The smokescreen of Cameron’s statements about taking in vulnerable children from countries neighbouring Syria does nothing to hide the glaring reality that the many children who have a legal right to enjoy sanctuary in the UK are being left in Calais. The inhumane bulldozing of the ‘Jungle camp’ makes the plight of these children ever more desperate.
The government should condemn the actions of the French authorities rather than colluding in the destruction of one of the few rays of hope people in this desperate situation have: hope and compassion brought by many British volunteers who have provided shelters and other facilities in the camp.
We wholeheartedly support the system of buddying set up by Juliet Stevenson, Jude Law and others and commend them for demonstrating the solidarity and compassion that our government has so palpably failed to offer.
We also call on the government to urgently meet the requirements placed on it by international law and EU policy, namely: to accept responsibility for those with family members or other ties in the UK; to establish joint registration centres within the Calais and Dunkirk camps, staffed by trained legal caseworkers so a rapid, fair processing system can be established; and to issue guidance to caseworkers on the proper implementation of the ‘Dublin procedure’ with an emphasis on a generous “humanitarian” response.
Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party of England and Wales
Baroness Jenny Jones
Jean Lambert MEP, London
Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Pavillion
Molly Scott Cato MEP, South West England