UK

Calais camp: List of children in the 'Jungle' to be given to UK

The Jungle camp Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Calais's Jungle camp is set to be demolished by the end of the year

The names of unaccompanied children living in Calais's Jungle camp who are eligible to be brought to Britain will be given to the government this week, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said.

Action could then be taken within "a matter of days - a week at the most", she added.

Delays in France had prevented the UK taking action sooner, Ms Rudd told MPs.

She said the "bureaucratic element " would now be dealt "with the sort of urgency that we want to see".

Leaders' letter

It comes after French president Francois Hollande said the Jungle will be cleared by the end of this year, with its 9,000 inhabitants due to be dispersed around France.

Senior religious figures have already urged the UK to allow nearly 400 refugee children into the UK before the camp is demolished.

In a letter, signed by ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams and Muslim and Jewish faith leaders, they described the camp as "a stain" on France and Britain's conscience.

Last week, Unicef also appealed to the British government to speed up the transfer of unaccompanied child refugees from the camp

Image caption Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the UK was ready to act "with urgency"

Answering an urgent question in the House of Commons, Ms Rudd said she had met French minister of the interior Bernard Cazeneuve on Monday.

Ms Rudd said she had made it "crystal clear" to Mr Cazeneuve that the UK's priority was to ensure the safety of children during the clearance.

She said more than 80 unaccompanied children had been accepted to the UK so far this year under EU rules known as the Dublin regulations.

Under the regulations, asylum seekers must make an initial asylum claim in the first EU state they reach, but can apply for asylum in other EU states if they have family there.

She said a further 50 children - largely from Greece - had been accepted under the so-called Dubs amendment.

The amendment to the Immigration Act - originally put forward by Lord Dubs - requires the government to arrange for the transfer to the UK and support of unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.

'Scattered' in France

Ms Rudd said the refugees must be processed in their "host" country under the Dublin regulations, saying the UK government had been pressing for a list from French authorities.

She said the UK government "stands ready" to help fund safe facilities for unaccompanied children eligible for transfer to the UK.

A list of children to be brought to the UK will be given to the Home Office "this week", she said, adding: "And be in no doubt we will move with all urgency - a matter of days, a week at the most, in order to deliver on that commitment when we get it."

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said the government needed to be sure that the demolition of the camp would not result in children being "scattered all over France".

She called on the home secretary to "stand up and do what people all over this country want us to do - fulfil our moral responsibilities."

"Fewer words, more action," she added.

Citizens UK has previously said it has identified 387 refugee children in the camp eligible to come to Britain - 178 under the Dublin regulations, and 209 under the Dubs amendment.

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