We are encouraged to see that a concerted effort is being made to bring unaccompanied minors in Calais across the Channel.
The promise of Amber Rudd’s office to reunite over 100 children with their families is welcome, but fundamentally insufficient. As Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said on 17th October, “We have the beginnings of some sort of [government] response to what is still a hugely troubling and very urgent situation.”
He spoke out on BBC radio 4, expressing the view that the matter of unaccompanied children in Calais ‘is a basic moral imperative for us to step up to – we have, as a country, an extraordinarily good record of welcome for refugees and people in this kind of trouble, and it’s a matter of living up to our best selves.’
Lord Alf Dubs’ Amendment states that an unspecified number of refugee children should be brought to the UK as long as enough local councils offer spaces for them. There are around 3000 places offered by 44 local councils around the country, but there has been no progress at all on bringing children who qualify under Dubs over.
Let us continue to write to our MP’s to make it clear that we, citizens of the UK, recognise the need to provide urgent protection to these vulnerable children with a full eviction of the Calais camp imminent.
Photo: Rob Pinney