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Lily Allen Abused For Standing Up For Refugees And Defending Vulnerable Children

'Wow, so much abuse for apologising to a helpless child'

12/10/2016 13:28 | Updated 12 October 2016

Lily Allen has received a barrage of abuse after making a film about the plight of unaccompanied children in the Calais Jungle.

The tearful singer was filmed apologising to a teenage Afghan boy “on behalf of my country” for Britain’s part in the refugee crisis.

Recording for BBC 2’s Victoria Derbyshire show, Allen said: “It just seems that at three different intervals in this young boy’s life, the English in particular have put you in danger. 

BBC Victoria Derbyshire
Lily Allen visited the so-called Jungle migrant camp in Calais 

“Bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban and now we’re putting you at risk, risking your life to get into our country. I apologise on behalf of my country. I’m sorry for what we’ve put you through.”

But the 31-year-old has been subjected to a deluge of abuse on Twitter for her efforts.

“If you want to apologise for yourself fair enough. But don’t dare apologise for me. I did not put them in that position thank you,” wrote one commenter.

Prof Terry Glotfelty said: “Don’t apologise on behalf of me, Lily. The Taliban were in Afghanistan a long time before the Brits.”

Another sarcastically asked her if she would “ever make a film or shed a tear” for the women abused by a sexual exploitation gang in Rotherham. 

Others used obscene language, instructing the singer to: “Move over there and give them your money not ours! That ‘boy’ is about 30.”

Allen has responded to the messages, writing: “Wow, so much abuse for apologising to a helpless child for the part this country has played in contributing to his dire situation.

“A lot of people saying I should be more concerned about cases of migrants raping our own citizens.

“I was talking about the 1022 unaccompanied children in Calais, who are to be evicted next week.

“I haven’t heard any cases of children raping people here, I’d imagine they’re far more likely to suffer at the hands of opportunist abusers.”

Allen’s trip to Calais, which was funded and organised by Help Refugees, comes as British and French ministers edge towards a deal to safeguard or bring hundreds of unaccompanied children to the UK in the next fortnight.

Pascal Rossignol / Reuters
A migrant and her child walk in the Calais camp 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told MPs the effort will prioritise safeguarding children under the age of 12, as France prepares to close the Calais camp.

Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire, when Allen was asked if she would take in an unaccompanied child from the so-called Jungle, the singer replied: “100%. 100% Who wouldn’t?”

In response to a tweet asking: “How many refugees has millionaire Lily Allen taken into her home please? Asking for a friend,” one fan stepped forward to claim: “Actually 3 weeks ago she offered to house my (homeless) friend who had fled a dangerous situation in her home country.”

He followed up with a screengrab of what appears to be an email from the singer arranging keys for the said friend.

Around the world, there are currently about 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers, and 40.8 million migrants, according to the UN Refugee Agency. The agency defines refugees as people forced to flee due to armed conflict or persecution, while migrants choose to move in search of a better life.

Up to 88,000 refugee children are estimated to be stuck in Europe without their parents.

Alone and afraid, many have faced violence, police brutality and hundreds have been imprisoned in detention centres and police cells. Many are also vulnerable to trafficking gangs and exploitation. 

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