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Calais Crisis: Why we can’t turn our back on the children of war

As French demolition teams cleared the last of the makeshift migrant homes in the Calais “Jungle” on Monday, the rubble and mess left behind symbolises the state of the current migrant crisis.

Tensions continue to rise between the British and French governments as Theresa May continues to hold her firm stance over not taking any more child migrants until their asylum claims have been investigated. Over the weekend, Francois Hollande urged the UK to undergo their “moral duty” and take in over 1,000 unaccompanied children from Calais.

The debate has split politicians and the public alike, but where has our empathy gone? These children have been sleeping in shipping containers for weeks, alone, surrounded by rubbish and rats. They’re scared, without their family and are vulnerable to abuse.

We should not turn our backs on children that have seen family members killed, their homes destroyed, and been chased out of their country based on a conflict they had nothing to do with.

In this age we live in of heightened racial tensions, we must remove the ‘us’ and ‘them’ barrier that currently exists. These children deserve to be integrated into society and be given a chance in life.

The only thing the Prime Minister is doing by delaying the decision to let some children into the country is distance ourselves further from Europe. More importantly, she continues on this path to leave these children living in horrendous conditions for countless more days.

This ongoing crisis, much like Brexit, has unveiled the cracks in society, and both the British government and some quarters of the public quickly need to change their tune. Look after a child and give them sanctuary, and they will grow up to love and work hard for the country that has rescued them.

About joshuamcgill (4 Articles)
Trainee Journalist at the University of Sussex.

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