Activism & Awareness

As well as providing humanitarian aid, Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol is committed to campaigning for the rights of refugees in northern France. CRSB has an active working group of volunteers, who aim to raise awareness on key issues impacting refugees and to take steps towards improving living conditions and access to means of safe passage.
Please check this page regularly for articles, petitions, letter writing campaigns and other news. If you would like to get involved in campaigning activities, please join the CRSB Activism & Awareness Facebook group.

Join the Activism & Awareness Facebook group

Calais refugee crisis worse than ever

Care4calais’s Spring report starkly describes the current appalling conditions of refugees, including sole children, in northern France.  The conditions there now are far worse than in the Calais Jungle destroyed in November 2016.
Other charities have warned that the closure of legal routes into the UK, and absence of any adequate child safeguarding services in the region, is providing smugglers and people traffickers with a new consumer base coercing children into taking illegal routes involving large debts and exploitation.
Six months on from the closure of the Jungle, the latest Refugee Rights Data Project study has found that a large proportion of the refuge children in the area are unaccompanied and that the majority have suffered from police violence.
Read more about the current situation in North France.


Post Calais Eviction: Very concerning reports:

Since the last evictions from the camp in Calais there have been two very worrying reports from [1] the Refugee Youth Service which expresses a number of serious concerns about the way youngsters were being failed and the resultant risks with which they are faced and [2] Help Refugees which highlights the misinformation being given by Home Office officials both to accommodation staff and unaccompanied minors in the post-eviction centres, again with the resultant impact on, and risks to, the minors.
The RYS Child Protection Report for October- November 2016
The RYS Press Release from the 22nd of November, An evaluation from after the eviction.
An Uncertain Future: Life for the children of the Calais “Jungle” Post-Eviction28th November 2016

An update on the recent events and action taken by CRSB, NOVEMBER 2016

In the days leading up to the final evictions from the camp in Calais by the French authorities CRSB wrote to the Home Secretary asking her to fulfil the UK’s legal and moral obligations to all the unaccompanied children in the camp and challenging her public statements.
Letter to Amber Rudd 12th Oct 2016
Letter to Amber Rudd 18th Oct 2016

We were also signatories to a letter from a raft of politicians, charities and voluntary groups going both to the Home Secretary and her French counterpart asking for specific steps to be taken to protect these children.

Too Little Too Late, Council of Europe letter 6th Nov 2016

Letter to the Home Secretary: Actions to tackle ‘humanitarian challenges’ in Calais

On 30th August 2015, UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, & Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, made a joint statement on the situation in Calais and their commitment to strengthen security around the border. ‘In the coming months’, they have committed to ‘address the humanitarian challenges in Calais’, which would include bringing ‘unaccompanied asylum seeking children to the UK’. Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol has responded to this statement with a letter outlining seven specific actions that can be taken to respond to the serious humanitarian situation in Calais.
Read CRSB’s Letter to Amber Rudd, UK Home Secretary here.
Read the joint statement from Amber Rudd and Bernard Cazeneuve here.

Latest Calais Census Results: Over 9000 inhabitants, including 865 children

Help Refugges have published the results of their latest census and the population of the Calais camp is hiher than ever. Most disturbingly, there are now 865 children living in these appalling conditions, 78% of whom are alone.
Click here to view current and past census results.

Letter to The Guardian: Broken Promises to the Children of Calais

On Friday 19th August, The Guardian published a letter from CRSB coordinator, Richard Annandale, highlighting the promises broken by the French & British governments with regards to their provision for and protection of unaccompanied children in the Calais camp. The published letter was heavily edited down and we would like to share Richard’s full letter with you here.
Read The Guardian’s edited letter from Richard Annandale here.

Letter writing: Write to Marvin Rees and ask for action to help unaccompanied refugee children in Europe

Since the revised Dubs amendment was passed in parliament earlier this year, little progress has been made to expedite the safe passage of unaccompanied refugee children from Europe to the UK. Help us keep this issue on the agenda and encourage our local authority to take the necessary steps by writing to Marvin Rees. Click the link above for more information and a model letter.