Calais: Refugees - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:02 pm on 2nd November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench 4:02 pm, 2nd November 2017

My Lords, I declare an interest as a trustee of the Refugee Council. There are 17,000 unaccompanied children sleeping in camps in Italy tonight. There are 3,000 in Greece. Closer to home, more than 100 children will sleep rough in the Calais area tonight. As temperatures are dropping, the physical risks of that are growing. The moral risks are very clear. We have not yet taken a single child from any of the camps in Italy or Greece under the Dubs amendment. The world has forgotten Calais. Most of the great international NGOs have moved on to look at Bangladesh and at the horrible crises of today, but this one is going on and Help Refugees, the little, all-voluntary charity which brought today’s High Court case, has not forgotten them. It is still there helping these children. Like the noble Lord, Lord Dubs, I believe that the country wants these children helped, so I appeal to the Government to be a little more generous in their interpretation of the commitments they made in this House, to this House, at that Dispatch Box, at the conclusion of our Dubs amendment debates, and I appeal to the country to remain generous to Help Refugees, which does wonderful work for these children and is entirely supported by donors. The need is urgent.