Today the cost of crossing the English Channel has never been higher. Unicef's research estimates that smugglers and traffickers are now charging between £4,000 and £5,500 per person but for unaccompanied children, unable to pay these huge sums of money, this has forced them to take even more significant risks from committing crimes to raise the money to hiding in the back of refrigerated lorries.
Some 95,000 children and teenagers in Europe as part of the refugee crisis are alone with no one to look after them. Alf Dubs amendment - which had overwhelming cross party support in the House of Lords - asks Britain to take just 3,000 of those children, so we do our bit to help. Because urgent help is needed. Thousands are sleeping rough because children's homes are full and child protection services are overwhelmed. They face huge risk from cold, sickness, abuse, exploitation, violence and rape.
On Wednesday 30 March an 11-year-old child named Kareem went missing. He had brown hair, a cheeky smile, and wore a little pink hoody. You won't have heard about his disappearance though, because, you see, he's a refugee. Not a white skinned, blonde haired, blue eyed little girl. He is little boy from Afghanistan who had travelled half way across the world alone to reach the 'safety' of first world France. He was also just one of the hundreds of unaccompanied children in Calais that the world seems to have conveniently forgotten.
On Monday afternoon myself and three SNP MPs from the Westminster SNP Justice and Home Affairs Team will arrive with a delegation of experts on refugee matters including two refugees themselves. We will spend four days bearing witness to what's really going on over there. We're expecting it to be painful.
In October I was moved enough by this feeling to go and learn more and offer what I could in terms of help in the Calais refugee camp. Although I learnt a huge amount about the conditions of the camp and individual's traumas, I felt bewildered and lost and spent most of the 10 days that I was there, feeling like I was merely witnessing the situation rather than doing anything much to make it better.
Anyone else a bit fed up of emails telling you which bath products, flowers and chocolates to get your Mum for Mothers' Day? I mean, I can always do with a box of chocs, and so can my Mum, but this commercial onslaught is relentless. Before all the commerciality came, there was Mothering Sunday,* an early religious festival, but frankly that doesn't resonate with me either...