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Duncan Lewis Solicitors working with Safe Passage to help refugee children in Calais (19 August 2016)

Date: 19/08/2016
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Duncan Lewis Solicitors working with Safe Passage to help refugee children in Calais

Duncan Lewis Solicitors have just come back from the Jungle in Calais where they are helping to reunite stranded refugee children with family members in the UK. In partnership with Safe Passage and with support from the Red Cross, Zofia Duszynska and Sondos Arafa join a team of British lawyers assisting children to achieve safety as soon as possible.

Zofia specialises in asylum work and has particular expertise in cases involving gender-based persecution, asylum-seeking children, human trafficking and exclusion from the Refugee Convention. Sondos Arafa, qualified under the Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme as a Level 2 Senior Caseworker, specialises in asylum and human rights work and has particular expertise in cases involving stateless persecution, asylum-seeking children, human trafficking and exclusion from the Refugee Convention.

Zofia said: “As specialist asylum lawyers it is difficult to stand by as children who have fled from war and persecution in Darfur, Afghanistan and Syria spend months living in the most dire situation in the camp facing violence and deprivation every day. The children we met were frightened and confused, several carrying injuries sustained in the camp and unable to comprehend the barriers that still remained in their way.”

In a ground breaking order, the Court of Appeal ruled that unaccompanied children and dependant adults should, under European law, be allowed to be reunited with their family members in the UK whilst their asylum claim is being considered. Bureaucratic failings meant that despite there being many provisions which can aid children to come to the UK, in practice it is virtually impossible. Recent figures suggest that there are more than 600 unaccompanied minors living in the Jungle in dangerous and squalid conditions. So far the number who have made it to the UK legally this year is between 20 and 30.

An amendment to the Immigration Act allows the British government to resettle unaccompanied refugee children registered in Europe but so far few local authorities have provided the support for this to happen.

Duncan Lewis is committed to assisting unaccompanied refugee children to obtain safety as swiftly as possible. For further information about our work please contact Zofia on 0203 114 1188 or alternatively on zofiad@duncanlewis.com or Sondos on 0203 114 1234 or alternatively on sondosa@duncanlewis.com

Duncan Lewis Immigration Department

Duncan Lewis was the first law firm in the UK to achieve Investors in People Gold Accreditation in 2009. Duncan Lewis operates the largest immigration team in the UK with a broad practice representing business and individual vulnerable clients at all levels in all aspects of personal immigration, asylum/human rights and nationality matters and is the dominant legal firm in the UK for the provision of publicly funded immigration legal services for asylum, immigration detention, bail, deportation appeals and EC law issues. The firm’s Immigration practice was recommended by Legal 500 UK 2015 as a Top Tier Immigration Practice in Wales in and as a Leading Immigration Practice in London and the Midlands area respectively. With more than 200 specialised staff providing assistance in more than 70 different languages, all of Duncan Lewis’ Immigration lawyers are specialists in their respective fields under the Law Society's Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme. Duncan Lewis Immigration lawyers provide specialist immigration services from offices throughout London and across the UK. Duncan Lewis was shortlisted by the Law Society Excellence Awards 2015 for its excellence in diversity and staff development.

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