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Legal ruling to demolish Calais camp

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Save the Children responds to legal ruling to demolish part of the Calais camp

Ginny Howells, Save the Children’s Emergency Manager in Calais said:

“The decision to go ahead with bulldozing the southern part of the Calais refugee camp will make what was already an appalling situation for children even worse. Homes and shelters will be destroyed without there being enough spaces in the new accommodation for people to move into. Even when there are beds, miscommunication and mistrust between the authorities and the vulnerable children here mean many will take their chances in other informal camps where conditions are even more unbearable.

“We are pleased the authorities have decided to protect the vital community infrastructure that has been built up by the tireless efforts of volunteers and the refugees themselves, but if the rest of the camp is bulldozed around it, the library, classrooms and youth club risk becoming meaningless. There is no point having community centres without a community.

“It’s vital that enough accessible safe places are provided for refugees to stay in immediately, before the bulldozers start work, and to ensure that children are kept safe throughout the eviction. We also want the UK government to proactively work on reunifying the significant number of unaccompanied children in Calais who have family members in Britain already. These unsafe camps are no place for children.”

For interviews from Calais or the UK or for more information please contact Caroline Anning on +44 7785 527 663 or c.anning@savethechildren.org.uk.

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