Buses have finally arrived at the Calais “jungle” site to take over 1500 child refugees to accommodation centers for children (CAOMIE) around France. Here, we are told, they will be able to claim asylum in France or start the process for family reunification in the UK.
The conditions at the container camp (CAP) have plummeted since the Jungle was demolished and authorities found they had far more children than expected. Toilets all blocked, water problems, overcrowding, children sleeping on the street outside the entrance.
We have also seen numerous incidents of intimidation and violence from police and CAP security towards refugees and aid workers.
Calais is an extremely dangerous place for child refugees.
We hope that tonight these children finally have a warm and safe place to sleep. Now the state has finally intervened in providing adequate provision, we must ensure they live up to their obligations in protecting all children, regardless of nationality or race.
Children leaving the Jungle site today. Onwards to CAOMIE accommodation centers around France, accompanied by French and UK officials.
We hope that those who have the legal right to be reunited with their families in the UK, will be seen to quickly. That the other most vulnerable will be brought over under the Dubs amendment. Associations across France are being formed and organized to provide support to the 100s of CAO accommodation centers where our many friends will be starting new lives.
While this signals a quieter time in Calais, we are very aware that the struggle goes on across Europe mostly unseen. It is to Europes benefit as well as that of refugees, that we continue to help one another.