Chagossian Citizenship Bill to be heard in Parliament
On 16 January, Henry Smith MP will present a Bill to Parliament which, if successful, would allow descendants from people born on the Chagos Islands to register as a British Overseas Territory Citizen - a status all Chagossians would have today if they had been born on the islands. Just like those born on other British Overseas Territories like the Falkland Islands, Bermuda or Gibraltar.
As well as righting a historical wrong, for many Chagossians, this Bill would help reunite families who, in many cases, have been separated for decades as a direct consequence of the deportations of the 1960s and 1970s.
Right now the extreme cost pressures and strict restrictions on Chagossians coming to or remaining in the UK often means parents are separated from their children, siblings from one another. When Chagossian children turn 18, many are threatened with deportation if they can not afford expensive visa fees and can not process their application in time.
These Chagossians are sadly threatened with this deportation as a direct consequence of their own grandparents deportation.
Chagossian community group Chagos Islanders Movement have started a petition supporting the Bill. You can find out more about this issue and sign the petition on our website. You can also contact your MP and ask them to support this crucial Bill or come and join us in the House of Commons gallery on the day to watch Henry's speech - all you have to do is turn up.