The 10 children follow an advance party of five – four Syrians and one Afghan – who arrived over the weekend. According to French authorities they will be followed by a further group of around 10 on Tuesday, all of whom qualify for relocation under the Dublin Regulation because they have family living in the UK.
The Home Office said that after a meeting between the home secretary, Amber Rudd, and the French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, it had sent a team to Calais to help identify children who qualified. Cazeneuve said he was asking “Britain to assume its moral duty”.
At least 187 children in Calais have been identified by the Red Cross as being eligible under the Dublin rules. However, the Home Office has been accused of dragging its feet over processing their cases. In the first nine months of 2016, just 140 children were brought to the UK under the Dublin rules, 80 of them from France.
The Home Office said it would send a second group of staff to France to help identify and prioritise children to be brought to the UK under the amendment.
A group of around 10 unaccompanied refugee children are expected to leave France for the the UK on Monday as part of the Home Office’s attempt to relocate children from the refugee camp in Calais before it is demolished.