NEWS

First Calais Child Refugees Arrive In Britain Under Dubs Amendment

Child refugees forced to live in former detention centre.

23/10/2016 09:53

More than 50 girls have reportedly arrived in Britain, the first child refugees from Calais under a government pledge to help unaccompanied minors.

ITV suggested that the group contained as many as 70 young arrivals who gained access to the UK under the Dubs amendment - and as the refugee camps in northern France are set to face demolition from Monday. 

However, The Guardian reported that 54 girls, mostly from Eritrea, were brought to Britain under the agreement and arrived at the Lunar House immigration centre, in Croydon, south London, just before 7pm on Saturday.

Jack Taylor via Getty Images
More than 50 child refugees have reportedly arrived in Britain from camps in Calais (pictured above) as part of the Dubs amendment 

So far, only child refugees who have relatives in the UK have been allowed to enter Britain and have done so under the Dublin regulations. 

Changes to the Immigration Act means the UK must accept some of the “most vulnerable” unaccompanied child refugees who do not necessarily have ties to the UK.

The landmark Dubs amendment committed the government to relocate vulnerable lone-child refugees in France, Italy and Greece “as soon as possible”. Charities believe this could amount to around 3,000 child refugees.

The Observer further reported that a number of newly arrived unaccompanied minors from Calais were being forced to live in a former detention centre because the Home Office refused to enact a resettlement strategy to safely house them.

The newspaper claimed the Home Office had failed to act on a plan designed and agreed by local councils to ensure the new arrivals were properly housed.

Leaked emails sent from Home Office officials, the newspaper said, showed that some child refugees had been forced to stay at a “pre-departure” immigration detention unit called Cedars, near Gatwick airport.

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Lord Alf Dubs, pictured with Vanessa Redgrave, delivers a letter to 10 Downing Street calling for an amnesty to allow unaccompanied children into the UK

Demolition teams are preparing to move into the Jungle on Monday to clear the estimated 6,500 inhabitants who will be relocated to reception centres across France.

British members of anti-capitalist protest group No Borders will head to Calais in an attempt to block the demolition of the camp, The Sunday Times reported.

At a meeting in south-east London last Sunday, one activist told the paper that “lots of us will be going down” and warned people should not join them unless they “understood the risks”.

In January, British anarchists were among those reported to be stirring up trouble in Calais when migrants and protesters stormed the port and boarded a ferry.

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