Open Letter from Calais Camp Refugees

RAPAR. Manchester Based Human Rights OrganisationManchester UAF logo

31st March 2016
PRESS RELEASE for immediate release

OPEN LETTER FROM CALAIS ‘JUNGLE’ CAMP REFUGEES TO DAVID CAMERON AND THE BRITISH PEOPLE

The representatives of the communities of people living in the Calais refugee camp, the ‘Jungle’, have written an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron and the people of Britain.

Entrusted into the hands of RAPAR, this open letter has been sent by recorded delivery today to David Cameron.  A photographic image of that letter, and of the registered envelope in which it was sent, are attached to this release.

The letter is signed by camp residents from Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, India, Kuwait, the Kurdish, and Solomon, an individual.  These signatures include those leaders now recognised by the French State as representatives of the Refugees.  At yesterday’s weekly camp meeting, at which RAPAR was present, Oliver from Medicins Sans Frontier reported back from their latest meeting  with the Pays –de-Calais Cabinet of the Prefecture, Delphine Brard.  They confirmed that, to enable direct communication, she is now asking for the names and numbers of the refugee camp leaders.

Dated today, 31st March 2016, the Open Letter says:

Open Letter from the Community Representatives of the Calais ‘Jungle’ Camp to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, and to its people.

From the point of view of the different community representatives in the ‘Jungle’, we see the British Government spending millions of pounds, an enormous amount of money, each year, to secure its borders.  But what is happening?  The borders aren’t secure.  Are you able to stop Refugees from coming to the UK? No.  People are going to the UK illegally because the British Government has blocked the legal ways.  

The only thing that this use of British taxpayer’s money is doing, is empowering the Traffickers.  Please, think about it.  There are a minimum of 8000 Refugees in France.  For each one, to be guaranteed to reach the UK, it costs around 10 thousand pounds.  Per head, this is an enormous amount of money. Where is that money going beyond the Traffickers?

The people staying here in the ’Jungle’ are risking their lives to get to the UK.  They are putting themselves in danger, waiting for many months, illegally, and, if they can find the money, spending 8 to 10 thousand pounds to reach Britain.  Every month between 5-700 people are reaching the UK from France, illegally. They would not go illegally if you provided them with a legal way.  There are thousands of people, waiting here, to go to the UK, legally.

The time has come to find an alternative, a better political solution, for Britain, for France, for Europe: for the people here, and for your borders.  We understand that the British Government might be scared about different people coming into the UK that you don’t want.  We understand that you might be frightened about terrorists coming to the UK.  Therefore put an asylum system in place, here in France, here in Calais, where Refugees can apply for asylum in the UK, from here.  This is the solution.

Together, work it out with us, the Refugees in Calais.

A RAPAR spokesperson adds: “At last, the French authorities are indicating they are willing to listen to the refugees themselves. It's time for David Cameron to do the same.”

ENDS

For more information contact: Dr Rhetta Moran, RAPAR, 07776264646/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Photos

 Text of letter from Calais refugees

 

Photo of recirded delivery invoice

 

Photo of  envelope addressed to Cameron