Globe, Struggles, Trade Unions, United Kingdom, Workers

Unrevealing the crisis

The British government has been playing a key role in undermining the work of NGO rescue ships. This December, Care4Calais and Stand up to Racism are organising a trade union solidarity visit to Calais and Dunkirk to support refugees.


Marcella Via


Almost two years ago, the Jungle, the Calais refugee camp was set on fire by the police.

This month, the court of appeal highlighted the fact that child refugees also had to face Theresa May’s hostile environment, as reported by The Guardian.

While the media started to show stories of children who arrived safely to the United Kingdom, the experience of many others remained silenced. According to Stella Creasy, the Home Office has failed in explaining to children the reason for their rejection, leaving them in a limbo.

Afterwards, the Home Office admitted that they feared rejected children would use the reason of their rejection to exercise their human rights.

Moreover, the death rate in the Mediterranean has soared to one in five. Within this context, NGO rescue ships became unable to operate, due to the criminalisation they suffered from the British government.

On December 8, Care4Calais and Stand Up To Racism (SUTS) are organising a “Winter appeal in solidarity with refugees”, a trade union solidarity visit to Calais and Dunkirk to bring humanitarian relief to refugees currently living in illegal settlements.

The organisers are inviting people to join the action, saying that presence is important.

Their press office said “Governments would prefer that the refugee crisis in Europe remains largely invisible, allowing them to get away with ignoring the thousands of people on our doorstep who have a legal right to seek asylum in the UK (among them many children, some as young as 8)”.

Moreover, they add: “it is estimated that almost 56 million refugees have arrived in Europe since the crisis began in 2015, of which 100,000 are vulnerable children.”

“The Home Office came under attack in November 2016 when it refused to give children caught up in the Calais camp demolition sanctuary in the UK”, they say.

The two organizations also point out that “today, the UK continues to turn its back on these children and has failed to honour it’s commitment to resettle the places already committed to”.

According to the organizers, participation in this action is particularly important, as it would give a voice to refugees, by helping them to share their stories. They also explain that it is key to raising awareness and to continuing to exercise pressure on the government and demand that MPs and Theresa May provide a safe passage into the United Kingdom.

The press office says “refugees are people who have had to leave their countries behind, in search of safety and a chance to re-build their lives. We have a moral duty to help them, Britain is a bigger country than this. We should be stepping up as a world leader in welcoming refugees, not stepping away at their time of need”.

“Winter appeal in solidarity with refugees” will take place on Saturday, 8 December from 6 am to 9 pm in Calais.

For further information, visit the Facebook event page.

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