Children In Calais

What is happening with the children in Calais?

This is the question everyone is asking us. And this exact question was raised in Parliament just yesterday.

I don’t usually talk about politics. I don’t really understand the whole craziness of it all so I usually write about human stories, about the people I meet first hand and the friends I make in the camps.

But when it comes to the children stuck in Calais, I feel like we should ALL understand the following info, so I’ve tried to break it down as much as possible!

The most recent census of the camp in Calais showed 1179 children to be living there, 1022 of whom are unaccompanied….

Yeh, ALONE.

The youngest of these children is only 8 years old.

SO whats is the DUBS AMENDMENT and how does that relate to these kids?

It is a change to the Immigration Act which we all fought for back in May. It calculated that 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees would be the UK’s fair share to take in, of the 24,000 then in Europe (there are more now). This meant just 5 kids in each constituency.

It was passed, and we were so happy.

3,000 kids coming here legally and safely…

But the shit thing is that since it was passed, not ONE child has actually arrived here as a result of this change.

This is different from the DUBLIN AGREEMENT (confusing I know), which relates to the unaccompanied kids in the camp with family in the UK. They have reunification rights to be here under this agreement, and this DOES currently happen but is VERY slow.

Last month, a young Afghan boy died making the crossing from to the UK in an attempt to be with his family here. He couldn’t wait in that camp any longer.

SO basically:

DUBLIN AGREEMENT: Getting kids to the UK because they have family here
DUBS AMENDMENT: Getting kids to the UK who don’t have family here, but are alone in camps across Europe and vulnerable to disease, trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse.

So back to YESTERDAY, when all this was brought up in Parliament and Amber Rudd MP was asked what the fuck is going on…

Her response was positive (if a bit non-committal…again!) She said:

1. She is waiting for a list of children from the French Authorities, and will act quickly once she receives it.

2. She agrees this issue is urgent (with the impending demolition)

3. She is planning to provide safe accommodation for ALL the children in the camp, alongside her French counterpart (Bernard Cazeneuve)

4. She cannot estimate the number of children who will be given safe accommodation in the UK

ACTIONS:

1. If you use twitter, give @amberruddMP a nice tweet to let her know we all appreciate this, and how much we want ALL the children in Calais to come here under Dublin and Dubs.

2. Watch and share this video we made

3. Donate to our continued efforts to support the camp

4. Sign this petition for the kids

5. If you wanna go to a march about it, find out more

5. If you’re interested, you can watch the full debate in parliament from 15.36

PHEW…that was a lot of info for a Tuesday morning, but so important to know!!!!!!!!

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