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Transfer child refugees from Calais to the Eastern Region!

posted 24 Oct 2016, 01:12 by Leonie Anna Mueck   [ updated 24 Oct 2016, 02:15 ]

Post by Jennifer Williams

In light of the demolition of the Jungle migrant camp in Calais, Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign is calling for more unaccompanied minors to be transferred to the Eastern Region of the UK (the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Central Bedfordshire,  Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire and the cities/towns of Peterborough, Bedford, Thurrock, Southend-On-Sea, and Luton). While pl

The Eastern Region is ready to welcome unaccompanied child refugees now
eased that the government has finally transferred some unaccompanied minors to the UK over the weekend, several hundred remain behind in the Jungle. Much more must be done, and quickly, to secure the safe futures of these vulnerable children.

French authorities have stated that the children will be kept in converted shipping containers in Calais as their asylum applications are processed. However, charities such as Citizens UK, Save the Children and the Refugee Council have expressed concern that authorities may not be able to effectively monitor and protect these unaccompanied minors. More than 100 children went missing after the demolition of part of the Jungle earlier this year. Missing child refugees are vulnerable to trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Distressingly, some child refugees that have arrived in the UK are being housed in controversial detention centres. This is despite an agreement between the government and British councils that would allow minors to be transferred to areas that have historically hosted fewer unaccompanied children.

The majority of counties in the Eastern Region have already signed up to the National Transfer Scheme, which started in July 2016 and allows unaccompanied refugee children to be brought into the region from counties that are overburdened, especially Kent. Councils are remunerated to provide care to these children and the rate has recently risen.

The refugee children from the Jungle could come to the Eastern Region counties under the same scheme. But it seems like the government has been poorly prepared and has not properly set up a distribution scheme for the unaccompanied child refugees from Calais.

Why are child refugees being left to an uncertain future in the soon-to-be demolished Jungle or in detention in Kent?

The East of the UK is willing and ready to help child refugees NOW. We need to ensure the safety of highly vulnerable children left behind in Calais; and we want to protect traumatised minors that have already arrived in the UK by welcoming them warmly into supportive homes. The Eastern Region has the resources to assist child refugees and a concerned community that wants to help.

What can you do to ensure more unaccompanied minors arrive in the Eastern Region?

  1. Share this article over Facebook and Twitter. Talk to your friends and family, let them know what is happening and why unaccompanied minors should be hosted in the East.

  2. Write to your county councillor and your local MP. Tell them you want unaccompanied minors brought to the East. ‘Write to Them’ ( lets you use your postcode to find your councillors and MP’s. The website will also send an email direct to representatives. Simple!

  3. Volunteer to help with CRRC - we are always on the lookout for potential foster families for minors, donations for resettled refugees, housing to resettle refugees and more. Let us know how you can help here.