Home Secretary: We demand #ASaferWay

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“When you are stuck at the UK border your future is one big blank. You feel full of hope, but also full of problems. During the Covid-19 crisis, it is only getting worse. If people could apply at the border, then nobody would risk their life to get here irregularly.” Michael*, former Calais camp resident.

The situation at the UK’s border in northern France has been worsening for years, with people like Michael forced to live in squalid, inhumane conditions and rely on dangerous irregular journeys to reach friends and family in the UK. The Covid-19 crisis has only made this worse, with the lack of access to water, sanitation and shelter literally threatening lives. 

But there is an alternative. It’s safer, it meets our obligations under human rights law and it saves taxpayer money. It would also help to resolve the continuing crisis in northern France. 

We must allow people to claim asylum at UK border points, and the most at-risk individuals should be identified and relocated.

For too long, the UK’s border control policies restricting access to the asylum system have contributed directly to a humanitarian crisis in northern France, and increased reliance on dangerous and irregular journeys for prospective asylum seekers to reach UK soil. This has come at great human and financial cost. It traps potential asylum seekers looking for protection, sanctuary and oftentimes reunion with friends and family in the UK. It also violates the fundamental human right to claim asylum.

As the UK is faced with the need for long-term solutions - currently aggravated by the Covid-19 crisis - and as the government lays out new ways of working with the EU after Brexit, we’re calling on Home Secretary Priti Patel to ensure#ASaferWay.

Show UK leaders that you won’t stand for this inhumane, ineffective and wasteful policy. We need #ASaferWay.

Sign the petition to demand:

* People are able to make their claims at the UK border points in northern France
* Identification and accelerated relocation for the most at-risk to make their asylum claims, with all the necessary safeguards in place.

For more information visit https://refugee-rights.eu/calling-for-change/northern-france/
Photo credit: Adrian Abbott