Calais update – 11 October 2016

——– Forwarded Message ——–
Subject: Calais update
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 04:46:52 +0200
From: Sue Clayton

Dear all

Its end of a long day but just wanted to write to you all- total 67
amazing donors or promised-to donate, now, and enough money to begin
this. Thanks again for your very great generosity and commitment to
this!! Spurs us on!
It was a lovely day on Sunday- sunny, a bit daggy-rock-festival-ish
with music and stalls and food cooking. Only at night it turns bad
again. Last night someone else was killed on the road – a young Eritrean
man, and his wife was injured. (it’s in the press) Plus the rumours
are stronger every day that the camp will be destroyed very soon .French
police are passing round papers saying people can apply for asylum in
France and then they’ll be put in detention centres, and eventually
re-housed in France.. Problem is, if theyre then fingerprinted, and
prints show up on record, they can be sent back to country of their
arrival into Europe (Dublin accord) i.e. Greece or Italy where there is
no work , so of course they’re too scared to sign up – plus many that
did so , are still in the container area of camp, and havent been
rehoused at all in months..So the idea that the camp will neatly pack
itself up and two hundred or so buses are going to calmly and
efficiently arrive next week and transport 10,000 willing people to
detention centres nation-wide, is not likely. I talk to a lot of
volunteers and they are as bemused.
Oddly though people aren’t as freaked as you might expect, and one says,
when youve been through what we’ve been through and lost your home, a
camp being ripped down isn’t much…
The road to the port is now so heavily policed that very few people get
onto trucks here now. The ones that do are walking hours away from the
port and paying smugglers a lot of money- around £6000 – so that’s not
the young kids who have no money and not much of anything else.

My job apart from to recce everything broadly, prior to shoot, has been
to help register as many minors as possible. Citizens UK put in 387
names to Home Office, who they think qualify under Dublin 3 or Dubs
Amendment, but they didnt have lawyers at first and the bar is high-
Dublin 3 kids have to be DNA tested and matched with relatives in UK to
prove they’re bona fide. Some of the 387 have gone already. A few to UK
legally under Dublin 3, a few illegally, the rest who knows. That leaves
another 600 or so estimated, living feral lives in many cases no light
at all, no heat, no water nearby, hideous sanitation and away from the
main streets, a lot of fear. The estimate is total 1000 lone minors so
the race is on to find the rest.

Spent 7 hours today continuing to slosh around in mud and rain on good
and bad leads to find these ‘missing ‘ kids. My phone was Ali Baba’d
-grabbed out of my hand while i was using it) and a bunch of guys ran
off and got it back for me. Hung out with them which led me
serendipitously to another part of camp,. and there, standing in the
door of a little tent a young kid who I thought was Eritrean (they have
a better chance to get to UK than many other groups- IF they have a
lawyer and anyone even knows they exist,)… and he qualifies, i
think. And then I step in and its absolutely pitch dark in the tent and
gradually I see more and more faces and there are a total of about 18
young Eritreans, all lone, in this ridiculously small tent with no
blankets,, no mattress , no light no heat no nothing. Soon they run
about and pick up the others and there are 34 of them. I was so happy to
find them and they so happy about it tool but of course I can’t promise
them the lawyer can save them, but at least Weds-Fri the lawyers will
see them and they’ll have a chance…
Which brings me to the news.. After constant pressure from very many
sources, the Home Office have said they will speed up taking in the
Dublin 3 kids- that is those proven already to have relatives in UK. .(
So they damn well should as many have been in the jungle for months
waiting for this ,a lawful ruling, to be actually applied.) HO are
talking of the Dubs amendment too, which is what we are testing, but
they suggest that the potential Dubs kids could be looked after in
France – why? why pay the French? – because like the EU deal with
Turkey, they’d rather outsource our “refugee problem” and pay for it to
be somewhere else, so they (UK govt) can look “tough on asylum”. and
meet some notional stats. We say the Dubs kids should be in UK. And
Rudd says “300 would be a victory”: which is tough luck on the other
700 in the Jungle… So the battle goes on, and its so awful that it’s a
numbers game. There are 85,000 lone children and young people in Europe
since the Med crisis of 2015. Why can we not accept our share – a
fraction of our share – under two 2 pretty sane pieces of legislation,
Dubs and Dublin 3? Anyway it was a happy moment with the Eritreans-
can’t send pic because of privacy issues. So here just to cheer you up
is a pic of the erstwhile legal centre. Also Ali-baba’d. (Burnt down 2
nights ago)

and on that jolly note good night and many many thanks again so very
much for supporting this. Its really got to be done. all best xxx Sue
PS The website will be done by end tomorrow. I for some reason assumed
donors may want to be anonymous through until you all get need on end
credits, so am BCC’ing you in these emails- but then Howard THANKYOU
HOWARD FOR DOING SITE! said why, and that he could put peoples name so
the web page. Please write to Howard howard lane
< <>> if you
DONT want your name listed on site. And to me if you dot want to be seen
by other e-addresses. in these mails. I’ll try write every few days or
every week, xxx

Published by


Sue Clayton is a feature and documentary film maker. She has worked on various child and youth asylum projects over 15 years, consulting and producing news stories for ITV and BBC . Her award-winning independent film Hamedullah: The Road Home has been screened at over 200 activist and debate events, and is regularly shown in UK Immigration Courts and in the Upper Tribunal cases as evidence that forced removal of young people to Kabul is not, as the Home Office says, safe. She is also creating an archive of interviews with young asylum seekers in the UK see and she works with a ESRC-funded research team researching best outcomes for young asylum seekers