The UK is to accept more unaccompanied child refugees from Syria and other conflict zones - but the government has not said how many. The Home Office will work with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to identify "exceptional cases" from camps in Syria and neighbouring countries. The UK will take 20,000 refugees from Syria by 2020 - but campaigners want 3,000 children to be taken from Europe. Save the Children said thousands of children needed "urgent protection". The government said £10m would be given to help vulnerable refugee minors in Europe. Campaigners welcomed the announcement on child refugees, but Labour warned about a "false distinction between refugees in the region and refugees in Europe". UKIP said £10m was a "miniscule amount".
No figure given
The UK has already accepted about 1,000 refugees from Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme, which the government expanded last year. But Prime Minister David Cameron has come under pressure from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and from within his own party, to do more. In particular, he has faced calls to prioritise children who have been separated from their families as a result of the five-year war in Syria and conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. Mr Cameron has also been criticised for not signing up to the EU-wide resettlement and relocation scheme for refugees. The prime minister told MPs on Wednesday that while the UK had given more financial support to refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey than any other country, more could be done. The Home Office has not put a figure on how many under-18s will be taken in as part of the joint initiative with the UNHCR or over what period but it has confirmed those accepted will be in addition to the existing 20,000 figure. Sources have indicated the numbers involved would not significantly increase the current 20,000 commitment.
The authorities in Sweden are making plans to expel as many as 80,000 failed asylum-seekers, the interior minister has been quoted as saying. Anders Ygeman said charter aircraft would be used to deport the migrants but it would take several years. Some 163,000 migrants applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015, the highest per capita number in Europe. The numbers have fallen significantly since Sweden imposed tighter border controls this year. Along with Germany, the Scandinavian country is a prime destination for refugees and other migrants entering the EU illegally. Of the approximately 58,800 asylum cases processed in Sweden last year, 55% were accepted. Of those facing expulsion, Mr Ygeman was quoted in Swedish media as saying: "We are talking about 60,000 people but the number could climb to 80,000." But he later tweeted to say he had not taken a position on how many migrants had grounds for asylum, it being a matter for the authorities and the courts. Sweden earlier this week became the latest of a number of European nations to see tensions over migrants heightened by violence. A 15-year-old asylum seeker was arrested in Molndal, near Gothenburg, after a 22-year-old asylum centre employee was stabbed to death.