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Sinn Féin welcomes oireachtas all- party motion on Calais unaccompanied child refugees - Kathleen Funchion TD

10 November, 2016 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin’s TD Kathleen Funchion has welcome the passing of an all – party motion in the Oireachtas on unaccompanied child refugees previously living in Calais, France.

The Carlow/Kilkenny TD said:

"Sinn Féin welcomes the passing of the motion which outlines the government’s commitment to accepting up to 200 unaccompanied child refugees to Ireland who had been previously living in the French Calais refugee camp .  

"It was passed unanimously this afternoon and is the result of tireless campaigning by Irish volunteers and activists who have shone a light on the issue and brought it to the Houses of the Oireachtas. Sinn Féin has supported and lobbied in support of this call with the Not On Our Watch campaign and we are pleased to see the motion finally pass.

"Sinn Féin will ensure that these commitments are adhered to. We will have the opportunity to do that via monitoring the government’s progress by way of the agreed quarterly reports from the Minister for Justice and Equality.

"We now move forward to the next stage to urgently begin the process of relocating these unaccompanied children to Ireland."


Text of the motion

The motion calls on the government :

- to convey to the French Government the solidarity of the Irish people and of Dáil Éireann in relation to the protection of unaccompanied minors previously living in the unofficial camp in Calais and to convey their readiness to offer assistance if needed;
- to work with the French authorities, in accordance with national and international law, and to liaise with volunteers and youth care professionals who formerly worked in the camp, to identify up to 200 unaccompanied minors previously living in the unofficial camp in Calais who express the desire to come to Ireland and not the UK so that they can be relocated as soon as practicable.
- to commit to consider requests from the French authorities in accordance with national and international law and in line with Tusla’s capacity and resources, according to criteria prioritising younger children, those who have been bereaved and children at risk of trafficking, underpinned by current best practice;
- to provide additional resources to the relevant State services and to expand Tusla’s capacity to increase the intake of unaccompanied minors as part of a whole of Government approach.- To reaffirm the government's overall commitment, on behalf of the people, to a coherent national programme involving the public and private sectors, community, NGO and volunteers, that would help address exceptional humanitarian crises and to establish Ireland as a society of equality, tolerance and diversity. 

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