Over the past few weeks, discussions have taken place between French and UK politicians over the situation of the makeshift camp in Calais. With over 10,000 people living in squalid conditions that continue to deteriorate in an attempt to reach the UK, politicians on both sides have been trying to dismantle the camp. This week, it was announced that a four-metre high wall would be built, as part of a package of joint Anglo-French security measures, to stop refugees and migrants crossing the channel irregularly.
A meeting on 30 August between the UK Home Secretary, her French counterpart resulted in a statement that announced the establishment of closer co-operation to solve the crisis in Calais. According to the statement, both countries agree to provide humanitarian assistance, to crack down on organised crime gangs, return irregular migrants who are not in need of international protection and invest in the security of the port. The joint statement also reiterates the UK’s willingness to receive unaccompanied children, but the UK’s promise so far has led to very little action.
As a result of a 30% recent increase in arrivals to the camp and a sharp fall in donations, more than half of the 10,000 refugees and migrants in the camp now live without housing. Around 800 children live in the camp, most of which are unaccompanied. Many of these children have family ties in the UK, however the UK has not relocated a single unaccompanied child since the passing of the Dubs amendment in May.
- The Independent,Nicolas Sarkozy demands Calais Jungle refugee camp is moved to UK, 28 August 2016
- The Guardian,Home secretary stands firm as row over Calais border deal intensifies, 30 August 2016