10/12/2016 10:07 GMT

Calais 'Jungle' Children Brought To Britain In Efforts To Fast-Track Resettlement

'We must be clear that the job is not finished.'

More than 750 children have been brought to the UK under the government’s scheme to transfer youngsters from the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp.

Ministers launched efforts to fast-track the resettlement of minors in October as the site in Calais was demolished, the Press Association reported.

Unaccompanied children have been brought to Britain either under the Dublin Regulation because they have family links in this country, or under the Dubs amendment that requires the government to give refuge to youngsters stranded in Europe.

750 children from the Calais 'Jungle' have been brought to the UK

In an update on Friday, immigration minister Robert Goodwill said: “We have been working with the French authorities to bring children eligible to come here under the Dublin Regulation or the Immigration Act since the clearance of the Calais camp in October.

“More than 750 children have arrived so far. Many have been reunited with family members already in the UK, while others are being cared for by local authorities across the UK.

“The remaining children are safe and in the care of the French authorities.”

Following earlier claims by campaigners, Goodwill insisted there has been no unexpected end to transfers of children from France.

He said: “The Dubs process has not ended.

“More eligible children will be transferred from Europe, in line with the terms of the Immigration Act, in the coming months and we will continue to meet our obligations under the Dublin Regulation.”

The Home Office said the current phase of transfers is being concluded as part of a planned process carried out in conjunction with French authorities.

All the children who were transferred from the camp to children centres in France have been interviewed by UK officials. 

Thibault Camus/AP
The makeshift camp at Calais was demolished earlier this year

Those transferred to the UK include all Dublin cases where the family relationship has been verified. A total number for Dubs and Dublin transfers as a result of the operation will be published once it is fully concluded. 

The scheme was launched after the government faced repeated criticism over the pace of efforts to transfer children with a right to the come to country from the Jungle.

Lord Alf Dubs, the architect of the amendment, expressed dismay “that the emergency transfer scheme is to cease having only just begun”.

He said home secretary Amber Rudd “showed enormous leadership in implementing my amendment in Calais in October, closing down the traffickers and protecting the most vulnerable”, adding:”This important work must be continued.”

Mike Penrose, Unicef UK’s executive director, said:”Bringing 750 children to safety in the UK over the last six weeks is a real achievement. That progress is worth celebrating, but we must be clear that the job is not finished.

“The Government must provide assurances that the system will continue to work for the children who have not yet reached safety.

“Now they have completed their assessments, the Home Office must get all the eligible children here in time for Christmas.”