With 28 Million Children Uprooted by War, UK to Spend on $2.5 Million on Wall

September 8th, 2016 - by admin

Associated Press & The Guardian – 2016-09-08 21:27:07


UNICEF Says 28 Million Children Uprooted by Global Conflict
Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (September 6, 2016) — Some 28 million children around the globe have been driven from their homes by violent conflict, with nearly as many abandoning their homes in search of a better life, according to a UNICEF report released Tuesday.

The report found that while children make up about a third of the world’s population as of 2015, they accounted for nearly half of all refugees, with the number of child refugees having doubled in the last decade.

“What’s important is that these children on the move are children. And they should be treated as children,” said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Director of Programs in Geneva. “They deserve to be protected. They need access to services, such as education.”

According to the report, there were 10 million child refugees and one million child asylum-seekers, whose status had not yet been determined. The remaining 17 million children displaced by conflict remained within their home countries’ borders.

The report said 45 percent of the children refugees came from just two countries: Syria and Afghanistan.

Increasingly, these children are traveling alone, with 100,000 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in 78 countries in 2015, three times the number in 2014, the report found. Because these children often lack documents, they are especially vulnerable.

The report estimates another 20 million children are migrants, driven from their homes by poverty and gang violence among other things.

Refugee and migrant children face a host of risks including drowning during sea crossings, malnourishment, dehydration, kidnapping, rape and murder. When they arrive in other countries they often face discriminations and xenophobia, the report stated.

“The world hears the stories of child refugees one child at a time and the world is able to bring support to that child, but when we talk about millions it provokes incredible outrage and underscores the need to address the growing problem,” said Emily Garin, the report’s author.

Entitled, “Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children,” the report calls on the international community to provide protection, education and health services to these children and asks governments to address the root causes contributing to the large-scale movements of refugees and migrants.

Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.

UK Immigration Minister Confirms Work to Start on £1.9 Million Calais Wall
Alan Travis and Angelique Chrisafis / The Guardian

September 7, 2016 — Calais riot police fire tear gas into refugee camp on Tuesday night

(September 7, 2016) — Work is about to begin on “a big, new wall” in Calais as the latest attempt to prevent refugees and migrants jumping aboard lorries heading for the Channel port, the UK’s immigration minister has confirmed.

Robert Goodwill told MPs on Tuesday that the four-metre high wall was part of a £17 million package of joint Anglo-French security measures to tighten precautions at the port.

“People are still getting through,” he said. “We have done the fences. Now we are doing the wall,” the new immigration minister told the Commons home affairs committee.

Building on the 1km-long wall along the ferry port’s main dual-carriageway approach road, known as the Rocade, is due to start this month. The £1.9 million wall will be built in two sections on either side of the road to protect lorries and other vehicles from migrants who have used rocks, shopping trolleys and even tree trunks to try to stop vehicles before climbing aboard.

It will be made of smooth concrete in an attempt to make it more difficult to scale, with plants and flowers on one side to reduce its visual impact on the local area. It is due to be completed by the end of the year.

The plan has already attracted criticism from local residents who have started calling it “the great wall of Calais”.

François Guennoc of Auberge des Migrants, a French aid group working in Calais, said: “This wall is the latest extension to kilometres of fencing and security surveillance already in place. It will just result in people going further to get round it.

“When you put walls up anywhere in the world, people find ways to go round them. It’s a waste of money. It could make it more dangerous for people, it will push up tariffs for people smugglers and people will end up taking more risks.”

The Road Haulage Association has said it will be a poor use of taxpayers’ money, arguing that security levels need to be improved in the surrounding approach roads to Calais. “It is imperative that the money to pay for a wall would be much better spent on increasing security along approach roads,” a spokesman said.

But Goodwill, a former shipping minister, said the new wall was part of a package of measures to step up security at the Channel ports. “We are going to start building this big, new wall as part of the £17m package we are doing with the French. There is still more to do. We have also invested in space for 200 lorries at Calais so that they have somewhere safe to wait.”

Goodwill, who took over the job of immigration minister on 16 July, said he had yet to visit Calais to see for himself the conditions in the refugee camp known as the “Jungle”. He said he would go as soon as he could but refused to be pinned down by MPs on when exactly that might be.

He defended the government’s record on helping child refugees with links to Britain in the Calais camp, saying they were trying to speed up the process. But he conceded that he had only had one lengthy conversation with Lord Dubs, the leading parliamentary campaigner on the issue, since taking over the job.

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