Children From The Calais “Jungle” Arriving In The UK This Week

Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images.
Plans to demolish the Calais refugee camp, currently home to around 10,000 people, from tomorrow have been pushed back for at least another week. Whenever the dismantling happens, though, the camp's desperate inhabitants need to be relocated and government's must step up to the plate. This week 14 migrant children will leave the camp for the UK to be reunited with their relatives, the BBC reported. They hail from Syria, Afghanistan and Kuwait. The Home Office will allow around 100 children into the country under a registration scheme before the French government takes the camp apart and moves its inhabitants. Refugees must usually make asylum claims in the first safe country they reach, but the young people are coming to the UK because of an EU regulation allowing them to transfer their claim to another country if they have relatives living there, reported the BBC. When the children arrive in the UK they will register with the Home Office in Croydon before being reunited with their families in nearby churches. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the Home Office had sent a team to Calais to identify the children who qualify to come to Britain, and that it is acting urgently to get them to the UK. A spokesman for the Home Office said: "As the home secretary told the House of Commons on Monday, our priority must be to ensure the safety and security of the children in the Calais camp," reported The Guardian. However, others say the small number of child refugees coming this week is nowhere near enough and that many are being left behind. Charity Citizens UK is working with the government to bring vulnerable children to the UK before the camp closes, but the charity highlighted that there is still no scheme set up to relocate children without family links in the UK. This is despite the fact that a number of unaccompanied migrant children are eligible to come to the UK under the Dubs amendment. "There is still no official process in place. No child must be left behind in the chaos of demolition," said Lord Dubs, who came to the UK from Nazi Germany as a child on the Kindertransport. The British Red Cross also recently accused the British government of dragging its feet through the process of taking child refugees. Its report found it takes on average 11 months to bring a child to the UK under the EU's scheme of reuniting families.

More from Global News

R29 Original Series