• France's news in English
Migrant children leave France's 'Jungle' camp for UK
Migrants at the Calais "Jungle" protesting on October 13. Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

Migrant children leave France's 'Jungle' camp for UK

AFP · 16 Oct 2016, 09:02

Published: 16 Oct 2016 09:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The Calais prefecture confirmed that around two dozen unaccompanied minors were bound for a new life in Britain, where they had family members, although it added that there was no "no deal for a larger-scale plan" evacuation of children.
"Five Syrian minors and one Afghan minor have just been transferred to the United Kingdom. From Monday, around 10 more minors will follow, then on Tuesday, about 10 more," a spokesman told AFP.
The children have been living in squalid conditions in the Calais encampment where charities estimate up to 10,000 migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia have settled in the hope of reaching Britain. The camp faces demolition.
The departure comes after French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Monday said he was asking "Britain to assume its moral duty" by accepting unaccompanied children with family in the UK.
The British Red Cross has said 178 unaccompanied children in the camp have already been identified as having the right to claim asylum in Britain due to their family links.
In a statement to parliament Monday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd insisted that Britain was ready to cooperate with France on the issue but that an agreement had not yet been reached.
She added: "The primary responsibility (for the children involved)... lies with the French authorities. The UK government has no authority in France."
However, she said Britain was keen to bring as many eligible children over to Britain before the "Jungle" site was dismantled, adding that London would move within "days, a week at most".
Saturday also saw the start of construction on a new wall designed to block migrant access to the Calais port, a magnet for would-be stowaways who target UK-bound lorries.
The first four-metre (13-feet) high concrete panels in the so-called "anti-intrusion" wall were moved into place, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.
When complete, the wall will stretch for around a kilometre (0.6 miles) and add to some 30 kilometres of existing wire fences along the road leading to the port.
"Work is being undertaken on schedule and should be finished by the year's end," said the Calais prefecture spokesman of the 2.7 million euros ($3 million) structure, which Britain has agreed to finance.
The "Jungle" has become a symbol of the Europe's biggest migrant crisis since the World War II and a major source of Anglo-French tensions, leading President Francois Hollande to demand that the site be demolished before the end of 2016.
Story continues below…
The French government has yet to give an official date for dismantling the camp. Initial indications that it might happen as early as this Tuesday, however, proved premature and the plan has been put back at least a week, sources indicated.
Meanwhile work has been stepped up on the creation of reception centres across France to house as many as 9,000 people from Calais. In a further development Saturday, 50 lawyers arrived at the camp to provide the migrants with advice so they could fill in forms and be "aware of and assert their rights", Flor Tercero, head of an association of lawyers for foreigners' rights, told AFP.
"We are well aware that the 'Jungle' is a place where living conditions are undignified and inhuman and that cannot go on," Tercero said.
Away from Calais, a French fishing boat earlier Saturday came to the aid of four migrants who ran into difficulties in the English Channel as they made for England in a makeshift vessel, local authorities said. The fishing boat rescued the group, all four of whom were suffering from hypothermia, and handed them over to police.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available