CHILD refugees languishing in squalid conditions in camps in Calais without their parents or any family member to look after them urgently need to be brought in to the UK, councillors who have visited the camps said yesterday.
Councillors who visited the Calais refugee camp on Thursday have criticised MPs for not doing more to deal with the refugee children and bring them to the UK to safety. More than 100 unaccompanied children have been left to suffer in the camp despite being eligible for asylum in the UK.
This is despite parliament ruling that the government is obliged to bring lone child refugees from Europe over to the UK. Before the ruling in May, not a single refugee from Europe was allowed into the UK.
The government claimed that 30 lone children have been accepted for transfer from within Europe since Immigration Act amendments were made in May, and the majority of these have already arrived.
However, aid workers say that not a single child from the Calais camp eligible under the government’s new rules has yet been placed. A lack of national leadership has meant it had fallen to local authorities to ‘step up’, the councillors said.
Stephen Cowan, Labour leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council criticised the government for not taking more responsibility. Ealing council leader Julian Bell said local authorities had a duty to help.