Sol Oyuela, Director of Public Affairs at Unicef UK said: “In her first Parliamentary questions, the Home Secretary acknowledged that the Calais camp is close to being destroyed. This clearly illustrates the need for the UK to do more to speed up the transfer of children to their families, rather than leaving them stranded in desperate conditions just twenty miles from our border. The Home Secretary is also right to be concerned that the UK’s policies on refugees do not encourage criminal gangs and traffickers. But if the UK ensured children better understood their legal rights in Calais, and if she put in place proper processes to identify children with a right to be in the UK earlier, these awful journeys and dangerous situations could be avoided. 

“The Home Secretary has acknowledged that she must work within French and EU law. That is why she must commit to working with the French authorities to mandate an organisation to deliver in Calais, which can speed up the family reunion process and thereby help to keep children safe from trafficking and exploitation.”

About Unicef: 

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. 

As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit