Britain to begin taking Calais migrant children within days

AP News
Posted: Oct 10, 2016 12:39 PM
Britain to begin taking Calais migrant children within days

LONDON (AP) — Within days, Britain will begin admitting hundreds of children from a border refugee camp on the French side of the English Channel, the U.K. government said Monday.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told lawmakers in the House of Commons that the government would act with urgency to take in migrant children who have relatives in Britain.

France has been pressuring Britain to accept the children from the camp in Calais. Rudd spoke after meeting her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve, who said Britain has a "moral duty" to take in "several hundred isolated minors with family in Britain."

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

France plans to close the slum-like camp where many live, which has become a flashpoint in Europe's migrant crisis.

Charities and religious leaders have urged the British government to take in hundreds of children before the camp is closed. French President Francois Hollande has said that will be before winter.

Rudd told lawmakers that the government had been waiting for a list of eligible minors from French authorities.

"The French, we believe, will now give that to us this week, and be in no doubt we will move with all urgency — a matter of days, a week at the most, in order to deliver on that commitment when we get it."