Children in the Calais

Statement on UK-France talks about migrant and refugee children in Calais

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18 January 2018 – Responding to the talks on refugee and migrant children taking place between Macron and May today, Lily Caprani, Deputy Executive Director of Unicef UK, said:

“All of Europe has a duty to ensure refugee and migrant children are safe and cared for. Refugee children in Calais are often trying to reach safety with family members they have living here in the UK. Because the UK’s immigration rules for family reunion don’t work well, refugee children are often forced to make deadly journeys via Europe on flimsy dinghies, over freezing mountain passes, exposed to exploitation and end up stuck in Calais and elsewhere in northern France. If the UK Immigration Rules made it easier for children to apply to join aunts, uncles, adult siblings or grandparents, children would have a safe and legal way to reunite with their families in the UK without taking such risks on their own. The UK should fix its own Rules, as well as using today’s Summit – together with France – to help refugee children reunite with their families on both sides of the Channel.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information please contact:

Monomita Raksit on 020 7375 6259  / MonomitaR@unicef.org.uk, or

Unicef UK Media Team on 0207 375 6030 / media@unicef.org.uk

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 unicef.org.uk