Citizens UK is delighted to be awarded the European Parliament's Citizens Prize following successes in reuniting unaccompanied minors from the camps in Calais with family in the UK.
Dr Kaneez Shaid MBE, Chair of Trustees for Citizens UK commented “As Europe continues to be wracked by the worsening refugee crisis, it is particularly pertinent to have been recognised by the European Parliament for our work aiming to reunite unaccompanied refugee children from the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp with their families in the UK.
"This award is testament to the commitment and tireless support from the many fantastic volunteers across the country, and the co-operation of a number of NGOs and supporting organisations*. The UK has a proud history of offering sanctuary to people in need, and we appeal to both the British and French governments to hasten the reunification process for those children and their families.”
(*Particularly Islington Law Centre, Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, Doughty Street Chambers and our key financial supporters including the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Avaaz, Help Refugees and Virgin Unite.)
The award is given for exceptional achievements to individuals and organisations who promote better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens in Europe, or in facilitating cross-border or transnational cooperation within the European Union.
Citizens UK was nominated by London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert who said “Citizens UK is inspirational – its work is making a real difference. I nominated Citizens UK especially for its work over the past year in the refugee camps in Calais. It has played a vital role in identifying vulnerable people there, specifically unaccompanied minors who have family in the UK, and therefore a right to be reunited with them. They have also done a lot of work at local level to assist communities in welcoming refugees.
“I commend Citizens UK, and other organisation and ordinary people, who are trying in small ways they can to help people who have been forced to flee their homes. This is what international solidarity really looks like.”