French minister appeals directly to UK public over Calais child migrants

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French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has penned an opinion piece in the UK press urging Britain to step up its efforts to identify and resettle unaccompanied child migrants stranded in the Calais “Jungle” camp.

Cazeneuve’s article, published in The Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, comes just a day after more than a dozen teenagers were transferred to the UK from the sprawling camp, which the French government has vowed to shut down.

“(The) French government has now decided to dismantle the Calais camp for good,” Cazeneuve wrote, adding that neither London nor Paris wanted “to leave people with the right to refugee status in the cold and the mud – women and children least of all”.

The makeshift settlement in France’s northern port city is home to nearly 10,000 people who have mostly fled war and strife in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Africa with the ultimate goal of reaching Britain.

This picture taken on August 16, 2016, in Calais, shows an aerial view of the sprawling "jungle" camp where at least 7,000 migrants live, according to the government. © Philippe Huguen, AFP
This picture taken on August 16, 2016, in Calais, shows an aerial view of the sprawling “jungle” camp where at least 7,000 migrants live, according to the government. © Philippe Huguen, AFP