A documentary portraying the conditions of refugee children stranded between France and the UK border was screened in Cardiff on 6 March 2018. This event was followed by a March against Racism in Cardiff on 17 March.
Produced by documentary film maker Sue Clayton, the film is being screened across cities in the UK to spread awareness about the situation of over 2000 unaccompanied refugee children who found themselves stranded in the jungles of Calais with little help from authorities of both countries, France and the UK.
Documentary maker Sue Clayton says, “We don’t have the problem of so called refugees because they are stuck at Calais and we don’t have anyone there to process them.”
Through her film, Sue has held up a mirror to the UK and the way it has dealt with the refugees.
Soon after France asked for help, assuring that it would take care of adults but wanted the UK to take responsibility of minors, the UK discontinued its Dubs Amendment under which Britain accepted child refugees.
“Because the UK voted for Brexit […] the French said we’ll take care of the adults but we do expect the British to come and take care of the children because of the two pieces of legislation the EU and the UK law Britain has the responsibility of those children that should have already been in the UK” says Sue.
The UK, since 2016, has accepted 200 refugee children under the Dubs Amendment. France, on the other hand, displaced various children to remote parts of the country with scares resources.
The ones that were left behind in Calais were given a ten days of eviction notice after which they were made to live in containers. The authorities also made an attempt to clear out the jungle of Calais by burning it, well aware of the fact that there were thousands of children present in the area.
In the midst of these events, 100 children went missing and many became victims of human trafficking.
This year, in January fifteen children were reported to have been crushed after being hit by a lorry while attempting to cross borders from Calais into UK.
One of the non-governmental organisations in UK that are working towards pressurising the government into accepting more refugee minors is Stand up to Racism.
Joe Redmens, Secretary of Stand Up to Racism Cardiff says “Quiet of few of us have been to Calais supplying food and clothes over the past years.”
He says “The British Government had signed the Dubs Scheme under which they were suppose to bring in around 3000 minors to Britain but they closed the scheme about six months ago and they only took 300.”
The law firm, Help Refugees is also involved in fighting for refugee children under Dubs Court Case to pursue the government to accept more minors struggling in Calais and other remote parts of France.
Multiple NGOs are also reaching out to people in hopes of donations, which will then be used to help the children in Calais. Links of these organisations are:
The documentary will be aired on national television in summer this year. However, here are some cities in UK where it will screened for those who wish to watch it and know more about the situation in Calais:
Sat 10th March Newcastle
1-4.30pm Newcastle Arts Centre 67 Westgate Rd Newcastle NE1 1SG
3pm Screening of CALAIS CHILDREN, discussion with Sue Clayton
Mon 12th March Medway Trades Council SUTR
7.30pm Screening of CALAIS CHILDREN, discussion with Sue Clayton
Main hall Sunlight Centre Richmond Road Gillingham, Kent
Weds 28th March The Hastings Debate
CALAIS CHILDREN screening and lecture by Sue Clayton
More details soon
For more information on the issue, please visit: http://calais.gebnet.co.uk