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St Joseph the Worker

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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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Calais: Catholic charity struggles to help stranded child refugees

Chlldren keep dry in plastic bags

While recent news has focussed on the UK government's decision to renege on their promise under the Dubs Amendment, to take 3,000 lone refugee children - volunteers in France are struggling to cope with hundreds of children - who've no longer even had the shelter of the 'Jungle' through this cold winter.

At the very end of January, the Calais Council registered a complaint agains...

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UK failing to protect refugee children, say Catholic agencies

The UK is failing in its responsibility to protect some of the world's most vulnerable people, say Catholic agencies CAFOD and CSAN, following an announcement from the UK Government that it is cancelling plans to bring 3,000 refugee children to the UK as part of the Dubs Amendment scheme.

Bishop Paul McAleenan, who has responsibility for migration within the Catholic Bishops' Conference,...

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Campaigners urge Theresa May not to abandon lone child refugees + PETITION

image - Caritas Europa

Charities and groups working with unaccompanied child refugees have expressed grave concern after the government announced yesterday that it cancelled plans to bring 3,000 children to the UK. Phil Kerton, from Seeking Sanctuary, which works with Secours Catholique in Calais offering food, clothing and basic medical help to refugees, appealed for "individuals and faith groups to sp...

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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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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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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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Campaigners voice fears over impending clearance of Calais 'Jungle'

What does the future hold for this child?

Campaigners have expressed concern over the impending clearance of the Calais 'Jungle'.

As reported by Independent Catholic News on October 7th, an agency of the French Bishops Conference cautiously accepted the general thrust of government plans to dismantle the Calais camp and relocate its refugees, saying that the plans are "going in the right direction." A spokesman said: "We hope th...

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CSAN voices grave concern over proposal to build border wall at Calais

The present barrier - image J Siedlecka

CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) has issued the following response to Government proposal to build a four metre high concrete border wall at Calais. 'CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) is deeply concerned by the proposal to build a wall near the Calais refugee camp. We recognise the right of states to secure their borders but we believe that investing more money in se...

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Calais: Secours Catholique opens new building to host asylum seekers

Corner of 'The Jungle'

After a "long struggle" Secours Catholique (Caritas France) have announced that they are now able to host asylum seekers in a new building within the town of Calais rather than in the impermanent 'Jungle' camp.

Vincent de Connick, manager of Secours Catholique in the Calais region, said: "For us, it's about having the ability to receive our migrant friends in a different setting, in town...

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Caritas protests at desperate conditions in Ventimiglia refugee camp

No place to give birth

Caritas Europa, together with its members Secours Catholique-Caritas France and Caritas Italy, calls on the EU and in particular on the French and Italian governments to take action to respect the human dignity and fundamental rights of migrants stuck in Ventimiglia, Italy.

On 24 June, at Caritas Ventimiglia-San Remo's 25th anniversary celebrations, the youngest person in the audience wa...

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Caritas Europa: Pope Francis' dream of Europe can be a reality!

In the light of Pope Francis' dream of Europe, the Caritas Europa Regional Conference 2016 calls on European leaders to join forces with people, civil society organisations and churches to build an inclusive and outward looking Europe.

Europe is increasingly challenged by rising poverty, social injustice, conflicts, xenophobia and nationalism. Caritas Europa urges European governments to...

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Urgent appeal from Calais and Dunkirk refugee camps

Ben and Marie-Claude Beno from Seeking Sanctuary, with a consignment of goods at Secour Catholique

Seeking Sanctuary, the Kent-based charity which is supporting refugees in the camps in northern France has sent us this message.

A volunteer writes: We are critically low on many many items, the flow of donations has ceased, and by Friday we will have no shoes, no t-shirts, no jumpers. We shortly will have no new clothes for new arrivals to provide them with warmth, a basic huma...

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Caritas Westminster, Justice & Peace visit Calais refugee camp

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'Did you see anything extraordinary on your visit to the Refugee Camp?' a policeman asked the Westminster diocesan Caritas and Justice and Peace expedition at the Calais UK Border control on Easter Tuesday evening. The question kept us debating and laughing during the short tunnel journey back to the UK (after a two-hour hold-up as hundreds of travellers were asked the same thing).

Nine ...

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