17 October 2016
The UK government has begun to transfer the most vulnerable children from the Calais 'jungle' ahead of the proposed demolition of the camp.
More children are expected to make this journey in the coming days. Red Cross staff and volunteers will be on hand to help the children – from their point of departure in Calais, to the point of arrival in the UK.
No Place for Children
The move comes following the release of the British Red Cross report: No Place for Children – published last week. The report highlights the plight of refugee children being left to fend for themselves in the Calais ‘jungle’.
Our report found that many of these children have remained in Calais solely as a result of bureaucracy.
Of the estimated 1,000 unaccompanied children living in the Calais ‘jungle’, 178 have been identified as having family ties to the UK. We have been calling on the UK government to deliver on its responsibilities to reunite these children with their family as soon as possible , so that they don’t have to spend another winter alone.
Proud to be helping
Responding to the news that some of the unaccompanied refugee children have begun to arrive from the Calais camp to the UK, Mike Adamson, our chief executive, said:
"We are relieved and pleased that work is underway to reunite some of the most vulnerable refugee children in Calais with their families in the UK.
"The British Red Cross is working with the Home Office to help ensure this happens as quickly and safely as possible.
“Red Cross staff and volunteers will be escorting unaccompanied children on their journey to the UK and helping to ensure they receive the care and support they need when they arrive and to settle into their new homes.
"We are proud to be helping to finally bring these children, who have been fending for themselves in conditions unimaginable to most adults, to the UK to be reunited with their families and be given the care they need and deserve."
- The British Red Cross is the largest provider of support to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. We have been working with Safe Passage UK to facilitate the transfer of unaccompanied children to the UK under the Dublin III regulation.