Draft letter from Q Meeting to your MP re: children

qarn logo smDear [MP’s names],

I am writing to you on behalf of [name of meeting] Quaker Meeting as the MPs who in your different constituencies represent the members of our Meeting

I am writing to express our deep concern for the safety of the unaccompanied refugee children currently in Calais and the surrounding area. Over 1000 unaccompanied minors are currently facing eviction by the end of October. Nearly 400 of these have a legal right to come to the UK under the Amendment made in Parliament following the recommendation of Lord Dubs and in line with the Dublin III agreement.

Kevin Hyland, the Anti-Slavery Commissioner, has pointed out that these children are prey to traffickers, and it is frightening to note that following evictions from the camp in March this year 129 children disappeared. Young teenagers losing faith in government help, are putting their faith in traffickers or losing their lives in attempts to cross alone into a country where they have a legal entitlement to seek sanctuary.

Please could you raise our urgent concern with the Minister. We are aware there is funding to support these children and hope that [name of County/City] will welcome unaccompanied minors from Calais. News reports suggest that Kent is overwhelmed with the demands being made on its resources. Can you seek confirmation that this is a problem that is being properly managed by the appropriate sharing of this extra pressure across the counties of England and Wales through the distribution of such additional funding as may be required?

Despite the UK government’s statement in May that it would take 3000 vulnerable children, Home Office figures show that by September, only 30 had arrived. There is no justifiable reason for this lack of government action. Fast-tracking of their applications is a matter of honour and urgency. Now with the destruction of the Calais camp the situation is a foreseeable crisis. Save the Children report that vast numbers are falling into the hands of child traffickers.

I do hope you will support this call for the UK, which has a proud tradition of helping children fleeing war and persecution to fulfil its obligation

Yours sincerely

[name of clerk]

Clerk, [name of meeting] local Quaker Meeting

 

References and articles

 

[1]Unicef report: http://www.unicef.org.uk/Media-centre/Press-releases/Sexual-exploitation-trafficking-and-abuse-engulfing-the-lives-of-children-in-the-camps-of-Calais-and-Dunkirk/

[1] Guardian:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/26/calais-migrant-camp-must-go-by-end-of-year-francois-hollande

[1] Middle East Eye report:   http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hfp-uk-government-must-take-urgent-action-help-refugee-children-stranded-calais-unicef-47215298

[1] Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/20/uk-delays-calais-children-exploitation-anti-slavery-chief

[1] Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/calais-jungle-unaccompanied-children-refugee-camp-demolition-minors-a6965216.html

[1]Save the Children: https://savethechildreninternational.exposure.co/children-on-the-move-in-europe and BBC report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37102551 Independent report: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/calais-jungle-refugee-camp-uk-councillors-visit-refugee-migrant-children-care-a7195176.html

[1] Home Office press release https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-scheme-launched-to-resettle-children-at-risk Schools week: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/just-30-refugee-children-resettled-in-uk-before-start-of-term/

[1]Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/03/child-refugees-from-eu-refugee-camps-to-have-papers-fast-tracked/

[1]Save the Children: https://savethechildreninternational.exposure.co/children-on-the-move-in-europe