The Children’s Commissioners from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have joined the call on the UK Government to provide refuge to more than 3,000 children stranded across Europe and in the camps at Calais. The Commissioners are members of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) which published a report today (25th January) providing harrowing details of the plight of children caught in the refugee crisis across Europe.
Deaths are reported daily as children’s lives are lost through the journeys they are forced to travel with little or no protection from the elements. Those who survive are often separated from their parents placing them at greater risk of trafficking and harm. As always, children suffer most in times of conflict as we are witnessing right now.
The children in camps in Calais are living in intolerable conditions which cause many of them further trauma after the horrifying experiences they have endured in their home countries and through the journey to unknown destinations.
The UK Government has an opportunity to demonstrate that we can honour our shared international obligations to children’s rights and show compassion for those trapped in the nightmare situation on our doorstep. The UK Commissioners call upon the European Union and the UK Government to implement the recommendations made by ENOC to ensure that children on the move receive the safety and care they need.
Notes to editors
The European Network of Ombudspersons for Children’s report, Safety and fundamental rights at stake for children on the move will be published today at http://enoc.eu/
The four UK Children’s Commissioners are:
- Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People
- Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England
- Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People
- Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales