First unaccompanied children from Calais arrive in UK

Fourteen migrant children are expected to arrive in Britain from Calais later to be reunited with their relatives.

French authorities were due to begin dismantling the Jungle camp this week, but delayed the process, in part to give Britain more time to identify eligible minors.

Citizens UK, a coalition of charitable organisations based in the UK, said numerous children who had previously been reunited with their families were reunited by charitable - not official - efforts.

The amendment to the Immigration Act 2016 by Labour peer Lord Dubs requires the government to accept at-risk unaccompanied child refugees from Europe.

Lord Dubs, who fled the Nazis to Britain as a child, said there was still no progress over a major victory he won earlier this year.

They said: "When she met the French Interior Minister this week, she made it crystal-clear that we intend to transfer as many minors as possible who qualify for transfer to the United Kingdom to claim asylum on the basis of close family in the United Kingdom under the Dublin Regulation, before the start of the clearance".

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said he is "delighted" to welcome the children to the United Kingdom, but cautioned that this is the first step and more children need help urgently.

"The speed at which the demolitions have been proposed is a cause for deep concern, and we do not believe the necessary steps to safeguard children and provide the necessary resources for the 10,000 residents to be safely removed from the camp have been taken".

They are the first of dozens of children from the Calais camp to be resettled in the United Kingdom this week.

Addressing reporters in Croydon, he said: "Today is the beginning of what I hope will be, in the next couple of weeks, a serious, shared enterprise for Government and voluntary organisations in this country".

The children will be reunited with their families in churches in Croydon, where they must register with the Home Office.

Asif Khan said his 14-year-old brother was among those coming to Britain, after spending six months in the camp known as "The Jungle".

It said the United Kingdom would also take "vulnerable unaccompanied child refugees" who had arrived in Europe before the controversial Turkey-EU deal.

Another tearful reunion came when two brothers were reunited for the first time in more than a decade.

"To get to see him after 11 years, it is just a lovely day, it was the first time in 11 years I have been so happy".

It states that Britain will take in "vulnerable unaccompanied child refugees" who arrived in the European Union before March 20, even if they do not have relatives in Britain.

"His journey was so hard, it was by walking, by bus to Calais", Asif Khan said.

"When people see the individual faces of children they think 'Well, we can't say no'".



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