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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Home Office wins appeal on Syrian refugee case – comment

Photo from a report on unaccompanied children in northern France, by UNICEF.

2nd August 2106

The court of appeal has today ruled in favour of the Home Office in the case of four Syrian refugees who were brought from the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais to be reunited with family in the UK.

The ruling overturns a decision in January which granted permission for the four – three of whom are teenagers – to travel to the UK legally to be with their UK-based families while their asylum claims were processed.

The Home Office appealed against the January decision and today won that appeal.

Commenting on the ruling Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and Greens’ migration spokesperson said:

“Today’s ruling is a devastating decision for children trapped in the Calais ‘Jungle’ and other camps in northern France.

“This decision to uphold the Home Office’s appeal will only prolong these young people’s misery and their desperate search for safety.

“Charities working on the ground estimate there are at least 40 children who have rights to be reunited with family members in the UK. The UK and French governments must actively uphold the rights of unaccompanied children by providing the information they are entitled to, hearing their cases, and bringing them to safety as fast as possible. Instead the UK government is going to long lengths through the courts, all the time leaving children in appalling conditions where they are.

“It is totally short-sighted and callous of the government to insist on minimising so-called ‘pull-factors’ that it thinks will encourage more people to try to come to the UK. The camps around Calais are here to stay and Theresa May’s government needs to accept this and urgently find a humane approach to the refugee situation.”

The charity Citizens UK is supporting the legal cases of refugees in camps in northern France.