Press Release – 25 April 2016

Independent data from Calais demonstrates urgency of Dubs Amendment

Today MPs are voting on the Dubs Amendment to the Immigration Bill. If the amendment passes, the government will need to act on Save the Children’s call for Britain to take in 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children already inside Europe.

Based on our extensive field research, conducted in February 2016, the Refugee Rights Data Project believes that this policy change is urgently needed to protect vulnerable children.

Our report – “The Long Wait” – based on interviews with 870 people living inside the Calais camp (of which 14.4% were children aged 12 to 17) found that:

  • 59.7% of child respondents were living in the Calais camp unaccompanied by an adult (only 6.7% were with their mother and/or father)
  • 44.5% of children want to be reunited with family members living in the UK
  • 61.1% of children said they “never feel safe” inside the camp
  • 89.6% of children have experienced police violence in Calais
  • 51.3% of children have experienced citizen violence in Calais
  • 73.9% of children have experienced health problems since arriving in the camp
  • 73.8% of children did not have enough food to eat

Please find more data and further details on pages 27-29 of the report. View The Long Wait here.

“Our first-hand data clearly indicates a need for a humane policy response to protect the rights of refugee children living in dire conditions in Calais and beyond. We were concerned to find that almost 90% of children in Calais have experienced police violence, including beatings, rubber bullets, tear gas and verbal abuse. Over 70% of children reported having suffered from health issues since arriving in the camp, including mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress and severe anxiety.”

Marta Welander – Founder, Refugee Rights Data Project

Who conducted research for ‘The Long Wait’ report?

Our data collection was conducted from 20-26 February 2016 by 20 academic researchers, with support from our advisory group and staff from the Political Science Institute at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon. We also worked in partnership with Help Refugees.

What is the Refugee Rights Data Project?

The Refugee Rights Data Project is a non-profit project established in late 2015. We aim to fill the data gaps relating to refugees and displaced people in Europe by conducting our own independent field research. Our project is run by professionals with expertise spanning a broad range of sectors. We are independent of any political ideology or religion, and united by our commitment to defend the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable groups of people.


For enquiries, please contact:

Natalie Stanton
Coordinator and Media Relations Manager – Refugee Rights Data Project
T: 07817 380 897