Calais just part of much bigger global refugee crisis, warns Refugee Action

Last updated July 29, 2015Press release

The Home Secretary will today chair the Cobra emergency committee amid the growing number of attempts by migrants to cross the Channel Tunnel

In response Refugee Action warns that the situation in Calais is just a small part of a much bigger global refugee crisis. In Calais, there are just 3,000 people. By comparison there are close to 60 million refugees and displaced people worldwide, while Greece and Italy received 125,000 arrivals by sea this year alone.

Tim Hilton, Head of Strategy at Refugee Action says:

“Many of the people in Calais were forced to flee countries wracked by war and widespread human rights atrocities, such as Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan. Many have risked their lives to come to Europe in search of safety.

“The overwhelming majority of people seeking asylum in Europe don’t come to the UK. Last year, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and Hungary all received more asylum applications than the UK. Those who do want to come to the UK often speak English, giving them more hope of building a productive life here, or have family or community ties to the UK. Who wouldn’t want to be reunited with their relatives after being forced to flee?

“Debate around the current situation in Calais must retain a sense of perspective. We urge the government to consider its response amid the wider need for a comprehensive, European-wide asylum approach that is fair and humane.”

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