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The humanitarian crisis on our doorstep

Children keeping dry under plastic bags

Mike Emberson, from the Medaille Trust, a Catholic charity dedicated to fighting human trafficking, gave this talk on Good Friday on Deal Pier in Kent on the English coast, just a short sea crossing from the continent, where thousands of refugees including women and unaccompanied children have been forced to fend for themselves.

Around the world millions of people are on the mov...

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Dunkirk: Letter from Seeking Sanctuary

image Caritas  Europa

As we prepare this Easter update we continue to get disturbing news from Dunkirk where the camp was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Many of the residents who were displaced were put up for a few nights in local sports centres but they have now been told to move on - but to where? Some buses were provided but the majority of those involved preferred to push or carry their few possessions away...

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Calais: Things have never been so tough

image - Benny Hunter

News from those working in Calais is that things have never been so tough. The French 'welcome centres' distributed across the country may have provided a solution for some people, but for those where it didn't, conditions are worse than the Jungle ever was. There are hundreds of refugees, mostly minors, sleeping rough on the streets of Calais and Paris with no access to shelter from the elemen...

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Charities protest at government's 'reprehensible decision' on child refugees

Photo Credit: Benny Hunter

On 7th March MPs voted 287-267 to close the Dubs Amendment, and to shut the door on 2650 unaccompanied child refugees living without protection in Europe. More than 60 charities have signed an open letter protesting at the decision. They say:

This is a reprehensible decision.

The Children and Social Work Bill was proposed to have an amendment by MP Heidi Allen, which required the go...

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Seeking Sanctuary - update on Calais refugees

Image from the demolish Jungle Eritrean Church

Phil Kerton and Ben Bano from Seeking Sanctuary send this latest report on the situation in Calais.

We have both made recent trips to deliver much-needed goods collected by a number of Church Communities. A very generous donation from a church in North London enabled Ben to distribute €1,000 to Secours Catholique and to the Catholic Worker House which is doing such vital wo...

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URGENT Appeal to help refugees sleeping outdoors in France

Since the break up of the 'Jungle' at Calais, many refugees in France have no where to shelter and are being forced to sleep out in the open - while temperatures have gone well below freezing.

The charity Care4Calais has two warehouses in Calais which are acting as hubs to get various types of donation to places where they are needed, not solely to areas close to Calais and Dunkirk. This...

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Calais: A new chapter starts

I set off to drive to Dover on the last day of November to make my first visit to Calais since the destruction of the 'Jungle' camp. The temperature was permanently below zero as I headed East along the A2 and M2, with the blinding morning sun ahead of me. I had already packed goods from a variety donors into the car and met up with Ben and his son to add an even larger quantity principally col...

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Calais: Basildon parish suspends project - others to continue

Cleared 'Jungle'

Fr Dominic Howarth, Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Church, Basildon, Essex, writes:

After fourteen months, the parish Calais project is - for now - at an end. As you will have seen on the news, the Calais jungle was completely demolished three weeks ago. The refugees living there were sent to 'welcome centres' across France. The reports being received by charities indicate that t...

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Seeking Sanctuary appeals for solidarity with remaining refugees in Calais

Site of demolished  church

Ben Bano and Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary writes: The story of exiles currently and recently stuck in Calais has entered a new chapter, but they are all still in need, especially the young people. Judged solely by numerical data, the exercise to remove residents and clear the 'jungle' in Calais site was a success. The aim of officials to remove the camp before November became kno...

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Is the Calais camp really closed?

Br Johannes, Marie-Christine and Fr Joe with the cross and crescent from the demolish church and mosque

Justice and Peace Visit to Calais November 3rd and 4th 2016 "Migrants have gravitated to the North French coast for the last 17 years," we were told, on our Justice and Peace visit to France on 3rd-4th November. "And we will wait just a few weeks for them to start drifting back to seek access to the UK all over again." This is the background to the highly publicised Jungle ...

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Calais Poem: This WAS our Church

'This WAS our Church'

To the Church of St Michael in the Jungle, Calais

'Our prayers have risen to the Lord Not in a glorious building But in a tent which has been an a symbol of hope To so many trapped in the jungle around us. We have been a haven of solace and peace g...

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Calais Jungle: Unaccompanied children face another night outdoors

disorientated and cold

Volunteers working in Calais this evening have expressed concern over the plight of about 50 unaccompanied children who have still not been registered by the authorities and have nowhere to sleep for the second night in a row, after their shelters were destroyed.

Liz Clegg who is in Calais reports tonight that a group have now taken refuge in a local school and volunteers are supplying b...

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Calais children: Message from Bishop Jonathan Clark, Citizens UK

Bishop Clark

Yesterday I was with faith and community leaders at St Michael's Church in Croydon, waiting to welcome a handful of children from the Jungle Camp in Calais. As the children walked off the coach we all felt joy that our campaign had made a difference. Every child rescued is a victory we should celebrate.

But there are hundreds left, and every child left unprotected in the Jungle Camp in C...

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Seeking Sanctuary says: 'Bring the children NOW !'

No child should live in these conditions

In the confusion and squalor of the Calais jungle, hundreds of unaccompanied children await their fate. There have been reports that 10 per cent of the children identified in August as eligible to come to the UK have gone missing, very possibly at the hands of traffickers.

Ben Bano, from Seeking Sanctuary who has 40 years experience in social work, said: '"This situation is intolerable. ...

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