Refugee programmes

There are several formal programmes under which refugees may be settled or supported in the Lewes area:

The Syrian Resettlement Programme

The major scheme through which refugees are coming to Lewes District is the Syrian Resettlement Programme. In September 2015 the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that the UK would resettle 20,000 refugees from Syria by 2020.

Several families have been welcomed to the Lewes area, supported jointly by the Councils and LOSRAS. Lewes District Council has committed to 40 people in all under this particular scheme.

More information is available at

Dublin III Regulation

The Dublin III Regulation (Regulation No. 604/2013) is a European Union law that determines the EU Member State responsible for examining an application for asylum within the European Union. Part of this legislation (articles 8 and 9) relates to family unity, whereby asylum seekers (including unaccompanied children) who have family members already receiving international protection in another signatory state can be transferred to join those family members and have their asylum claim determined by that  state. Around 1,000 asylum seekers had been transferred to the UK to the end of 2017 largely under family unity articles. However, even more people have been transferred out of the UK under different parts of the treaty.

More information is available at

The ‘Dubs Amendment’ Scheme

Many children and young people in the current refugee crisis are unaccompanied by adults and do not have family to join in the UK under the Dublin III legislation, but are vulnerable and at risk of harm and exploitation on the continent. During passage of the UK Immigration Bill in 2016, Lord Alf Dubs (a former child refugee himself in World War II on the Kindertransport) tabled an amendment (Section 67) to enable a number of unaccompanied children to come to the UK. An initial estimate of 3,000 children was later revised down to around 350 by the Home Secretary allegedly for lack of council-sponsored foster places, though this is contested. There is an on-going campaign with some hopeful developments.

More information is available at