5 August 2016

Vanessa Redgrave to deliver urgent letter to No 10 on children in Calais

Vanessa Redgrave to deliver urgent letter to Downing Street on lone child refugees in Calais

Vanessa Redgrave (accompanied by Lord Alf Dubs) will today [Friday] deliver a letter to Downing Street calling for an immediate amnesty for the unaccompanied minors in Calais identified by Safe Passage UK (powered by Citizens UK) as having family in the UK. This action follows Wednesday’s Home Affairs Committee report, Migration Crisis, which called for the 157 unaccompanied minors in Calais identified by Citizens UK to be brought to the UK in a one-off amnesty.

Safe Passage UK have been in Calais working with unaccompanied child refugees who have family in the UK since last year. In that time they have reunited over 40 children with their UK-based families, however, lawyers report that the process is still taking far too long. On average, three children a week are being reunited. This week Safe Passage UK revealed that there are currently 170 children in Calais who have close family in the UK, and at the current rate of reunification, many will face another winter in Calais.

Lord Dubs said: “It is vital that the UK Government shows strong moral leadership in this situation. The only reason that the 170 children identified by Citizens UK are still in Calais is lack of political will. They have every legal and moral right to be with their families in the UK. It is shameful that they remain stuck in a field, between two of the world’s richest countries, surrounded by strangers.”