According to the Refugee Youth Service around a third of the children who were living in the Jungle camp in Calais have vanished.
Many charities helping in the Jungle warned that bulldozing the Camp would be a disaster for the estimated 1,500 children living there as it would be easier for traffickers to get hold of them. Just after the camp was closed, around a dozen children were found sleeping in the remains of the camp as they were too scared and mistrustful of French authorities to get on a bus going to one of the reception centres.
Now, the Refugee Youth Service (RYS), has announced that of the 179 children they were tracking since the camp was destroyed, 56% are living in French children’s homes, 8% have moved legally to the UK, 2% are sleeping rough and the other 30% couldn’t be found. They complain that they have had trouble creating a relationship with the French government representatives for missing children, and that the process for reporting a child as missing is unclear.
RYS had previously warned that due to the lack of age and language appropriate services for the children, their mental health was suffering, making them even more vulnerable than they already were.
The children were living in the rat-infested Jungle camp in the hope of getting to the UK. They may be granted entry if they have a relative already in the UK, or via the Dubs Amendment that allows 3000 of the most vulnerable refugee children to enter the country.