Migrant Camps: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 5th September 2017.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the French authorities on the living conditions of young children at refugee camps; and what support her Department has offered to the French authorities to improve those conditions.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Minister for Immigration

Children in France are the responsibility of the French government and robust safeguarding processes are in place for children to enter and be supported by the French care system.

We have a strong track record of cooperating with France to manage the situation in Calais and to protect our shared border. We supported the humanitarian operation to clear the Calais migrant camp in October 2016, which involved the transfer of more than 750 minors to the UK and funding to help provide migrants in Calais – including minors – with suitable facilities elsewhere in France. In addition to this, our security and law enforcement teams have worked closely together to tackle organised criminal gangs operating in the region wishing to exploit vulnerable children. We welcome the French Government’s recent decision to deploy more police to the region and to continue to provide alternative accommodation for migrants elsewhere in France.

Home Office officials meet with their French colleagues on a regular basis, most recently in London on 30 June and 18-19 July to discuss our continuing bilateral co-operation including agreeing processes for transferring eligible children under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 and the Dublin Regulation. The Home Office Permanent Secretary and Immigration Minister visited Calais on 30 June on 6 July respectively.

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