Friends, Families and Travellers has coordinated the sending of two open letters to Ministers asking for them to ensure that the proposed Settled Status application fee for 16-18 year olds matches the price of those under 16. The letters, which have been signed by a number of leading race equality and children’s rights organisations, were addressed to the Rt. Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Minister of State for Immigration and Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister of State for Children and Families. Co-signatories include Race Equality Foundation, Child Poverty Action Group, Article 39 and Roma Support Group.
The proposed EU Settlement Scheme Statement of Intent (SOI) has proposed a full fee for those applying for Settled Status over the age of 16 (£65), with those under 16 years paying half the price (£32.50).
The Children Act 1989 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, both ratified by the UK, define a child as a person under the age of 18. With children aged 16 and 17 being charged the same price as an adult, the letter expresses concern that families will be unjustly financially disadvantaged by the increased fee. The letter calls for the same fee to be applied to all children, consistent with national and international definitions of a child.
The inconsistency in the definitions of the SOI were bought to our attention by Public Law Project who we have been working with in our work relating to Brexit and the potential impacts on Roma communities in the EU.
Speaking about the letter, Abbie Kirkby, Advice and Policy Manager at Friends, Families and Travellers, said:
“There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the rights of EU citizens residing in the UK post-Brexit. We have contacted the Ministers to gain clarity on how they will ensure that the process to apply for Settled Status is inclusive and does not become a financial burden for families in the U.K. We are worried that the fees involved in applying for Settled Status will create an additional financial barrier for Roma families, an already marginalised community”
Notes for the Editor
About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)
Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works on behalf of all Gypsies, Roma and Travellers regardless of ethnicity, culture or background.
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Other relevant reports and press releases
Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategies in the United Kingdom: Focusing on structural and horizontal preconditions for successful implementation of the strategy