Lawyers are raising funds to reunite child refugees in northern France with family members already in the UK.
The Dunkirk Project involves legal help for families split by the English channel in order to help young migrants stuck in Calais and Dunkirk come to the UK to claim asylum. Children seeking asylum in Europe should be able to transfer their asylum claim to a country where they have family members under the Dublin III Regulation. But making that right a reality often requires a lawyer.
Alex Goodman of Landmark Chambers, who set up the project, says that it aims to “build a bridge between lawyers in the UK who can offer help and clients in France who can’t access that help”. Practitioners have been working pro bono for the last year, but are now raising funds through Crowdjustice to help pay for interpreters, evidence gathering, expert reports and travel costs. The group have managed to raise the minimum funds needed to take two families’ cases forward; hitting the revised “stretch target” will help others benefit.
In addition to taking on specific cases, the Dunkirk Project supports local NGOs and lobbies for systemic reform. It comes under the umbrella of Kindred, “a new volunteer organisation” set up by Mr Goodman which “promotes tolerance and equality”.