Children risk lives ‘everyday’ as UK builds Calais wall

Under European asylum rules known as Dublin III, migrants must make their asylum claim in the first safe country they reach, although children are permitted to transfer to another country if they have family members living there.
But according to Britain’s anti-slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland, children in the camp are risking their lives every day as they wait for British authorities to process their applications.
“Children are not waiting,” he wrote in a letter to U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd published on Wednesday.
“Every night they go to their smugglers who have promised to get them across the Channel. Every night they think that this time they will be lucky.
“However, every night each of these children are at risk of exploitation and sadly even dying as they take huge risks to reach the U.K.”
The latest victim was a 14-year-old Afghan, Raheemullah Oryakhel, who died after being hit by a car while trying to climb on a lorry’s roof over the weekend. He was the third child to die this year.
Unicef U.K. said Oryakhel had the legal right to join members of his family who are already in the U.K.
“This tragedy must now lead to action,” the agency said in a statement.
“The U.K. must work with the French authorities to get children into appropriate accommodation, where they can have access to care and legal support so they can reach their families safely.
“It’s in the U.K. government’s hands to prevent any more children from being killed.”
Yvette Cooper, a senior lawmaker in the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party, says there is more the U.K. government can do.
“I think they need to have a government official based here, not just in Paris, to work with the authorities in Calais to speed the processes up,” Cooper told Anadolu Agency in an interview conducted before Oryhakhel’s death.
“I think they need to put pressure on the French authorities to speed things up as well.”
The British immigration authorities were spending too long trying to establish whether the children had genuine family members in the U.K. and were not considering the risk they faced in the Calais camp, Cooper added.

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