Lord Judd – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Judd on 2016-05-18.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that unaccompanied children in Northern France have information about the process for reuniting with their families in the UK under the Dublin III Regulations, that this is presented in a form and language that the children can understand, and that it includes information about the process for asylum transfers, the likely timeframes involved, and the criteria on which decisions are based.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Under the UK-France Joint Declaration of 20 August 2015, the UK and France have committed to ensuring that the provisions of the Dublin III Regulation are used efficiently and effectively. To assist the handling of such cases the two governments have established a permanent official contact group, agreed single points of contact within respective Dublin Units and the UK seconded an asylum expert to the French administration to facilitate the improvement of all stages of the process of identifying, protecting and transferring relevant cases to the UK. The Home Office will review the existing arrangements as part of the work to implement the relevant provisions of the Immigration Act 2016.

To assist with the identification of potential victims of trafficking and exploitation (including unaccompanied children) in Calais the UK has funded a project run by a French non-governmental organisation which aims to identify and direct these vulnerable people to the appropriate support services in France.

The UK and France are running regular joint communication campaigns in northern France which informs individuals (including unaccompanied children) of their rights to claim asylum in France and gives them information on family reunification. The frequency of these campaigns has been increased in line with the Joint Declaration signed in August 2015.