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UK to take in lone Ukrainian teenage refugees

According to the BBC, unaccompanied Ukrainian teenagers fleeing their country following the Russian invasion will be admitted to the UK as part of the UK’s Homes for Ukraine scheme due to an imminent change of rules.

Around 1,000 unaccompanied minors were initially accepted for visas under the Homes for Ukraine scheme . However, a subsequent change of rule dictating that under-18-year-olds should travel with a guardian left them in limbo. The British Home Office did not offer a decision or solution to all those who applied before it was set out.

Homes for Ukraine is a sponsorship scheme that allows people and organisations in the UK to offer Ukrainians fleeing the war home. This scheme lets individuals, charities, community groups, and businesses offer a route to safety for Ukrainians, even if they have no ties to the UK.

The imminent rule change will benefit only those unaccompanied under-18s who are already in the system. Due to safeguarding concerns, their sponsors in the UK will need to either be a relative or known to their parents, such as a close family friend.

A government spokesman said they were in the process of deciding if the Homes for Ukraine scheme could safely be opened up to more children who wish to flee their country following Russia’s invasion.

“We have a responsibility to keep children safe and, as the public rightly expects, we have put robust processes in place to protect them once they arrive in the country,” the spokesman said.

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