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

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.”


Notes to editors

For more information please contact:

Monomita Raksit on 020 7375 6259  /, or

Unicef UK Media Team on 0207 375 6030 /

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