Seeking Sanctuary appeal…

| September 18th, 2020

Seeking Sanctuary says: ‘end this cruel dilemma for migrants in Calais’

Seeking Sanctuary is concerned that while the UK Government insists that France is a safe country in which to claim asylum, many applicants are suffering as they receive no support until their claims start to be processed. Additionally, there are worrying reports that asylum seekers returned from the UK to France are being issued with instructions to leave the country rather than seeing proper inspection of their claims.

The situation, already desperate, is made worse by the new restrictions from the French authorities on voluntary groups making free distributions of food and other basic supplies while the migrants are waiting in Calais.

Ben Bano, Co-Director of Seeking Sanctuary explained: “Migrants in Calais are in a double bind. There is no incentive to claim asylum in France as they will be left destitute and subject to police harassment during the lengthy wait while their application is processed, even though the UK insists that France is a safe country.”

It’s no wonder that they turn to traffickers and dangerous crossings in the Channel as their only hope of finding respect, a decent life and hope for the future.

The only answer is to provide safe and legal ways to claim asylum in the UK to put an end to this humanitarian disaster and to return asylum seekers to France only when there are assurances that their claims will be properly processed.

Seeking Sanctuary’ aims to raise awareness about people displaced from their homes and to channel basic humanitarian assistance from Faith Communities and Community Organisations via partnerships with experienced aid workers. Our special concern is for the 2000 or so exiles who are stuck in north-western France, mistakenly expecting a welcome in the UK.

They need food, water, good counsel and clothes, which are accepted, sorted and distributed by several organisations, including two Calais warehouses which also supply needs further afield.

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