Laura Sharman 10 October 2016

Red tape leaving child refugees stranded in Calais 'Jungle' warns report

Unaccompanied refugee children in the Calais ‘Jungle’ are not being reunited with their family in the UK quickly enough due to too much red tape and bureaucracy, a new report had warned.

The British Red Cross said around 178 unaccompanied children living in the refugee camp have been identified as having family ties in the UK. However, the report - entitled No Place for Children - found there are ‘failures’ at every point in the process of reuniting them with their family members.

According to the report it takes up to 11 months to bring a child to the UK due to a shortage of staff and basic administrative errors.

The charity said this is forcing children to attempt the journey into the UK illegally. It is calling on the Government to speed up the process of reuniting children with their families.

Alex Fraser, director of refugee support said: ‘Right now, the system for transferring children who have a right to be in the UK has numerous problems.

‘Children, who could be rebuilding their lives in safety with their only surviving relatives, are instead being left to fend for themselves in conditions unimaginable to most adults.

‘With the forthcoming evictions in Calais reportedly planned by the French Government, these bureaucratic problems are now more pressing than ever. We need urgent action from both the UK and French Governments.’

Photo: dinosmichail /

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