Thank you for contacting me about the children in the camp at Calais known as The Jungle.
As you are aware, the French Government has committed to dismantling the migrant camp at Calais by the end of the year and the Home Secretary has been in talks with her French counterpart. I am delighted that the Government is determined to ramp up cooperation with the French Government to bring unaccompanied children in the Calais camps to the UK ahead of the camp clearance.
Children arriving in the UK from Calais will either be reunited with family members or will be appropriately looked after by established care providers. The Government will act in the best interests of the children and work has already begun ahead of the clearance. Children have been arriving in the UK since Monday, having been transferred under the care of Home Office staff, with the support of specialist volunteers. The Government will act quickly to place them in the care of relatives or put in place appropriate care arrangements should a family placement be found to be unsuitable.
The Home Secretary has also committed to transferring to the UK other unaccompanied children who qualify under the Dubs Amendment in the Immigration Act 2016. It has been stressed to the French Government that the best interests of these children must be properly considered when assessing their eligibility to come to the UK and, most importantly, that they must be looked after in safe facilities whilst this takes place.
Home Office staff have been deployed to France to start this process and the Home Office has committed to prioritising the youngest and those who are particularly vulnerable; this may include young women.
Regular updates are being posted on the following site:
I am proud to be part of a Government that takes its humanitarian responsibilities extremely seriously, with work continuing on both sides of the Channel to ensure that a safe, lawful and efficient process is in place.
I now hope that other countries will assist us in our efforts to tackle this problem at source and deter the people traffickers who exploit families and trade in misery.