Forgive this rather hasty message:
I’m in Calais working the ‘Jungle’ and things have taken a turn I thought many of you might want to know about.
There are at least 10,000 people here, probably more, and no official support agencies as France doesn’t recognise it as a camp so it’s run entirely by independent helpers and non-funded groups- most of them totally exhausted. .. Contrary to popular belief they are now without of many basics (volunteer deliveries have slowed ).
Among the 10,000 are 1000 under 18s without family- as young as 8. . I was longer term working on a story (ITN and C4 News interested ) about the fact that at least 450 of these have been argued to have a case to enter UK but the Home Office is making this impossible (I can brief anyone with a particular interest on the detail of this- there are two pieces of legislation that should allow under 18s to come to UK- Dublin III accord if they have family in UK, Dubs Amendment if their safety and security is threatened). I have been working with a team of lawyers who are contesting the Home Office and we had the threat of camp closure on Nov 1st as deadline to get test cases heard in the Immigration Court and then if needed in the High Court. The young people will be scattered or will just run away if the camp closes, or make last-ditch and highly dangerous attempts to get to UK by trucks and other dangerous means.
There are volunteers frantically trying to register all the under 18s. One of them was killed 2 weeks ago as though he had a legal case to be accepted y the UK- he had a brother here- he gave up hope of his papers coming through in time and made a run for the port and the trucks. . He was 14. (you can find that story in the press- his name was Raheemullah Oryakhel. )
*New information* from here is that the French will start destroying the camp on Oct 17th- only 9 days from now – and that compromises whether we can get the legal challenge through. I can probably get the headlines of this onto ITN and I know there will be other TV news crews here covering the general destruction of the camp- but I think I must make some kind of film of the next 10-15 days for a more qualitative point of view as to whats happening to the the young people. (with due respect to their privacy- may not filming them directly but there are ways of doing it where I don’t need to..) and whether we can get a challenge before its too late.
On Oct 8th 2 am the legal centre in the camp ( a portacabin) burnt to the ground, severely hampering our work. Im meeting kids of 11 and 12 with no family in Europe, and no prospects after next week. Nobody here believes the French will magically provide buses and accomms for 10,000 people. Its a human rights disaster.
I am not a great do-er of crowd funding as I know most people who choose to, are already giving time or funds to things-and feel a but embarrassed doing this- but a friend has suggested I do it, and I ask you to please consider making a donation- your name will be credited on the final film if you wish. and I’ll get an official web page up soon.
*I need around £13,000 to make the film and don’t have time to apply for grant funding etc. I have been thrilled to receive just over £5000 in 2 days so need to get the next money in pronto pronto . Any contributions gratefully received *If you want to support with a donation, please write to me and I’ll send bank details. There will be a web page and crowd funding link in a few days when can get that done.
You can follow the story at
All very best and please delete this if your not interested and apols for filling your mail box, and share it with all your contacts if you are. If youre passing it on, people can check out my credentials on the sites below.
All very best wishes