Unaccompanied minors arrive in UK ahead of Calais camp clearance

The first group of unaccompanied children have arrived in the UK from Calais today (17 October), following the Home Secretary’s pledge to transfer as many minors as possible before the camp is cleared.

The group, aged 14 to 17, were transported across the Channel this morning. They will be screened and processed by the Home Office, before being reunited with their families in the coming days.

More children are due to arrive from France over the next few days and weeks under the Dublin regulation mechanism.

Separately, Home Office officials are working with French authorities, NGOs and charities to identify children who are eligible under the ‘Dubs amendment’ of the Immigration Act.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We can confirm a group of children who left the Calais camp this morning have arrived in the UK.

This is the start of the process to transfer as many eligible children as possible before the start of the clearance, as the Home Secretary set out in Parliament.

These vulnerable children, aged between 14 and 17, were transferred to the UK under the care of Home Office staff, with the support of volunteers from specialist NGOs and charities. They will join their families in the UK as quickly as possible over the coming days.

The Home Office has worked with the French government and partner organisations including the UNHCR, to significantly improve and speed up the Dublin asylum process. In total, over 140 unaccompanied children have been accepted for transfer under Dublin family reunification so far this year (up to 1 October), with over 80 from France.