Just before the end of term, pupils from Hermitage Academy’s Rights Respecting Group visited the House of Commons as the guest of local MP Brendan O’Hara.
Their visit fulfilled a promised made to the group last year by the Argyll & Bute MP after he met with the school’s Rights Respecting Group to learn about the great work they were doing to raise awareness over the injustice of refugee children not being allowed to join their families in the UK.
The group have been campaigning both at school and in the wider community to highlight the current position that forbids refugee children fleeing war torn countries from joining their families in the UK and instead holds them in refugee camps, scattered throughout Europe, very often in desperate and highly dangerous conditions.
Recently the Argyll & Bute MP specifically praised the work being done by the Hermitage Academy Rights Respecting Group on the floor of the House of Commons during a debate on child refugees.
Over the past few months the group have collected hundreds of signatures on their petition and having raised enough money for the trip to London, thanks to a successful bag pack at a local supermarket, they were able to make the 500 mile trip to London, where they delivered the petition in person to Mr O’Hara.
While in London, the group also met Mr. O’Hara’s SNP colleague, Angus Brendan MacNeil, MP for the Western Isles. Mr. MacNeil, who has a Private Members Bill currently going through Parliament which seeks to change the law surrounding refugee children was delighted to spend time with the group to talk about his Bill.
On meeting the group, Mr O’Hara said,
“ I am so proud of these young people. They are determined to highlight injustice where they see it happening and then to do something about it by raising awareness among their fellow pupils, their friends and their families.”
“They really are a credit to their families, their school and their community.”