Nearly 200 faith leaders, as well as Lord Alf Dubs, have today called on Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, to resume transfers of children from the Calais camps to the UK. In an open letter, they highlight the chaotic events in Calais last week, which saw many children unable to register with the authorities, forcing them to sleep rough. In addition, they state that using such methods in order to avoid creating a “pull factor” to Calais (and the UK) is “morally unacceptable”.
The faith leaders, who include seven Bishops, leading Rabbis, and the leader of the Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland, say that refusing to safeguard unaccompanied children is akin to leaving a child in the road to act as a deterrent to other children.
They express concern that transfers of children from Calais to the UK have been halted, and call on Amber Rudd to “restart the rescue immediately”.
A full copy of the letter, a shortened version of which appears in today’s Times, is below.
We applaud the Home Secretary for the measures she instituted to transfer children with a legal right to reach their families and the most vulnerable from the camps in Calais to the UK. However, the scenes of the last few days stand in stark contrast to those welcome developments.
Charities such as Citizens UK, Save the Children and Help Refugees, report that as many as 50 unaccompanied children who had been unable to register their claims with camp authorities in the rush of the demolition, being driven off into the cold night as the “Jungle” burned.