LABOUR WILL SUPPORT CALAIS MOTION

Ivana Bacik TD
27 October 2016

Senator Ivana Bacik has confirmed that the Labour Party will be supporting the motion from the ‘Not on Our Watch’ campaign (text below).

“In the Seanad today I sought support from the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan for the proposal that Ireland would welcome 200 unaccompanied minors from Calais.”

“Ireland needs to act to ensure that children are not put at further risk. Over 800 families have expressed a willingness to the Irish Red Cross to provide a home for unaccompanied child refugees.”

“The Government must not turn its back on the children of the Jungle.”

ENDS

Proposed Motion:

That Dáil/Seanad Éireann:

– notes that the French Government have begun to dismantle “The Jungle” camp and to move the people living there to reception centres in the different regions in France;

– notes that the most recent accurate population census estimated the population of the camp at over 10,000 of whom 1,022 were unaccompanied children;

– notes that during the last demolition of the southern end of camp it was estimated that over 200 unaccompanied children disappeared from the camp;

– notes with concern the report of the UNHCR that there are over 10,000 child refugees missing and at risk across Europe;

– is aware that Irish volunteer youth service professionals have information and relationships with hundreds of the unaccompanied children living in “The Jungle” and are well placed to immediately facilitate Irish assistance to the French state in this matter;

Calls:

on the Taoiseach to act immediately to ensure the relocation of at least 200 of the unaccompanied children, currently living in “The Jungle” in Calais, to Ireland ;

– for the protection of those children and to offer them a new start with some of the 800 hundred families across Ireland who recently contacted the Irish Red Cross to offer a home to unaccompanied child refugees, or in other appropriate settings ;

– for this process of relocation to be initiated immediately, in liaison with Irish humanitarians and other youth care professionals currently operating on site in “The Jungle”, and in co-operation with Túsla and other Irish state agencies as a matter of urgency;

– for Ireland to act immediately to counter the risks faced by these children, and ensure that unaccompanied children will not be subjected to trafficking and other forms of exploitation;

— for action in accordance with Ireland’s previously declared commitment, to provide sanctuary to child refugees and the Taoiseach to take direct responsibility within his own Department for Ireland’s national response to the current worldwide crisis of displacement. That, in light of the fact that we are a migrant people, our response to the needs of the millions fleeing conflict would be generous and would represent our values as a trusting, open and caring people. That under his personal leadership and the direction of his Department, a coherent approach would be taken involving the public and private sectors, community, NGO and volunteer initiatives to create and execute a national programme that would establish Ireland as a society built on equality, tolerance and diversity. ;

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