It is not often that the the legal articles of regulation form the basis of live theatre, but the Dublin III legislation, pivotal to the refugee crisis, was in the limelight at the Young Vic last week when actors took to the stage in an urgent plea to the Government to help child refugees in Calais. Juliet Stevenson, Carey Mulligan, Samuel West, Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson were joined by refugees in a reading of the Dublin III regulation, as a last call to the Government to speed up the resettlement of process of minors, days before the camp's imminent demolition this week.
The Dublin III regulation sets out the legal basis for the criteria that determine the country responsible for asylum applications lodged by a stateless person. This allows a minor who has family in another country to have their asylum claim transferred to that country. In addition the amendment to the Immigration Act 2016 in May (brought by Lord Dubs and known as the Dubs amendment) requires the Government to relocate unaccompanied child refugees from Europe. However despite both Dublin III and the Dubs Amendment being enshrined in law, thousands of refugee children across Europe are still stranded in dire circumstances. Pressure has mounted on the UK government from charities, campaign groups, faith leaders, community groups and celebrities to take urgent action in the light of the eviction of the Calais camp.
Juliet Stevenson, a Safe Passage Advisory Council member and a co-founder of HighgateHasHeart, said: "Until last week the Safe Passage programme had brought 62 children from Calais safely and legally under this legislation, but time is running out for the rest of the unaccompanied minors in the camp. It is terrific that the Government has finally turned its attention to this issue, but the concern is because it is all last minute and they (the Government) don't have the experience on the ground, the identifying of these children is very difficult to achieve in an atmosphere of fear, panic and chaos."
The Last Chance reading was organised by "Good Chance", a charity project set up playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robinson, who created a temporary theatre in Calais in response to the refugee crisis and an associate company of The Young Vic.
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