The Safe Passage Project ran in Autumn 2016. It was part of an effort by the UK Masorti Movement to help provide safe and legal routes for unaccompanied children living in the Calais "Jungle" who had family in the UK.
For details on the successful outcome of the campaign, click here.
Imagine the British Jewish Community coming together in the next four weeks and saving 150 children’s lives. There are an estimated 150 unaccompanied children in the refugee camps around Calais who have family living in the UK. They currently live in constant risk of violence, despite having the legal right to claim asylum in the UK. There is a legal route for them to be reunited with their families and afforded the care and safety they deserve.
Safe Passage UK are this legal route. Safe Passage UK needs to raise £2,000 per child to cover the cost of the legal process, transport and support the child will need to claim asylum here in Britain. There is an urgent need right now – the camp in Calais is signalled to be demolished this autumn. These children are likely to go ‘missing’ and we fear for their safety and lives. This appeal is due to end on Sept 16th, 2016, so that all these children can be helped as quickly as possible.
Masorti Judaism are launching a campaign to raise the £2,000 needed for each child. Many Jewish families here in the UK are the descendants of a child who was saved by Britain, one of the Kindertransport children or a refugee after the war. How fantastic would it be if 150 families, with similar stories, can do the same now. We could rescue all these children. The British community did it with the Kindertransport in 1938. We can do it again now. The campaign gives families the opportunity to come together, to act in honour and memory of those who helped them and for people to make a tangible impact on the life of someone who desperately needs it, right now. Would your extended family, including friends and colleagues be able to do this?
Many of us don’t have the means or connections to raise £2000, but we can do this as a community, through Kol Nefesh. We are organising an event on the morning of Sept 11th, where you can raise money through a sponsored walk, run or cycle (at Batchworth Lake, Rickmansworth, WD3 1NB). Let us know if you’d like to help organise the event, or help with fundraising in any way.
You can donate at this link: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/safepassageuk/339191, or you can set up your own webpage to raise money from your friends and family. Details on how to do this are on this attachment.
Further information on the project is at http://safepassage.org.uk/
How will the £2,000 be used?
The £2,000 will be spent on a combination of legal fees (British legal work is pro-
bono, but there is a cost to the work done by French lawyers), and transport costs to and from Calais, for the lawyers, and for the sponsoring family for interviews. This graphic shows how the money is used.
The Kol Nefesh Safe Passage Project
How do we know there are 150 unaccompanied children?
Help Refugees, one of the most active groups on the ground in Calais, conduct a regular census in the camp working with community leadership to identify unaccompanied minors.
Why are they unaccompanied?
Many of the minors describe having ‘lost’ their family along the way. The interviewers do not press this answer, but it is assumed this is both having been separated from family along the way as well as people having died. For others there is a strong push factor as older family try to get those most likely to be
caught up in the fighting to leave home.
Why can’t their families here in the UK help?
Their families are the ones who are sponsoring them to come, and will be the family unit they join up with once they arrive.
What are the Dublin III and ECHR 8 orders?
Unaccompanied minors (Articles 6 and 8)
Children should have a representative (e.g. guardian/legal rep/social worker) to represent and/or assist them and ensure that his or her best interests are taken into account in the Dublin process.
The signatory state where the child lodges an asylum claim shall try to identify family members (parents or legal guardian), siblings and relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents) legally present in other signatory states and subject to it being in the child’s best interests, will transfer responsibility for the child’s asylum claim to the signatory state responsible for the asylum claim of those family members.
If family members, siblings and relatives are found in different signatory states, the child’s best interests determines to which country the child should be transferred.
The child is not transferred for any other reason, even if he or she has made an asylum application in another country.
Why is the Calais camp being demolished and what happens to the people in the camp?
The Mayor of Calais is strongly advocating for the demolition of the second half of the camp. The longer the camp remains the more established it becomes with its own small economy and long term residents. The camp in Calais has been demolished and rebuilt in Calais many times in the past fifteen years. When the first half was demolished earlier in the year many of the people who had been living there simply vanished. Unaccompanied minors are particularly vulnerable to people traffickers.