14:38 GMT14 July 2020
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    British taxpayers are forking out for a new concrete wall for Calais to keep migrants on the French side of the English Channel.

    Dubbed the Great Wall of Calais by the British media, a four meter high concrete barrier will be built to reinforce fencing that has failed to prevent refugees and migrants from attempting to reach the UK.

    "The security that we are putting in at the port is being stepped up with better equipment. We are going to start building this big new wall very soon. We've done the fence, now we are doing a wall," Home Office minister Robert Goodwill told the Home Affairs Select Committee.

    The concrete wall will be built along the main motorway towards to the port, a route recently held to a standstill after lorry drivers, residents and business owners marched towards the port calling for the so-called "Jungle" camp to be closed.

    The announcement by Home Office minister Robert Goodwill that Britain will build a new wall to keep refugees living in Calais out, prompted comparisons to Republican US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who recently said he wanted to build a wall on the country's border with Mexico to keep migrants out.

    ​Walls Before Welfare

    It's also not the first time that the British government has been accused of putting borders before people.

    At the height of the crisis in Calais last summer, the government planned to spend US$11.2 million on new fencing, floodlights, patrols and security cameras, reinforcing the border. Meanwhile, hundreds of asylum seekers continued to scale the security fence and reach the mouth of the Channel Tunnel every night.

    While the British government plans the construction of a concrete wall in Calais, hundreds of unaccompanied child refugees remain stuck in migrant camps in Calais, only 100 children have had their asylum cases transferred to the UK.

    A new report published by children's charity Unicef, warns that border closures have intensified the dangers that children face trying to reach Europe.

    ​"In the last few years we have seen huge numbers of children being forced to flee their homes, and take dangerous, desperate journeys, often on their own," Lily Caprani, deputy executive director of Unicef UK said.

    "Children on the move are at risk of the worst forms of abuse and harm and can easily fall victim to traffickers and other criminals."

    Over 88,000 unaccompanied children claimed asylum in the European Union in 2015, just 3,045 were in the UK, the report by Unicef states. 

    Reports suggest that the new concrete wall for Calais to keep migrants out will cost UK taxpayers US$2.7 million. 

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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    border area, refugee children, border clashes, wall construction, asylum seekers, wall, border, migrants, UNICEF, Theresa May, Dover, Calais, Europe, United Kingdom, France
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