Local leaders slam UK over Syrian child refugees

Orient Net - AA 2016-08-19 13:07:00

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U.K. local municipality leaders are criticizing Whitehall for failing to help child refugees stranded in the notorious French camp known as the Jungle.

On a visit to the sprawling migrant camp in the port city of Calais, the local politicians said that only a handful of lone refugee children had been brought to the U.K. since the government promised to accept more of them.

The politicians, representing municipalities in London and southeast England, were in France to hold talks with Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart on how local authorities can work together to tackle the refugee crisis.

Britain bowed to pressure from charities and opposition parties in January and agreed to accept unaccompanied children from Syria and other conflict areas into the country.

Britain had previously refused to accept further refugees, saying it is the world’s second-largest provider of funds to countries bordering Syria and had already pledged to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.

But more than 100 children are still stranded in the Calais Jungle despite having “legitimate grounds” such as family connections for claiming asylum in the U.K., according to the Local Government Association (LGA), a body representing municipalities.

Municipalities are responsible in the U.K. for the costs of caring for unaccompanied children.