Four separated children from Calais ‘Jungle’ Camp on way to Ireland
30 children welcomed to safety – others undergoing assessment
Minister Zappone to highlight work of Tusla in UN address
Four children who previously lived in the former refugee camp known as ‘the Jungle’ in Calais will arrive in Ireland in the coming days, bringing the total number of separated children from Calais in Ireland to 30.
Further children are currently being assessed and screened for admission to Ireland and will be met by specialist Tusla – Child and Family Agency social workers in the coming weeks.
Welcoming the news the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone said:
“Warlords, criminals and thugs have put children in the frontline. Forced to flee poison gas, barrel bombs and bullets many end up separated from their loved ones – often during a perilous journey at the hands of human traffickers.
It is not enough to condemn those who target our children – we must also offer support and an opportunity to restart young lives. At my request the child and family agency, Tusla, established a national project office to ensure Ireland is in a position to welcome separated children.
Tusla experts have also been on the ground in camps in France and the refugee hotspots of Europe to assess children to restart their lives here. It is something we should all be immensely proud of.
In addition to saying ‘Fáilte’ to our new arrivals I also intend outlining the approach Ireland has taken in terms of separated children when I address a special gathering of the United Nations Security Council next Tuesday.”
Speaking today, Jim Gibson, Tusla Chief Operations Officer, said “Tusla is committed to working in partnership with other agencies to implement the Government’s decision to accept separated children who previously lived in the unregistered refugee camp in Calais.
We are proud that to date 26 children have been brought to Ireland from Calais and provided with specialist care and support in light of the traumatic experiences many of them have had before arriving here.
Our staff will be on the ground in France this week meeting further young people and will work to ensure their safe travel to Ireland and where possible their reunification with their families.”