AS MPs congregate in the great halls of Westminster again this week after the summer recess, I hope the UK Government’s woeful response to the plight of child refugees will not be forgotten.

According to Unicef, by July of this year, Theresa May’s Government had failed to admit even one child refugee under the Dubs scheme. Before the summer, MPs from across the parties, including my former SNP colleague Joanna Cherry came together to urge the Prime Minister to drop her party’s cap on the number of child refugees allowed to enter the UK under the Dubs Amendment. Initially, the Government pledged to take in 3000 unaccompanied child refugees from France, Greece and Italy via this scheme, but after allowing a mere 350 into the country, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced a complete U-turn on the promise.

This failure to provide sanctuary for these most vulnerable children is a terrible stain on our history. To be able to seek asylum in another country is a human right, written into the 1951 UN Convention relating to the status of refugees, the very centrepiece of international refugee protection today. We have a moral responsibility to provide a legal route to safety for these children, many of whom wish to join family members already living in the UK. What has happened to our compassion and our humanity?

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Last weekend saw the two-year anniversary of the death of Alan Kurdi, the little boy who drowned in the Mediterranean while fleeing a life of unimaginable violence and fear in Syria. The haunting photograph of his lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach seemed to act as a wake-up call to the world. The shocking plight of refugees and in particular, child refugees, fleeing from their war-torn homelands was brought into sharp focus.

At that time, people in the UK dug deep into their pockets to donate to refugee charities. Communities came together to raise funds and individuals volunteered at refugee camps. Our Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, spoke of being deeply moved by the tragic image of Alan, promising that the UK should “fulfil our moral responsibilities”, and agreeing to accept 4000 refugees a year until 2020. Even sections of the normally refugee-phobic British press adopted a more conciliatory tone. Then, in 2016, bowing to campaign and public pressure, the Government agreed to take in refugee children from the infamous Jungle camp in Calais, reuniting them with family members and integrating them into British society, a positive new beginning for these traumatised children.

Unfortunately, this compassionate response has been short-lived. Earlier this year, the Home Secretary said the scheme was being wound up an attempt, she claimed to discourage refugees from making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean sea and to reduce the incentive to people smugglers making exorbitant amounts of money from those fleeing brutal regimes.

Some were more cynical about the Government’s reasons behind their change of heart. In a bid to humour voters concerned with curbing immigration and those questioning the real age of the children who had arrived from the Calais camps, the Conservative Government turned their back on these child refugees, abandoned to their fate.

And their fate is a terrifying one. According to the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, 92 per cent of the 13,700 children who arrived in Italy by sea in the first half of 2017 were on their own. Last year, Europol estimated that around 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees had gone missing since 2014, some as young as four.

Many who remain in camps in Greece and Italy continue to live in atrocious conditions. Others who manage to make it across Europe have ended up at Calais, sleeping rough in the hope of access to the UK.

These children, deeply distressed by war and the loss of loved ones, are incredibly vulnerable to prostitution, sexual and physical abuse, slavery and trafficking. The dangers they have faced at home and now face in Europe, are far worse than anything we can imagine in our most terrible nightmares.

With safe passage and sanctuary now denied for them in the UK, many choose to risk hiding in the back of lorries or worse in order to reach Britain.

We only have to open the papers on a weekly basis to read about the unnecessary death of a child who has reached the end of hope.

Of course, many people in Britain have not forgotten these children. Charities and aid workers continue their tireless work and citizens carry on raising funds through coffee mornings, bake sales and sponsored runs. They have not overlooked their moral responsibility, their duty to their fellow humans, so why has the UK Government?

A visit to these camps across Europe would soon open the eyes of the Prime Minister and Home Secretary and help them to understand that a promise to a child should never be broken. History will be the judge of our response to this crisis — if we do not correct it now, we will all have failed.