Reports addressed by the Guardian suggest that the dangers children face in Calais (a port city in northern France across the English Channel), are abundant and comprehensive. Recently, Unicef UK had described the main fears that children have as,
“violence displayed by the police, civilian militias and traffickers, as well as sexual assault committed against both girls and boys”.
An estimated five babies are due to be born into the destitution and danger of the refugee camp, however new demolitions and evictions are threatened. Additionally, there are no states or agencies that maintain any kind of comprehensive register of the children in Calais. But Help Refugees have predicted there are at least 600 unaccompanied minors there, and nearly 200 children have disappeared during the last round of evictions.
There may be more violent evictions around the corner. But in more hopeful news, in the last six months an estimated 50 children from Calais had been reunited with their families, with support by teams of lawyers supported by citizens UK. However, last week Unicef UK noted that not one single child has yet been identified under the terms of his amendment, let alone transferred to the UK by the British authorities.
The biggest challenge appears to be that many children in Calais have a full legal and moral right to be brought to safety in Britain. Citizens UK predicted that at least half of the children in Calais should be eligible for this protection, either because they have relatives in Britain or under terms of the amendment brought by Lord Dubs to the Immigration Bill. The Guardian suggests that working to guarantee safe passage for refugee children would be a powerful sign of the commitment of the new prime minister.
This new administration has a fresh opportunity to honour promises made by the UK to these children and to transform the current state of Calais- by giving the children the security and dignity that ought to be theirs.
- Refugee Children Forced To Work After Calais Camp Demolishment - November 24, 2016
- Turkish President Claims Europe Is Not Ready For Refugees - November 15, 2016
- European Leaders Blamed For Refugee Deaths In The Mediterranean - November 12, 2016