Settlement for European national children in the UK 

There are over 900,000 EU national children in the UK who are being required to prove that they have the right to remain in the UK after Brexit to avoid becoming ‘undocumented’ on 1 July 2021. The Home Office estimates that between 10 and 20% of all applicants will be vulnerable. 5,000 EU children are in local authority care, separated from their families.

With just one year to go before the deadline of the EU settlement scheme, hundreds of thousands of the estimated 900,000 eligible children who were in the UK in 2017 have not been granted status. And while some children may already be British or may be entitled to register as British, vulnerable children are at real risk of falling through the gaps. Our July 2020 report Children left out: securing children’s rights to stay in the UK beyond Brexit draws on our advice and casework experience supporting hundreds of children to access the scheme since it was piloted in November 2018. Children left out? is a follow-up to the briefing  Uncertain futures: the EU settlement scheme and children and young people’s right to remain in the UK, which drew on our experiences delivering advice and practical support during the private pilot phase of the EU settlement scheme.

The protection and promotion of children’s rights

Together with notable children’s charities and experts, in 2017 we published Making Brexit work for children: The impact of Brexit on children and young people, highlighting the sector’s key concerns, including the need to ensure that children’s rights are routinely protected and promoted when EU law is transposed into domestic law, and ensuring that European national children in the UK are able to build their futures in this country. We lobbied throughout the passage of the EU (Withdrawal Bill) – read our House of Lords briefings on children’s rights and safeguarding.

Recent briefings and consultation responses