1,500

Child mi­grants sent to be pro­cessed

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

French au­thor­i­ties be­gan bussing un­der­age mi­grants out of Calais to pro­cess­ing cen­tres around France yes­ter­day, as the gov­ern­ment tries to bring a defini­tive end to the no­to­ri­ous mi­grant camp in the city.

Three buses car­ried a group of boys, mainly teenagers, out of the camp in the morn­ing.

Au­thor­i­ties hoped to have moved out all 1,500 un­ac­com­pa­nied child mi­grants from Calais by the end of the day in some 30 buses, ac­cord­ing to the re­gional ad­min­is­tra­tion.

French au­thor­i­ties trans­ferred more than 5,000 adult mi­grants out of Calais last week, but the fate of its chil­dren had re­mained un­clear. Mi­grants from the Mid­dle East and Africa had con­verged on the camp over the past 18 months in hopes of cross­ing to Bri­tain. The filthy, law­less site, which mi­grants re­fer to as “the jungle”, had be­come a sym­bol of Europe’s mi­grant cri­sis and a source of shame for France.

The child mi­grants will be taken to 60 ded­i­cated cen­tres scat­tered around France, where Bri­tish of­fi­cials will study whether they have the right to UK asy­lum, ac­cord­ing to French and Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties. The oth­ers will be put un­der the care of French child wel­fare ser­vices.

The op­er­a­tion has rekin­dled ten­sions among the youths and fears that it means the end of their dream of reach­ing Bri­tain.

Four peo­ple were in­jured when clashes broke out on Tues­day night be­tween Afghan and Eritrean mi­grants in the camp, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said. Po­lice used tear gas to sep­a­rate them, and strength­ened se­cu­rity at the site overnight.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Bri­tish Home Of­fice were in Calais yes­ter­day to ex­plain to the chil­dren what will hap­pen next.

Bri­tain’s gov­ern­ment says it has taken in more than 300 un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors from Calais, and UK Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd told Par­lia­ment last week that sev­eral hun­dred more would be brought in soon.

But de­tails re­main un­clear. The is­sue is com­pli­cated by Bri­tain’s vote to leave the EU, which high­lighted the pub­lic’s un­ease with im­mi­gra­tion.

Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Robert Good­will: “We are ab­so­lutely com­mit­ted to safe­guard­ing and pro­tect­ing chil­dren in Calais.”

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