UPDATE: 9th February 2017
Heartened that so many people and so much media has cme out and trashed Amber Rudd and the Home Office for their vicious and cynical announcement to limit Dubs kids into UK. WE have material on Channel 4 News tonight, https://www.channel4.com/…/child-refugee-row-350-children-h… and I’m shooting with ITV news tomorrow, for tomorrow night.
URGENT ALERT 5th February 2017: Please donate now!
Between 12th and 20th Feb the French will close the Centres where they temporarily housed the Calais kids. Many have already left in panic, and are back in and around Calais where they are living rough, freezing, in the mud and in backstreets, constantly hounded by CRS and poiice.
The Home Office have failed to take hundreds of kids who have a legal case to be in the UK. The Duncan Lewis case which Im most closely involved in, went to the UK High Court on Friday, to get an urgent answer on our lead case ZS who has now made 4 suicide attempts and has been in and out of hospital. We got granted a response from the Home Secretary within 4 weeks. By then he will be homeless and may not make it. Our larger case, ZS and Others, brings 37 Children that i was able to identify in the Jungle, and who ought to qualify for Dubs Amendment relief, is stayed behind the second case below, which is being heard next Friday.
This second case, brought by Help Refugees which goes to the High Court this coming Friday 17th, begins the process of disputing the lawfulness of the Home Office’s narrowed definition of the Dubs Amendment (restricting it to 2 nationalities and under 12s- totally against the spirit and letter of the amendment.) They are bringing the principle. If they win, we have a strong chance then to bring our 37 actual cases, straight after.
Meanwhile I have been filming in Norrent, an unoffical camp where someone has died, Calais where kids are living in filth and squalor, now hunted by cops and in and out of detention, and Brussels where many have gone and are sleeping rough- – also desperate.
I am in touch with more and more kids and am struggling to get lawyers to take on more , especially some of the girls and some of the really young kids that Home Office has missed. I have a list of 14 who have relatives in the UK and should have been allowed here under the Dublin 3 Convention. With both Dubs and Dublin 3, bring able to bring a substantive number of cases as we’re doing, means they will hopefully set precedents, for the more to benefit.
After 4 and a half months I am getting pretty run down but I am determinednot to stop. But I have now totally run out of funding. have gone into considerable debt to keep filming.
I wanted to stop but just hard that Yemane, one of our youngest, is alone in Calais and is living rough, and I need to see him. And m really worried about the girls too.
I am still reflecting om the very sad death of Samir, a 15 year old Sudanese boy, last month. It was hard to see, and to film at a respectful distance, the other boys carrying his coffin in minus degrees at Chalon in Eastern France, His mum back in Darfur will never be able visit his grave, and never see him again. That was tragic day.
But what bolstered my spirits was, that of the 13 Calais kids we got to UK via Duncan Lewis in early November, I have just been told that one of them, a 12 year old, “H”, lke Samir had a heart condition. But H was given as all children are, a thorough medical check when he was brought to UK and his the condition was identified. He has now had surgery, and thankfully is now in restored health.
All donors, you have made this possible. All this is big stuff we’re on the verge of, if we can SUPORT THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF THE REST. A legal right means nothing if you’re starving, cold and being harassed like criminal. It needs us to bring it to peoples’ attention and to the courts.
Please please contribute for this vital last lap of the film, and pass it to your friends and contacts to do the same.
The court cases go on over next 2-3 months. The film I would like to be completed by May as there is a Parliamentary committee being formed to assess what went wrong over the Calais issue and this will be vital evidence.
All very best everyone and thanks again. Here are some press updates: