France moves Calais child migrants after row with Britain simmers

France moves Calais child migrants after row with Britain simmers
People wave to migrant minors in Calais, waiting in a bus to be transferred to reception centers around France on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 02 November 2016

France moves Calais child migrants after row with Britain simmers

France moves Calais child migrants after row with Britain simmers

PARIS: France began moving about 1,500 unaccompanied child migrants from the site of a demolished camp to reception centers across the country on Wednesday, as a feud with Britain over who takes care of the youths dragged on. The first busload was headed for the south of France.
The minors have been housed temporarily in converted shipping containers in the northern seaside town of Calais after demolition teams tore down the sprawl of ramshackle shacks a
nd tents nicknamed the “Jungle.” Thousands of other migrants have already been relocated across France.
Most of the children left behind come from war-ravaged Afghanistan and Sudan’s Darfur region and are aged between 13 and 17, according to the charity Care for Calais.
Their plight has triggered a diplomatic row between Paris and London, with tensions intensifying in recent days after President Francois Hollande pressed Britain to accept its share of responsibility for the minors.
British officials demanded France take better care of them.
Many of the child migrants are desperate to reach Britain, which lies tantalisingly close across a narrow stretch of sea, saying they have relatives there.
The EU rules say Britain must take in unaccompanied children who have family ties. Britain has also made a wider commitment to taking in vulnerable migrant children under the so-called Dubs amendment passed in Parliament this year. France has said Britain has accepted 274 children so far this year from Calais.
British Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Amber Rudd told lawmakers last week that UK officials had interviewed 800 children in the camp before it was flattened, and said up to 300 more would be interviewed in the coming weeks. But she added that not all of them would come to Britain.