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Calais: Whilst UK and French politicians squabble, people smugglers are the only ones to profit

As the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, is in Paris to discuss security issues and to reject calls to scrap the Le Touquet agreement that allows border checks to take place in Calais, Steve Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s Refugee Programme Director, said:

“Whilst the UK and French politicians are squabbling about refugees and migrants in Calais and trying to pass the buck, the only ones to profit are the people smugglers exploiting people’s need for safety, urge to join their families and desire to rebuild their lives.

“The UK and French authorities have failed to deliver on their shared responsibility for refugees and migrants in Calais for years now and this latest exchange of words is a stark reminder of their failure to live up to their responsibilities.   

“Everyone has the right to seek protection abroad, but getting to Europe safely and legally is impossible for most of those who need to.

“Meanwhile, pregnant women and unaccompanied children are among those living in horrific conditions, prone to violence while people continue to risk their lives by jumping on moving trains or lorries - stowed away in the back or even underneath them.

“As a first step, the UK and French authorities must immediately work together to make sure that dozens of unaccompanied children in the Calais camps are reunited with their families in the UK as soon as possible.”


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