**For Immediate Release**                                                 Wednesday 9th March 2016

 

Byrne demands answers on children stranded in Calais

Liam Byrne MP has demanded answers from the Home Secretary on what the Government is doing to help those child refugees stranded in Calais on their own.

There are currently around 150 unaccompanied children in the Calais camp with direct relatives in the UK.

Under the ‘Dublin 3’ treaty a child stranded in France who has a direct relative in the UK should be able to claim asylum with the French authorities, and put in a ‘Take Charge’ request to the UK government to be reunited with their family.

In the last 2 years the UK Government has not accepted a single ‘Take Charge’ request.

Liam Byrne MP has tabled parliamentary questions demanding answers from the Home Secretary on:

  • Exactly how many unaccompanied children, with direct relatives in the UK, are left stranded in France?
  • What the Government is doing to reunite the 150 children in Calais who have direct relatives in the UK?
  • How can the Government make this system better so that children can be reunited with their mum and dad as soon as possible?

Liam Byrne said: “I heard first hand from Syrian refugees in Birmingham that the system isn’t working well and lots of Hodge Hill residents are telling me they’re worried about kids left stranded in Calais.

“We have a simple human responsibility to the hundreds of children stranded a little over 20 miles away without their mum or dad.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Parliamentary Questions tabled by Liam Byrne MP for answer on 11 March 2016 12:00 AM

To ask the Home Secretary, how many unaccompanied asylum seeking children she is aware of, currently residing in France, with either parents, or alleged parents in the UK?

To ask the Home Secretary, to set out how many ‘Take Charge’ requests she has agreed to, issued under the Dublin 3 protocols, in relation to unaccompanied asylum seeking children in France, with either parents, or alleged parents in the UK?

To ask the Home Secretary, if she will match President Hollande’s commitment to ‘swift and effective’ processes for reuniting unaccompanied asylum seeking children, claiming asylum in Europe, but with parents in the UK?

To ask the Home Secretary whether she will make a statement about the effectiveness of the Dublin 3 asylum process, and her proposals for its reform and improvement?

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