Officials are in France trying to identify unaccompanied minors after Amber Rudd said she wanted to see as many brought to UK before it closes
AROUND 100 child migrants will be brought to the UK this week from the Calais Jungle camp to be reunited with their relatives.
Officials from the Home Office are spending the week in France trying to identify unaccompanied minors before the controversial site is demolished.
More than a dozen are due to arrive in Britain today under the fast-track registration scheme, as an EU regulation allows them to seek asylum because they have close family living here.
They will first have to register with the Home Office in Croydon, with their families waiting for them in nearby churches opened up for the reunions.
French authorities were due to begin dismantling the Jungle settlement this week but have delayed the process, in part so the UK can identify eligible minors.
As well as the EU legislation, which means an unaccompanied asylum seeker under the age of 18 is entitled to be reunited with their family, there is separate new UK legislation, known as the Dubbs Amendment.
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But the government, which also pledged to take in some unaccompanied minors who do not have relations in the UK, faces a difficult challenge to work out who is eligible.
Proving the age of many of the minors, who are teenagers, is difficult as they often do not have passports or means of identification.
The Home Office will also find it difficult to test their claim to be travelling alone, or that they have existing family in the UK.
There are currently an estimated 10,000 people living in the Calais camps, which French President wants removed and the inhabitants transferred to reception centres across the country.
With fears the closure will lead to many children being disappeared, Ms Rudd agreed the UK should step in.
Under the EU’s so-called Dublin regulations, asylum claims must be made in the first safe country a person reaches – but children can have their application transferred to another country if they have family living there.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Work is continuing on both sides of the Channel to ensure this happens as a matter of urgency.”
He added that the Home Secretary had made it “crystal clear” to the French Interior Minister that she intends to “transfer as many minors as possible” who are eligible under the rules.
Stephen Hale, chief executive of the charity Refugee Action, said: “It’s fantastic news that, at last, vulnerable children in Calais will be reunited with their families in Britain.
“These children must have the support they need to rebuild their lives when they arrive.”