David Burrowes calls on the Home Secretary to ensure that the French authorities allocate sufficient accommodation to ensure the safety of unaccompanied child refugees in the Calais migration camp, particularly those to whom we have a legal duty under the ‘Dubs’ amendment and the EU Dublin Regulation.
I thank the Home Secretary for her close attention to and compassion towards child refugees in Calais, and for her talk of a humanitarian operation. When I was there in February witnessing the partial demolition, it was far from humanitarian. Can the Home Secretary confirm again that the camp shelter will be sufficient to accommodate all child refugees if the French authorities do not accept the French Red Cross offer of a child centre? Will she truly be able to ensure that children who are dispersed across child accommodation centres across France will be accommodated, particularly those in respect of whom we have a legal duty under Dubs and Dublin?
The only reassurance that I can give my hon. Friend is the reassurance that I have been given by the French. We have particularly asked them to ensure that the children are kept in a secure area, and our request was that it should be, potentially, outside the camp. They chose to keep the children inside the camp, reassuring us that they could keep them secure there. We are in close contact: we now have a large number of Home Office representatives in the camp, as well as the hundreds of Border Force staff who are in the area. We are hopeful that we will be able to work closely with them to keep the children safe. Ultimately, however, this is a French responsibility, although we are giving the French all the support that we can.
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