11 Jan 2017
Children’s Rights Alliance Welcomes Government Relocation of Child Refugees
The Children’s Rights Alliance has welcomed this afternoon’s Cabinet decision to relocate 40 unaccompanied minors from the former unofficial Calais refugee camp in France. We commend Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs for ensuring this commitment has been passed by Cabinet today.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, commenting today, said that: “The Government has done the right thing here. Child refugees are among the most vulnerable of all children. Many have been exposed to serious abuse or are fleeing persecution, while others have been exploited by ruthless child traffickers.
We are pleased that the Government is working with French authorities to bring 40 children to Ireland. At the same time, Ireland must continue to put pressure on France to live up to its obligations to register children, provide them with care, reunite them with their families and provide protection.
Tusla has a wealth of experience in meeting the unique needs of unaccompanied children. The Government must ensure that Tusla receives the funding it needs to properly care for these vulnerable children. However, we cannot forget the plight of child refugees in other parts of Europe. Conditions in the main refugee hot spots for children in Italy and Greece are absolutely dire.
Ireland must stand firm on its commitments to children from other countries in the EU Relocation Programme. We must do more."
For further information, please contact:
Emma McKinley, Communications & Development Manager
01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067
Note for Editors
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive is available for interview