Liberals take action as Calais camp closes

25 October 2016

Liberal Jewish rabbis and members were part of a number of important Citizens UK actions for refugees over Sukkot.

Liberal Jews, working alongside those of all and no faith, were seeking to ensure that unaccompanied children would continue to arrive from France, despite the clearance of the Calais camp.

The Home Office plans to pause the transfer of these children to Britain, with no date given for when it will resume.

Citizens UK estimate that there were up to 1,000 unaccompanied children, many with the right to sanctuary in Britain, before the clearance began yesterday.

Rabbi Janet Darley (pictured) said: “We will be doing everything we can to support the French to wind up the camp in a safe way. But this means every single child must be accounted for and transferred to safe accommodation before the end of the day. We cannot have a situation where children are stuck in limbo as night falls.

“As many as 1,000 children, including many with a right to seek sanctuary in Britain, are still in the Calais camp. The disappearance of any of those children in the coming days would be a moral failure for us all.”

Janet and Rabbi Rebecca Birk, took part in a Paddington Bear themed action outside the Home Office to protest against the pause. They were joined by many Liberal Jews, including children dressed as Paddington Bear.

The key speaker was Lord Alf Dubs, whose Dubs Amendment – calling for Britain to take lone children who do not necessarily have family ties to the UK – was passed by Parliament. Others in attendance included actresses Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson.

There was also a presentation of Paddington Bear toys to all those councils who have agreed to welcome refugees, as well as a separate event in Croydon to welcome the children arriving there.

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