Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre
5 Upper Bow
Edinburgh EH1 2JN
Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
18 October 2016
Dear Home Secretary,
We are a group of people who have gathered in Edinburgh to express our concern for the well being and protection of the people currently in the Calais refugee camp, especially the unaccompanied children, and for all unaccompanied child refugees across Europe.
We call on you to insure that all the children currently in Calais who have a legal right under the Dublin agreement are brought to the UK. We welcome the fact that a few of these children have at last been brought to the UK. But we are keenly aware that hundreds of others are being left behind. These children have already undergone unimaginable hardships in fleeing mostly from war as well as natural disasters, and extreme poverty.
We call on you also to honour UK promises made under the Dubs amendment to the Immigration bill to admit at least 3,000 other unaccompanied children from across Europe without delay.
We understand that France has already ordered the demolition of the Calais Camp. We urge you to press Interior Minister Cazeneuve to delay any demolition until such time as all of the more than 1,000 unaccompanied refugee children currently there have been appropriately accommodated. We are aware that 129 children went missing from Calais when the French government demolished some sections of the camp earlier this month and that at least three children have died attempting to enter the UK.
We are also at this time writing to the Interior Minister of France and calling on him to insure that all children remaining in the camp are provided with appropriate shelter before any further action is taken to demolish the camp and that France does not proceed with demolition of the Calais camp before appropriate accommodation has been found for all the refugees and migrants currently living there.
We are particularly concerned that these children who are among the most vulnerable in the camp not be further traumatised by the imminent demolition.
Finally we appeal to your sense of humanity. Please open your heart to these most vulnerable people who only seek shelter and a place to live in peace and dignity.
[Signed by Brian Larkin on behalf of the Peace and Justice Centre and about 80 others]