Wednesday, 12 October 2016

French Interior Minister tries to shirk his responsibilities over child immigrants in Calais

The French Minister for the Interior has said that the UK has a "moral duty" to take in unaccompanied child illegal immigrants who have made their way to Calais and have family in the UK.

The French government has been failing to take proper care of the children living in the illegal "Jungle" camp at Calais for years and is quite persistent in trying to shift responsibility to the UK. Bernard Cazeneuve's suggestion that the UK is responsible for the welfare of children in France related to other illegal immigrants that his government have failed to stop illegally entering the UK is ridiculous.

Whilst it would be sensible for unaccompanied children to live with relatives rather than in an institution or with strangers, it would only encourage other children to make the dangerous journey across Europe if they thought that it would be easy to get in to the UK if they can just get to Calais. Once they have successfully claimed asylum and are legally living in a safe country they should be reunited with their family in the UK if there is no better option and it is in the best interests of the child to do so.

An automatic right of entry sends out the wrong message and would put more children in danger. The French government needs to stop shirking its responsibilities, remove the unaccompanied children from Calais and demolish any illegal camps erected at the ports which cause these safeguarding issues in the first place.