Immigrant Council welcomes today’s Cabinet decision to accept 40 Calais children
The Immigrant Council of Ireland welcomes today’s cabinet approval to accept up to 40 children from the Calais refugee camp (10.01.17), fulfilling Irish international obligations.
Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said, “We bore witness to the squalor and destitution of the Calais refugee camp and it is not only right for Ireland to extend a welcome to 40 unaccompanied children, it is also fulfilling our international obligations. This follows on from last November’s Dáil decision to welcome 200 unaccompanied children from the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp.
“We must not forget these young people have faced huge risk and survived treacherous journeys across land and sea to escape persecution and poverty. We know a safe haven is not the end of the journey for these young people.
“They will of course need both practical and emotional supports to ensure they can settle into their new communities and we welcome Minister Katherine Zappone’s plans to set up a National Project Office to focus on the needs of the children. Effective integration is not without cost and social infrastructure including schools, healthcare services, Tusla and housing supports must be sufficiently funded.”
Mr Killoran added, “Ireland has both the compassion and the resources to fully welcome and integrate refugees into society. This must be seen as an investment in the future of both these young people and Irish society, as both stand to benefit.”