Unfair fees for kids
At Akwaaba, we recently wrote some letters to MPs about the huge fees that children have to pay to register to become British citizens. It is over £1,000 which we think is very unfair!
We have invited Akwaaba’s local MP Diane Abbott to come and visit us to talk about this and other issues affecting migrant children in Hackney.
You can read our letters below and find out how to write to your MP on the issue here.
Dear Diane Abbott MP,
Akwaaba is a Sunday social centre for migrants in your constituency. We are writing to you about the huge fee of £1,012 that children have to pay to apply to register as British citizens. As you know, the fee is £1,012 even if a child has the absolute right in law to British citizenship. There are no fee waivers and no reductions.
This completely unfair situation affects many young members of Akwaaba. You can read what some children have written about the issue in the attached letters that they wrote to their own MPs.
In your recent speech you said that children who have been born in Britain or who came here when they were very young should not have to pay over a thousand pounds for the privilege of obtaining citizenship, simply because their parents were not born here. We agree. We were pleased to hear that a future Labour government would end this scandalous practice.
But change cannot come soon enough for our members and the many thousands of other children in this country who are blocked from accessing their rights. British citizenship gives children equal status, access to higher education and free healthcare and for some is the difference between safety and security and the threat of deportation to a country they have never been to or left as a toddler.
Please take whatever action you can to pressure the government to lower the fee urgently.
Thank you for your time.
Akwaaba (Sundays at Princess May Primary School, Hackney)