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Leeds leads European discussion on how cities can support migrant children

Leeds joined with the city of Amsterdam and other cities from across Europe to discuss the important role local governments have to play in supporting the integration and inclusion of migrant children at a local level.

Speaking at a Eurocities event looking at the rights of migrant children, Cllr Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships at Leeds City Council, introduced some of the projects in place in Leeds to support migrant children and the importance of working in partnership with other stakeholders across the city, such as schools, universities and the third sector. Cllr Venner also highlighted the important role of the Leeds Migration Partnership in supporting migrant children in Leeds which brings together a range of organisations from across the city to talk about issues faced by refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrant groups.

Both Cllr Venner and the Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam, Rutger Groot Wassink, highlighted some of the challenges cities experience in providing services to migrant children especially when there are different perspectives between local and national government in terms of policy and funding priorities. An example of this is the transition from childhood to adulthood where many cities in Europe do not receive funding to support youngsters as they turn 18 and become care leavers.

The online event was organised through Leeds’ role as Chair of the Eurocities Working Group on Children and Young People, which brings together over 50 cities from across Europe to discuss ways to improve the lives of children living in our cities.

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