In the Dáil today, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, asked all the political parties and the Taoiseach to support the call by Not on our Watch for Ireland to take in 200 unaccompanied children from the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais and to relocate them amongst the 800 families who contacted the Irish Red Cross offering to take children from the Jungle camp.
Currently, the Jungle camp in Calais is being cleared and refugees are being ‘relocated’ to settlement centres in France. It is unknown what will happen to these refugees after they are processed in these centres. After the last wave of demolitions in Calais 200 children went missing. Children in Calais are currently in grave danger and it is essential that Ireland acts to help these children.
Ireland had previously committed to taking in 4,000 refugees and has also made a specific commitment in regard to unaccompanied children so this would be in line with Ireland’s existing commitment.
Richard Boyd Barrett said: “We are putting forward this cross party motion, initiated by the ‘Not on our Watch’ campaign, that Ireland commit to take in 200 unaccompanied children from the ‘Jungle’ camp. There are 800 families who have offered to take them in so that these children will have a place and people to go to in Ireland where they will receive protection and sanctuary.
“This is about saving the lives of children that are now in danger. Thousands of unaccompanied children have disappeared over the last number of years in Europe. Their fate doesn’t bear thinking about. We have a chance to ensure that that doesn’t happen to these children in Calais.
“We are appealing to the Taosieach to support this initiative and immediately contact his French counterpart and to relocate, immediately, 200 of these children as has been asked by the Not on our Watch initiative.
“It is vital that Ireland takes action now and bring in these 200 children so that they do not become subject to trafficking and other dangers.”