Briefing Paper on the Experiences of Children from the Calais Camp in the North West of England
Briefing Paper. Manchester: Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, March 2017
4 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2017
Date Written: 2017
For over 15 years there have been transit camps in the French city of Calais, where people have gathered to cross the channel to the UK. Many of those who enter the UK from the Calais camp are fleeing conflict and need to claim asylum. When the French authorities cleared the camp in October 2016, they razed the homes of around 10,000 people, including over 1,000 children. As part of the clearance some of the children were transferred to the UK directly from the camp, some were scared off by the operation and disappeared, and some were bussed from the camp to reception centres around France with the promise of UK officials assessing their cases. Children are trying to claim asylum in the UK rather than in France for a range of complex reasons including: reuniting with family or friends; their ability to speak English; negative experiences with the French authorities; being unable to access the French asylum process; or because the decision about where to seek safety has been wholly/partly made by other family members or agents.
Keywords: unaccompanied children, Calais camp, UK, asylum system, experiences
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