Labour peer and Patron of Humanists UK
Lord (Alf) Dubs was born in December 1932 in Prague, and was one of the Czech children rescued from the Nazis in the Kindertransport. He has since been a keen campaigner on the plight of refugees: in 2006 he published a paper with MPs John Bercow and Evan Harris (also a Patron of Humanists UK ) promoting humane alternatives to detention of asylum-seekers, especially children, and in October 2009 was described as the ‘compassionate Lord Dubs’ in The Observer for his work in this field. In spring 2016 he tabled an amendment to the government’s immigration bill in the Lords, which would have forced the government to accept 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees stranded in Europe. That November he was awarded Humanist of the Year at a special Humanists UK ceremony commemorating its 120th anniversary.
Alf Dubs studied at the London School of Economics before working as a local government officer. In the course of a long career in public service he has been a local councillor, an MP, Chair of the Fabian Society, Chair of Liberty, a trustee of Action Aid, Director of the Refugee Council and a trustee of the Immigration Advisory Service. He was also Deputy Chair of the Independent Television Commission from July 2000 to February 2001, a member of the Broadcasting Standards Council between 1988 and 1994, becoming Deputy Chairman in 1995, and then Deputy Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Commission until 1997.
Lord Dubs was appointed a Labour working peer in 1994, and is an active and independent-minded member of the House of Lords, participating in well over the average number of debates, and occasionally voting against the party on issues such as assisted suicide and reform of the House of Lords. He is a longtime member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, and currently serves as Treasurer.
He is currently a trustee of the Open University, and on the Advisory Board of The John Smith Memorial Trust, formed in 1996 to promote the ideals of democracy, social justice and good governance. He is also Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Moldova and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on European Union Enlargement.