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UK has 'moral duty' to take in Calais migrant children

Published 10/10/2016

Orphaned refugee children walking amongst the shelters at the Jungle camp at Calais in France
Orphaned refugee children walking amongst the shelters at the Jungle camp at Calais in France

The French interior minister said the UK has a "moral duty" to take in all children with family links to Britain who are living in a border refugee camp in Calais.

Bernard Cazeneuve made the comments on RTL radio ahead of a meeting in London with his UK counterpart, Amber Rudd.

Mr Cazeneuve said he is "solemnly asking the UK to fulfil its moral duty" to take in "several hundred isolated minors with family in Britain".

The meeting will address the closure of the slum-like camp in Calais, known as the "Jungle", which has become a flashpoint in Europe's migrant crisis.

Thousands of migrants fleeing war and hardship from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have reached the port town in the hope of making it to the UK.

Charities and religious leaders have urged the UK government to take in hundreds of children before the camp is closed.

Greg Swift, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May, said Britain and France were working together "to identify children who are vulnerable that we can help and we can bring into this country".

He added: "It's important that that work is done speedily, but it's also important that it's done in the best interests of the children who are involved.

"We are working very closely with French counterparts to speed up the process and we're hoping to make progress in the weeks ahead."

AP

Press Association

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