In the statement Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Lead Bishop for Asylum and Migration for England and Wales and his counterpart in Scotland, Bishop William Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland say that despite the fact the camps in Calais have been dismantled for over a year now, many young migrants still remain.
They highlight that their situation is now much worse, adding that these young people are having to sleep rough at this time of year as temperatures fall.
The Bishops’ emphasize that the presence of these migrants is discouraged by the authorities and go on to urge the authorities concerned “to recognise that these are our fellow human beings, regardless of their status, and that their intrinsic dignity must be upheld.”
Bishop McAleenan and Bishop Nolan note that of particular concern are unaccompanied minors and say that their “rights as children must be recognised by both French and UK authorities.”
In the statement both men call upon the UK government “to embrace the true spirit of the Dubs Amendment, and extend this provision beyond the original timeframe of March 2016”.
They also ask both the UK and French governments to develop infrastructures to enable dignified living in Calais.
They conclude by saying that, “as the season of Advent begins, we are reminded again that the Holy Family were themselves refugees forced to flee their home seeking sanctuary in a foreign land.”