK said: “We are deeply saddened that the Illegal Migration Bill has passed in Parliament in the UK.

“The UK has had a proud history of providing children and their families seeking refuge a safe sanctuary, but that’s all eroded with today’s decision, which will put thousands fleeing oppression and violence in a cycle of destitution and exploitation. 

“In particular, we are concerned by the Bill’s expansion of child detention, which is never in children’s best interests and puts them at risk of significant psychological and developmental damage. It is cruel and inhumane.

“We’re also incredibly concerned that the Bill will have a ripple effect on the international human rights protection system and sets a worrying precedent, which other countries may be influenced to follow.

“The UK should urgently reverse this callous Bill and create safer routes for children and their families to prevent them risking their lives and falling into the hands of smugglers.”




For more information please contact:

Emily Wight, Emily.Wight@savethechildren.org;


For out of hours media requests please email media@savethechildren.org.uk or +44 (0) 7831 650409

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