A British court has ordered the government to immediately bring to Britain three children and one adult in Calais so that they can join their relatives.
The court ruled that under European rules, the three unaccompanied children and a dependant adult should be allowed to live with their loved ones who are already in Britain while their asylum claims are examined.
Citizens UK, the organization that brought the case to court together with Islington Law Centre and Bhatt Murphy Solicitors says that bureaucratic failings are preventing many people in Calais from coming to Britain to reunite with family members.
Under the Dublin regulations, theoretically an asylum seeker in Calais is allowed to join their relative in Britain if they’ve applied for asylum in France.
In such a case, the French Government would then ask Britain to take on the case so that the family could be together.
By pointing out that the system wasn’t working, the lawyers convinced the court that evidence of a written claim to asylum in France was sufficient to prove the children had initially sought safety there.
The court subsequently ruled that instead of waiting for French authorities to act, the Home Office must now examine claims brought by refugees under Dublin regulations.
George Gabriel, Citizens UK said: “We are delighted with the judgment and look forward to being able to see these families, who have been so cruelly separated by war; reunited and safe. This judgment highlights that there are safe, legal routes to reconnect families using the Dublin III regulations, and we hope will allow other families to be reunited.”
Mr Gabriel urged the UK and French governments to “act to ensure no more children are driven into the hands of people smugglers or become so desperate they take terrible risks to reach the safety of the UK.”
Refugee Council Policy Manager Judith Dennis said: “This ruling has shone a welcome light on the plight of refugees seeking protection in Europe who are desperately trying to reach their relatives.
“Everyone has the right to live in safety with their loved ones. European governments must work together to ensure families are reunited safely and speedily, especially when it comes to children and other dependant family members.”