Last week, the Daily Mail lead with the headline “PM: Why we must not take 3,000 migrant children”, suggesting that David Cameron has decided NOT to accept the3,000 ‘unaccompanied’ migrant childrenfrom Europe that Save The Children and others have been calling for.
We had a furore in the media and on social media over the 3,000 migrant children, when the story first broke. Many jumped straight in, suggesting that it was the UK’s duty to accept these children.
I work with the philosophy that it is the duty of every adult on earth to protect every child on earth, without exception. This led me immediately to decide yes, we should take these children.
I debated on Twitter with both ‘sides’ on the issue. I saw some arguing that other European countries should take these ‘children’, or Saudi Arabia or another rich Arab nation. This is a valid point, but I still sided with taking the children and arguing it with our EU ‘colleagues’ at a later date, safety of the kids being the priority.
Are we talking infants or young men, almost adult?
My problem with this story, however, was that the 3,000 number being peddled suggested toddlers and young kids/infants, when in fact it is more likely to be adolescent teenage boys (or adult men posing as teenagers).
We saw reports of a 22 year old Swedish girl, working in a ‘refugee centre for unaccompanied migrant children’, being stabbed to death by a 15 year old Somali ‘inmate’ of the centre. This suggests these 3,000 ‘unaccompanied children’ the UK is being asked to take might not actually BE toddlers and infants, young angry teenage men looking more likely. Them all being actually Syrian will be another serious doubt, given how few Syrians actually seem to make up the migrant numbers reaching Europe.
Where are these 3,000 migrant kids actually coming from?
The whereabouts of these 3,000 ‘unaccompanied asylum seeking children’ (UASC) was also being fudged with the various reports. What is for certain is that they are not in any immediate danger, having already reached Europe. They will be receiving food and a bed in one of the many makeshift refugee centres across Europe.
Jeremy Corbyn had been to visit the migrant camps in Calais and Dunkirk. The media made a big deal of this. Then Calais port received further coverage when a far left ‘protest’ sparked rioting and an invasion by migrants.
This ‘Calais’ story, plus the ‘3,000 migrant kids’ story became a little integrated, suggesting to many casual observers that these 3,000 kids were actually in Calais and Dunkirk camps, not spread across Europe.
The reports of migrant numbers in Calais and Dunkirk camps vary, but we can safely estimate 5,000 in Calais and 2,200 in Dunkirk being near the maximum of reported numbers. The problem arises when we try to establish the breakdown of gender or age of these 7,200 migrants.
What we can establish is:
- The HRF pulled their charitable aid recently from Calais, citing the people there were 95-97% adult males and they did not require help.
- Many other newspapers reported 90% young male migrants.
- Women migrants were suggesting that only 10% of the camp migrants at Calais and Dunkirk were women, the rest being young men. The women appear to be frightened for their own safety, opting to camp aside from the men.
- Calais migrant numbers are reported as ranging from 3,000 – 5,000 in total.
- Dunkirk is reported to have 2,200 migrants camped there.
This confirms the Daily Mirror headline (image above), suggesting there might be 3,000 migrant kids at Calais, was completely false.
7,200 total migrants, 90-97% young men, maximum 10% women cannot leave 3,000 to actually BE children, suggesting the 123 children quoted by Mail Online may be nearer the truth. In fact, any images or video of Corbyn’s trip tends to show a large proportion of young male migrants.
Why not take these 3,000 unaccompanied children?
David Cameron’s reasoning behind NOT taking the 3,000 unaccompanied migrant children is that this acts as a pull factor and encourages more to make the perilous crossing to Europe. Cameron has always stood firm in his belief that any refugees we accept should be directly from the numerous camps on the edges of Europe, those being definite refugees and people in the most immediate peril. One would have to assume the millions stranded in camps, having crossed out of Syria, would include the most ‘needy’ souls.
This is a sound plan, though Chancellor Merkel, when she returns to full hypocritical capacity, will be pushing for quotas within the EU that Cameron will struggle to avoid. There are 1.1 million reported migrants from 2015, 600,000 of those Germany has already lost track of. All estimates are that there could be as many as 3 million during 2016, so these will have to be handled somewhere.
The UK is already doing her ‘bit’
The UK is the second-largest bilateral donor supporting Syrian refugees in the region, with about £900 million already spent there on humanitarian aid since 2012.
The UK already HAS taken in many thousands of migrants, most illegally via Calais. This number is increasing daily, with migrants running the gauntlet of hauliers at Calais and their persistence getting them eventually into the UK. It has been estimated that 300,000 illegals are currently in London alone.
The PM has already pledged to take 20,000 Syrian refugees, the 3,000 migrant kids were going to make up a part of this number, if accepted into the UK. It is estimated that the UK has already taken 5,000 Syrian refugees (and their dependents).
I would, however, turn your attention to the Daily Mail article I’ve already mentioned above, which states that Kent Council are already housing 1382 ‘unaccompanied’ asylum seeker children. They also allude to these numbers increasing daily, so the UK is already taking in migrant children (as well as more than her fair share of adults).
Even if we assume that German estimates are low, the 1.1 million could be as many as 1.5 million. The UK has taken 300,000 illegal migrants, 5,000 Syrian refugees and 1,382 unaccompanied children – more than our fair share of the total Europe-wide is dealing with.
It is now for other EU members to take an equivalent share.
Schengen is gone, the EU member states are scrambling to gain some sort of control over their borders. Freedom of movement within the EU will end, it has to. Once there are repeats of events like Cologne NYE, then the already fragile patience of the EU general public will break. If none of the other EU countries are eager to take any more migrants, why then should the UK step up and do so, considering the UK is already doing so much?
Show me these 3,000 ‘children’, let me see they ARE indeed children. Let UK public see where they are, where they are coming from and WHO they actually are. Then we’ll accept all the kids you want, as any human would.
The fact that Merkel invited these migrants to Germany should not mean that she makes UK border decisions and forces us to open our borders in a similarly foolish fashion. Merkel’s moment of madness, inviting so many to her country (and to Europe by uninvited proxy) will undoubtedly cause her political problems at home, but may end up being a significant factor in the break-up of the EU.
References and further reading
- Vulnerable British children are being sent into care miles from home because Kent is overwhelmed by thousands of child asylum seekers. Daily Mail, 25/01/2016.
- ‘The men have knives and drink and fight. We are scared of being raped’: What life is REALLY like for migrant women and children trapped in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp. Mail Online, 25/09/2015.
- Call to admit refugee children ‘considered’ by government. BBC, 24/01/2016.
- Give 3,000 Calais refugee kids a home in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn urges the PM. Daily Mirror, 24/01/2016.
- Young woman stabbed to death working at child migrant centre as police arrest 15-year-old refugee. Daily Mirror, 26/01/2016.
- Migrant crisis: What is the UK doing to help? BBC, 16/12/2015.
- British anarchists led violence in Calais and defaced statue of de Gaulle in invasion of ferry port by 500 migrants. Daily Mail, 23/01/2016.
- Shocking moment journalists filming conditions at Calais Jungle are robbed at knife-point by the migrants they were trying to help. Daily Mail, 19/01/2016.
- ‘Religious tensions’ spark gunfight in French migrant camp. Telegraph, 27/01/2016.
- Germany has LOST 600,000 absconding migrants who could be in other EU countries by now. Breitbart, 22/01/2016.
- Almost two thirds of refugees entering Europe are NOT fleeing war, EU Commissioner claims. Express, 27/01/2016.
- David Lammy: Let 300,000 illegal immigrants remain in London. Evening Standard, 17/08/2015.