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UK to accept children from Calais Jungle camp 'within days'

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By Luke Barber
UK to accept children from Calais Jungle camp 'within days'

British and French officials have begun the process of registering unaccompanied children at the Calais Jungle migrant camp with a view to allowing them to join relatives in the UK.

A large number of child refugees are expected to arrive in Britain within days, although those without relatives in the country will be subject to a seperate registration process.

Under EU legislation, unaccompanied children have the right to claim asylum in countries where family members are living.

EU-wide regulation stipulates that asylum must be claimed in the first safe country a person reaches, but minors can have their claim transferred to countries where they have relatives.

It is understood that the UK plans to take over 300 children, although charity Safe Passage, which is working alongside the British government in its efforts to bring children in before French authorities close the camp, says it has not seen operational plans detailing how they will be transferred.

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said in an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper that there would be “no slacking” from the UK government.

Impending closure

The French government plans to dismantle the camp by the end of the year.

Aid groups have asked to delay the closure, citing a lack of preparedness to adequately relocate the camps inhabitants.

President Francois Hollande has promised to set up “reception and orientation centres” for the estimated 10,000 refugees living at the camp.

Those who successfully applied for asylum will be given a “dignified welcome”, he said, but those who were unsuccessful would be deported.

Aid agencies put the number of unaccompanied minors living at the camp at between 1,000 and 1,300, 95 percent of which are hoping to reach the UK.