Since my last visit, nothing much has changed in the atmosphere of the CAOs (accommodation centres where people went after the demolition of the Jungle).
Don’t get me wrong, the living conditions of course far surpass the unofficial camp that was the ‘Jungle’… but there are still kids, without answers or support, scattered across France, their families in the UK.
Sometimes it can feel like a losing battle. The promises that were made to these innocent children, victims of war, by the French government and by the UK Home Office preceding the demolition of the camp, have not exactly come to fruition.
For a few, the closure of the camp, and transportation to safe environments in which their claims could be processed, was an absolute God send. But of course, the sheer amount of children displaced by this crisis, could not be catered for.
The UK Home Office have published their criteria for taking in children under the Dubs Amendment as ‘children who are under 12, at risk of sexual exploitation, or under 15 if from Sudan or Syria.’
What about the 13 year old Afghans at risk of terrorist attacks and bombings in their hometowns?
The 16 year old Eritreans sure to be boy soldiers?
These children are not worth our care?
Many children have run from their accommodation centres, returned to the old, highly dangerous, method of ‘trying’ in traffic at the crossings between France and the UK.
It can not continue like this…
The CAO I have been visiting, for no other reason than to catch up with beloved friends from the camp, is where the Syrian community were transferred after the closure of the Jungle. As Syria burned and crumbled over the Christmas period, the siege of Aleppo reaching an unimaginable and monstrous dystopia, my friends sat in centres, isolated and so far from their home and their families, waiting to hear news of more loved ones gone, news that came flooding in…
This crisis is far from over. Our friends still need us, they have not got their lives back, they are in a heart breaking and painful limbo, and we have a duty to show our love and support to the dispersed civilians of the world.
We are just one tribe, but for some reason this seems an easy fact to forget, or erase, as the world rips us apart.
As we begin a new year, please continue your generosity and donate to our work across Europe as we support our scattered family.
This year has to be better than the last.