A number of UK-based celebrities have joined together to sponsor unaccompanied migrant children in the infamous “Jungle” camp in the French town of Calais.
Celebrities Jude Law, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic West, Gillian Anderson, Stephen Daldry and Brian Eno are among those “buddying” with a child migrant in the camp in an effort to reunite them with their families living in the UK.
Each of the celebrities will write a letter to the Prime Minister and the French President on behalf of their child, make an effort to visit their child in the migrant camp and/or their families in the UK, and donate funds to assist with their child’s humanitarian or legal needs, according to a statement from Citizens UK, which set up the buddy system with several other UK-based immigration advocacy groups.
“We call on the British and French authorities to immediately make provisions for the safe passage of all the unaccompanied minors and refugee children identified by Citizens UK with verified family connections to Britain,” the group said in a statement. “These children have a full legal right to reunite with their loved ones. It is unacceptable that they are left in danger and distress for administrative convenience. The system established to reunite these families must either be set aside, or made to work as a matter of extreme urgency.”
““We are each buddying with one unaccompanied minor to ensure that they receive the humanitarian support they need and to personally insist that both governments honour their obligations to these children,” the group added.
Other celebrities and public figures joining the effort include authors Ali Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Andrew O’Hagan, actresses Laura Bailey and Juliet Stevenson and former ITV executive Sir Christopher Bland.
News of Jude Law’s involvement comes just one week after members of the actor’s entourage were assaulted and robbed inside the Calais camp. Law had visited the camp along with musician Tom Odell, actor Toby Jones, comedian Shappi Khorsandi and a film crew to appeal to the British government before it was set to be demolished by French authorities.