Thursday, 9 June 2016

Asylum and getting to the UK the Calais Jungle

There have been many column inches, discussions, arguments, heated opinion and pious pronouncements about the so called Calais Jungle. Some see it as an open sore, a deep wound and a disgrace to humanity, while others see it as a most unfortunate consequence of global evils, wicked wars and harsh economic conditions in third world countries. There is clearly great poverty, sad squalor and social deprivation in the camp outside Calais in northern France.

However, some, and certainly not all, journalists, bloggers, social and religious affairs commentators, and political pundits give the impression that the situation in the Calais migrant camp, known as the Jungle, is the fault of the UK government and the Immigration Service.  I have heard critics moan about the Jungle squalor as if it were exacerbated by UK agencies and British foreign policy.

Let's be clear on a number of issues and facts. France is in the EU and subject to the European Council of Civil Rights. It is a democratic country, and not a war zone, where its members, citizens and visitors are protected by laws and the rule of law. The people who have reached the so called Calais Jungle (CJ) are not necessarily in any more danger there than they would be in areas of England. In fact, they may be far safer in the CJ than in brothels, drug dens, sex offender and trafficking groups, criminal gangs and dodgy criminal businesses in the UK.They exist in the UK, although many would love to look away, pass on by and pretend that they don't really exist.

The British public are generous and compassionate when it comes to refugees, sick and suffering children, the underdog and the oppressed.

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