More than 4000 leave messages of support for separated children this Mother’s Day

March 25, 2023

More than 4000 people have signed the Refugee Council’s alternative Mother’s Day card calling on the government to reunite refugee children with their mums.

The cards contain a message from from 14-year-old Dawit*, explaining how being separated from his mum impacts him. The cards call on the government to change the rules so that children like Dawit can bring their parents to join them in safety.

Last week, the Refugee Council visited bookshops across London to drop off copies of the Mother’s Day card. Refugee Council staff spoke to customers in the bookshops about their reactions to the card. Watch the video here.

Customers were shocked. They told the Refugee Council, “It’s just really sad and unsettling thinking that there are refugee children in the UK without their parents.”

Most said that they were unaware that this was happening in the UK and were shocked that children weren’t entitled to bring their parents to join them.

Members of the public were invited to sign the card themselves, leaving a message of support for separated refugee families. People had the choice between signing a giant card in person, or adding their message digitally. 

In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, more than 4000 people left heart-felt messages of support. 

One person wrote:

“Sending love and solidarity to all those who are separated from their families, especially to children who are seeking asylum alone. You are not forgotten. I call on the government to protect all children. Remember that children seeking asylum are CHILDREN first and foremost and deserve the protection and care we offer.”

Another message read: 

“It’s so tragic that you have been separated from your parents. As a mother, I can’t begin to imagine how you feel and I hope that compassion will win and allow you to be reunited.”

The Refugee Council sent the Mother’s Day card messages to the Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, to demonstrate the scale of compassion that exists for separated refugee families. The Refugee Council has yet to receive a response.