Saturday, 24 September 2016

'Don't leave children to rot in the mud of Calais' – plea to Conference from Stella Creasy MP

Writing on the LabourList website, Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has issued an urgent plea to delegates to the Labour Party Conference that Children must not be left to rot in the mud of Calais

"Five months ago Parliament voted to help unaccompanied child refugees in Europe. Leading this humanitarian call to offer them sanctuary against those who argued they were someone else’s problem was our own Yvette Cooper and Lord Alf Dubs.

Alf himself came to Britain as a child as part of the kindertransport during the Second World war. Three weeks ago I sat with Alf in the camp in Calais and listened to testimony from children who have a right under this law to be here on our shores now. Children who had been in the camps for months, with only volunteers to protect their welfare. Children who face a French asylum system creaking at the seams and unable to even begin reviewing their needs for months. And contrary to stereotype, they were children. Young boys trying to act tough, with fear and despair in their tired eyes.

Despite the vote in May, still not one child has come here to Britain. Those who say providing this protection will simply encourage more to come ignore the reality that they are coming anyway. Running from conflict and war, whether in Eritrea, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria or Ethopia because however grim the camps and the journey may be, to stay in their home is not an option either."

She continues . . .

"Conference delegates have the chance to show solidarity and unite the party in common voice saying not on our watch will children as young as eight be left to rot in the mud in Calais. Walthamstow CLP is asking for your support for our contemporary motion [see below] on ensuring no child is in the camps by Christmas in the priority ballot this weekend. Please ask your delegate to vote for this motion to be one of the four chosen for debate to put this issue on our party’s national agenda too."

If you want to join our campaign and help secure the rights of these children please email:

Read the full article here

Earlier this month Walthamstow Labour Party agreed the following 'contemporary motion' to go before Conference:

To Ensure No Child Refugees In Calais by Christmas

Walthamstow CLP notes:
  • There are now over 21 million refugees fleeing conflict and persecution across the world. 
  • At least 3.5 million are children, and in the Calais ‘jungle’, the same distance from Walthamstow as Southampton, there are currently 850 unaccompanied children living in subhuman conditions. 
  • Previous ‘evictions’ at the camp by French authorities have led to vulnerable young children going missing. 
  • Britain has committed to take around 20,000 Syrian refugees. By comparison, Germany accepted over 1 million Syrian refugees in 2015. 
  • Peace talks on 25th August in Geneva have failed to secure a ceasefire, despite the worsening humanitarian situation inside Aleppo and other regions inside Syria. 
The work many in Walthamstow are doing to support refugees in Calais and commends this initiative.

Walthamstow CLP believes
  • The refugee crisis is a global humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since WWII and we have a moral duty to act by giving asylum to those we are able to and leveraging our influence in the world to secure peaceful solutions to conflicts and support human rights. 
  • In light of threats to conduct more ‘evictions’ at the Calais camps in September 2016, the Labour Party must lead urgent action to ensure the Dubs Amendment of March 2016 to help refugee children is honoured. 
  • Calls on the Labour Party to back proposals to legislate to ensure no children are left in the Calais refugee camps by Christmas.

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