Calais Breaking News: 129 unaccompanied minors unaccounted for since demolition

Our teams have now completed a full and comprehensive census of the refugees remaining in Calais since the demolition of the Southern section of the camp and have found a total of 4946 refugees still living there including 1400 in the containers.

However, we are deeply shocked and very concerned to report that 129 unaccompanied minors cannot be accounted for. No alternative accommodation was provided for unaccompanied minors during the evictions, no assessment was made by the French authorities of their needs and no systems put in place to monitor them or provide safeguarding. There is no official registration system for children in place In Calais or Dunkirk.

This is simply not acceptable. We call on the French authorities to put systems in place immediately to register and safeguard the remaining 294 lone children in the camp. With Interpol already reporting over 10,000 missing refugee children in Europe, we need to do everything possible to mitigate against the children in Calais and Dunkirk adding to these numbers.

Today, we were able to share this statistic with the UK children’s commissioner Anne Longfield and her French counterpart Genevieve Avenard when they visited the Calais camp with our team and they were extremely shocked to learn of it. We hope today’s visit is the start of us working with them to change and improve the systems going forwards.

We plan to keep regular checks on the population movements and patterns over the coming months.

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Full census findings as follows:

  • In total, refugees still in the Calais camp total 4946 – 4432 adult and 514 children, of whom 294 are unaccompanied minors.
  • This consists of 1400 adults in the containers, 170 women and children in Jules Ferry and 3376 inhabitants in the main camp area living in tents and shelters.
  • There are 374 children in the main camp, 209 of whom are unaccompanied minors. There are a further 140 children in the containers, 85 of whom are unaccompanied. A total of 514 children, 294 unaccompanied.
  • The average age of the minors in camp is 14.2 with the youngest just 1 month old, and the youngest unaccompanied child aged only 8.

We would not be able to do our work without your support and kindness. Many of the refugees we help are fleeing the conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Others are trying to escape political oppression in countries like Eritrea. All are human beings like us. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, we want to help refugees maintain their dignity.

Please click through if you would like to find out more about our work in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Samos, Idomeni and other locations. If you would like to know how you can help refugees, please check out our Get Involved section where you can find out how to fundraise for us and how to make a donation. Thank you!